At Tubi TV, we’re celebrating Pam Grier’s May 26 birthday with our favorite movies from her iconic career as one of the most badass women in movies. Starting out as a young actor in the blaxploitation flicks of the 1970s, Grier then went on to action dramas like Original Gangstas and the fantastic Quentin Tarantino film Jackie Brown. Which one is your favorite? *Warning, the language in these clips is pretty…spicy.*
Two women–one white, one black–escape from a women’s detention camp in Latin America…chained together, and each on a desperate mission to achieve competing goals before time runs out. The plot setup is inspired by The Defiant Ones, but with a huge helping of the sexploitation and raw action that the 1970s are famous for. Grier definitely does her best acting in later films, but this cult classic is still entertaining for 70s action fans.
Driven to rage by her sister’s tragic descent into the drug world, a young nurse named Coffy sets out to take down the drug pushers and corrupt authorities responsible and clean up the streets of her city. While the Jamaican accent in certain scenes is, ahem, questionable, vigilante justice never looked so good.
In this explosive blaxploitation flick that was famously seized and confiscated in the UK under an obscenity act, Grier plays Foxy, a lone woman on the warpath. Foxy is seeking revenge against an evil drug syndicate for the death of her government agent boyfriend. This movie, like many of Pam Grier’s iconic films, is NOT for the faint of heart: The violence! The jive! The hairstyles! Foxy is a “whole lotta woman,” and this is a whole lotta movie. We can’t get enough.
By the time Sheba, Baby came out in 1975, Grier had fully hit her stride as a femme fatale action queen. In the film, a Chicago private detective returns back home to Louisville, Kentucky, to help her father fight mobsters. She and her old flame Brick Williams team up to take down the loan shark terrorizing her father, as well as his boss, the mob kingpin named Shark. Will she make it out alive? There’s only one way to find out.
Jackie Brown (1997)
When flight attendant Jackie Brown (Pam Grier) is busted smuggling money for her arms dealer boss, Ordell Robbie (Samuel L. Jackson), agent Ray Nicolette (Michael Keaton) and detective Mark Dargus want her help to bring down Robbie. Facing jail time for her silence or death for her cooperation, Brown decides instead to double-cross everyone and make off with the smuggled money. This movie was essentially Quentin Tarantino’s love letter to the glory days of blaxploitation films, and it’s a blast watching Jackie outwit everyone around her and stay one step ahead of the bullet.
We’ve only scratched the surface of Pam Grier’s talent and status as a cult film icon. Which one of her roles is your favorite? Watch many of these and other Pam Grier films are streaming free now on Tubi and let us know!