Coffy (1973)

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Coffy is a 1973 blaxploitation film written and directed by American filmmaker Jack Hill. The story is about a black female vigilante, played by Pam Grier. According to writer/director Hill, the project began when American International Pictures' head of production, Larry Gordon, lost the rights to the film Cleopatra Jones after making a handshake deal with the producers. Gordon subsequently approached Hill to quickly make a movie about an African American woman's revenge and beat Cleopatra Jones to market. The film ended up earning more money than Cleopatra Jones and established Grier as an icon of the genre. Coffy is notable in its depiction of a strong female lead (a capable nurse), rare in the genre at the time, and also in its then-unfashionable anti-drug message. It was remade (with an all-white cast) in 1981's Lovely But Deadly.