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March 20, 2011

Flicks: First-Time Felon (1997)

Cracksploitation is made of one-part baking powder and two-parts puffed-up cliches.

Before The Wire or The Sopranos hit the air, HBO tackled crime in a less glamorous fashion. In 1997, Home Box Office released the made-for-cable movie First-Time Felon about real-life Chicago crack dealer turned youth counselor Greg Yance.

First-Time Felon is the directorial debut of Charles "Roc" Dutton (Alien 3) and the movie begins as pure cracksploitation (Boys N Da Hood, Sugar Hill, Juice, New Jack City) before it takes a more humanizing turn in all places: USMC Boot Camp set in the background of Stank Pit, Florida.

Veteran actors John Forsyche (Raising Arizona, Devil's Rejects), Rachel Ticotin (Total Recall, Predator 2), Delroy Lindo (Get Shorty) and Omar Epps as Greg Yance star in this tale of narco traffickers, prison and an unlikely redemption of a former crack-gang member.

IMDB, First-Time Felon
Wikipedia, First-Time Felon (movie)
Prison Movies.net, First-Time Felon
Jet Magazine, Sept. 15th 1997

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