Dirty Dan's Women (1973)

R | 90 mins | Mystery | 1973

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HISTORY

The working title of this film was The Ace of Spades . It was first released in 1973 under the title Dirty Dan’s Women and later as Is the Father Black Enough? and The Night of the Strangler . The title of the viewed print was The Night of the Strangler . Some credits on the viewed print were illegible. Assistant cameraman S. Camacho may be the same as assistant film editor Salvador Camacho. Although onscreen credits include a 1972 copyright statement for Joy-Oke Productions, Inc., the film was not registered for copyright.
       As noted in a Mar 1972 Var news item, the film was shot in New Orleans, and end credits include the following acknowledgment: “The producers gratefully acknowledge the cooperation of the New Orleans Police Department.” Screen credits list Norman Green as lyricist, and Gary LeMel as vocalist, but no songs were heard in the viewed print, and no information about possible song titles has been located. The Box review lists the release date of the picture as Jun 1972, but no other source confirms that date. Director Joy N. Houck, Jr. was executive producer Joy H. Houck’s son. Harold Sylvester, Jr. and Chuck Patterson made their screen acting debuts in the ... More Less

The working title of this film was The Ace of Spades . It was first released in 1973 under the title Dirty Dan’s Women and later as Is the Father Black Enough? and The Night of the Strangler . The title of the viewed print was The Night of the Strangler . Some credits on the viewed print were illegible. Assistant cameraman S. Camacho may be the same as assistant film editor Salvador Camacho. Although onscreen credits include a 1972 copyright statement for Joy-Oke Productions, Inc., the film was not registered for copyright.
       As noted in a Mar 1972 Var news item, the film was shot in New Orleans, and end credits include the following acknowledgment: “The producers gratefully acknowledge the cooperation of the New Orleans Police Department.” Screen credits list Norman Green as lyricist, and Gary LeMel as vocalist, but no songs were heard in the viewed print, and no information about possible song titles has been located. The Box review lists the release date of the picture as Jun 1972, but no other source confirms that date. Director Joy N. Houck, Jr. was executive producer Joy H. Houck’s son. Harold Sylvester, Jr. and Chuck Patterson made their screen acting debuts in the picture. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
29 May 1972.
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Box Office
9 Oct 1972.
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Variety
29 Mar 1972.
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CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
WRITERS
Orig scr, Orig scr
Orig scr, Orig scr
Orig scr, Orig scr
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
Asst cam
Key grip
Gaffer
Still photog
FILM EDITORS
Supv film ed
Asst film ed
Asst film ed
Negative cutter
SET DECORATOR
Props
COSTUMES
Ward des
Men's ward
Women's ward
Formal attire
MUSIC
Mus comp and cond
Mus ed
SOUND
Sd eff ed
Sd mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Titles
MAKEUP
PRODUCTION MISC
Scr supv
Floral arr
SOURCES
SONGS
Music by Jim Helms, lyrics by Norman Green, vocals by Gary LeMel.
PERFORMER
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
The Night of the Strangler
The Ace of Spades
Is the Father Black Enough
Release Date:
1973
Production Date:
completed late March 1972 in New Orleans, LA
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Eastman Color
Duration(in mins):
90
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

During a visit to her family home in New Orleans, Vassar student Denise Robert reveals to brothers Vance and Dan that she is pregnant and is marrying the baby’s father in New York. Dan, a prominent lawyer and the eldest sibling, insists that Denise get an abortion instead and becomes enraged when she admits that her fiancé is black. Spewing racial epithets, Dan slaps Denise repeatedly and threatens to kill both her and her fiancé, whose name Denise does not reveal. When Vance rushes to protect Denise, Dan assaults him and goads him about his former girl friend Carol, to whom Dan is now engaged. Vance shakes free of Dan, then gently warns Denise about the challenges of interracial marriage. Later, while picnicking with her fiancé in a New York park, Denise confesses that she lost the baby and fears Dan will make good on his threat. Just then, a long-haired man hiding in the distance shoots Denise’s companion with a rifle. Sometime later, in her old bedroom in New Orleans, Denise writes in her diary her belief that Dan had “Jessie” murdered. Absorbed in her thoughts, Denise is taken by surprise when a disguised intruder grabs her, submerges her in a bathtub full of water, rips off her clothes and slices her wrists. Before leaving, the attacker steals Denise’s diary and a photo of Vance in a military uniform. Weeks later, a black priest named Jessie returns to the Roberts’ parish after a long absence. Jessie’s old friend, teacher Ann Novak, who is dating Vance, tells Jessie about Denise’s pregnancy and death, which was ruled a suicide, ... +


During a visit to her family home in New Orleans, Vassar student Denise Robert reveals to brothers Vance and Dan that she is pregnant and is marrying the baby’s father in New York. Dan, a prominent lawyer and the eldest sibling, insists that Denise get an abortion instead and becomes enraged when she admits that her fiancé is black. Spewing racial epithets, Dan slaps Denise repeatedly and threatens to kill both her and her fiancé, whose name Denise does not reveal. When Vance rushes to protect Denise, Dan assaults him and goads him about his former girl friend Carol, to whom Dan is now engaged. Vance shakes free of Dan, then gently warns Denise about the challenges of interracial marriage. Later, while picnicking with her fiancé in a New York park, Denise confesses that she lost the baby and fears Dan will make good on his threat. Just then, a long-haired man hiding in the distance shoots Denise’s companion with a rifle. Sometime later, in her old bedroom in New Orleans, Denise writes in her diary her belief that Dan had “Jessie” murdered. Absorbed in her thoughts, Denise is taken by surprise when a disguised intruder grabs her, submerges her in a bathtub full of water, rips off her clothes and slices her wrists. Before leaving, the attacker steals Denise’s diary and a photo of Vance in a military uniform. Weeks later, a black priest named Jessie returns to the Roberts’ parish after a long absence. Jessie’s old friend, teacher Ann Novak, who is dating Vance, tells Jessie about Denise’s pregnancy and death, which was ruled a suicide, and Vance’s subsequent estrangement from Dan. When Vance shows up drunk at Dan and Carol’s wedding, Dan attacks him again, and Jessie intercedes, striking Dan. Although Dan calls Jessie a “nigger,” Jessie remains calm and consoles Vance outside. Later, at the docks, a man delivers a metal box to an unseen buyer and reveals that the buyer had experience with the box’s contents in Vietnam. Jessie then visits a flower shop owned by Vance, a Vietnam veteran, to buy a bouquet of roses for the newlyweds, commenting that “forgiveness is salvation.” The roses are delivered to the Robert home, where Dan now lives with Carol, and that evening, Jessie drops by and apologizes for hitting Dan. In their bedroom later, Carol bends to smell Jessie’s lush roses and is bitten by a snake hiding at the base of the bouquet. Dan quickly kills the snake, but Carol dies within seconds. Instead of first phoning the police, Dan calls Jack Markam, his partner, and when homicide detectives Lieutenant Tony De Vivo and Jim Bunch arrive at the house, they become suspicious of the two lawyers. After Jessie says last rites over Carol’s body, he phones Vance with the news of her death. Vance rushes to Dan’s side, but the grief-stricken Dan accuses him of killing Carol, and at Carol’s funeral, swears revenge against his brother. Later, on his moored yacht, Dan receives a call from a menacing stranger who demands payment for the New York killing. Ann then shows up at the marina and protests Vance’s innocence to Dan. Unmoved, Dan dismisses Ann, then is ambushed by Willie, the Roberts’ longtime gardener, whom Dan callously fired for being too friendly with Carol. Although stabbed, Dan manages to shoot Willie with his handgun, and once again, De Vivo and Bunch are called to investigate. Soon after, the long-haired sniper arrives at the marina and is about to shoot Dan when he is himself shot by a passing guard. As De Vivo and Bunch try to make sense of the various attacks, a box containing poison is delivered to an unseen killer. The killer fashions a metal arrow with a poisoned tip, and later, after Ann and Vance are married by Jessie in a private ceremony, Ann inadvertently triggers the release of the arrow, which has been rigged to fire when the front passenger door of Vance’s car is opened. Ann is pierced fatally by the arrow, and Vance, believing Dan responsible, races to his house armed with a knife. After Vance hurls his knife into Dan’s chest, a wounded Dan fires his gun and kills his brother. Moments later, Jessie appears and explains to Dan that he has been impersonating his dead twin brother, a priest who got Denise pregnant. To perfect his brother’s priest “moves,” Jessie, a Vietnam veteran whose real name is Jake, spent a year in a monastery before returning to New Orleans to exact his revenge and kill the women in Dan’s life. With a twist of Vance’s knife, Jessie finishes off Dan and leaves the Robert home seconds before the police drive up. The next morning, De Vivo and Bunch arrive at Jessie’s church just as Jessie is moving out. Jessie is nonchalant with the detectives until he slides into the front seat of his car and discovers a huge bouquet of roses waiting for him.

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Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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