Here’s Why Black Panthers Got Really Hostile With Cast & Crew On “The Mack” Movie Set

Black Panthers Got Really Hostile With Cast.

There was a LOT of danger and gangster-style drama surrounding the filming of the 70’s classic, The Mack.

There was mder, there was beef with the Black Panthers and there was mayhem. The film was based on the real life pmp and dg dealer from Oakland, Ca., Frank Ward.

Max Julien’s role as “Goldie” was the film’s portrayal of Frank, who was known as one of the biggest African American de dealers and pmps of that era. The movie was sht in his “territory” and the only problem was that the Black Panthers also controlled a large amount of Oakland , so things got ugly real quick. Here are the details of what happened:

“The fact that the film got made is a miracle,” said the film’s director Michael Campus in the documentary Mackin’ Ain’t Easy, about the making of The Mack. The movie was set in Oakland, which in the early seventies was a dangerous place. Still, Campus wanted it to be the setting of the film.

According to Soul Train, the underworld scene of the Oakland area was controlled by four brothers, with the last name Ward. Max Julian described Frank Ward as “a serious criminal,” in the documentary. It was also revealed that the film crew and Campus had to seek special permission from Ward, to be able to film in the neighborhood.

“Were the Ward brothers going to back us?” Campus wondered. “Frank asked, ‘What’s in it for [me]?’ I immediately told him he had to be in the film. Then he said, ‘Okay man, let’s understand one thing. I take you in my world, you take me in your world. I show you what I do, you show me what you do.’ Frank opened up all the doors. I could go anywhere in Oakland with Frank’s permission.”

After Ward gave them the okay on The Mack, the crew had access to locations that were like a golden treasure for that type of film- underground barbershops, fancy nightclubs, pool halls, etc. The pps, woen, hoeless people, and junkies shown in the film were all authentic and supplied by Ward, under his close supervision.

The producer, Harvey Bernard, said that Bobby Seale, co-founder of the Black Panthers, barged into his hotel room one night and informed him that he and his crew were shooting in “Black Panther territory.” But Bernard was not worried since he had the Ward Brothers to protect him. Black Panthers founder Huey P. Newton wanted $5,000 in exchange for making the film in their territory. “But the check bounced,” Bernard said.

“Frank was so enraged…he felt this was his picture and we were under his protection, not the Panthers. He stayed around us to make sure things were right. We never knew what was going to happen from day to day and if we were going to complete this picture,” said Campus. -via Soul Train

Then things took a turn for the worse after Max Julien attempted to calm the tension down. Max was really cool with Huey P. Newton, so he met up with him to act as a middle man and ease situation.  But then this happened:

Many blamed the Panthers for the hit on Frank Ward and without Ward’s protection, the filmmakers and cast had to retreat to safer grounds in L.A. to finish filming. The Mack was dedicated to Frank Ward, but Black Panther leader, Huey P. Newton, still insisted that the premiere benefit the Panthers’ milk fund in Oakland city. -via Soul Train

Sadly, Frank was actually starting to go into legitimate business, but unfortunately when you live that lifestyle, there’s no time limit in the code of the streets.

Source- iloveoldschoolmusic.com

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