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SPOILERS ahead from Eddie Murphy's new Netflix movie Dolemite Is My Name.
About an hour and 15 minutes into Dolemite Is My Name, there's a wild, ceiling-shattering sex scene. It's hilarious. It's part of the Netflix film's retelling of how the 1975 movie Dolemite was made. Eddie Murphy plays real-life actor/comedian Rudy Ray Moore; in Dolemite, Moore launched his film career with the character of revenge-seeking-pimp Dolemite. The wall-shaking sex scene really did play out in a Dolemite movie, but not Dolemite. It's one of the little liberties Dolemite Is My Name took in telling Rudy Ray Moore's story.
The sex scene was re-enacted faithfully for the Netflix movie, but it really took place in the 1976 movie The Human Tornado, the sequel to Dolemite. As Dolemite Is My Name co-writer Scott Alexander explained to USA Today:
We realized a lot of the fans' favorite scenes are from Human Tornado. And we figured Rudy Ray Moore is only going to get a biopic once. So we threw in these gumdrops into the scripts.
The sex scene is intentionally hilarious and over-the-top, but it's still true to what happened -- in a different movie. As director Craig Brewer added:
People will assume we made that up. But we made that room exactly the way it was, with the exact same effects.
The original sex scene, shown in Human Tornado, plays in the montage of real clips at the end of Dolemite Is My Name. Here's a still from the real scene:
Here's a still from the Netflix movie's version of the sex scene:
In the Netflix movie, before the sex scene, we see Eddie Murphy's Rudy Ray Moore talking to Da'Vine Joy Randolph's Lady Reed about his discomfort with the upcoming sex scene for Dolemite. Through their conversation, she gives him the idea to make the scene funny. Cut to the day of filming, with crew members literally shaking the bed, pulling strings to make the photos on the wall come down, and literally blowing up the ceiling.
After the ceiling explosion, there's silence. Then Dolemite movie director D'Urville Martin (the great Wesley Snipes) gives a perfectly timed "Cut" and the whole cast and crew bust out laughing -- except for screenwriter Jerry Jones (Keegan-Michael Key), who basically complains that he wrote a genuine love scene, not THAT.
Dolemite Is My Name -- which is dedicated to the late great Charlie Murphy, Eddie's brother -- premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September and got a limited theatrical release (for Oscars consideration, for Eddie Murphy?) before arriving on Netflix this Friday, October 25. The movie marks Eddie Murphy's first R-rated movie in 20 years. The comedy has earned raves from critics who loved the bold, brash, take on Rudy Ray Moore's stranger-than-fiction true story.
Fans also seem to be appreciating Dolemite Is My Name, which marks something of a comeback for Eddie Murphy. He has Coming 2 America -- also directed by Craig Brewer -- coming at the end of 2020. Much sooner, we get to see Eddie Murphy back on Saturday Night Live. His return to host is scheduled for December 21.