When Did 'Good Times' Come Out: Exploring the Release and Impact of the Beloved Film

When Did ‘Good Times’ Come Out: Exploring the Release and Impact of the Beloved Film

Released in 1974, ‘Good Times’ quickly became a beloved film that captivated audiences around the world. Directed by William Friedkin and written by Eric Monte, the movie tells the heartwarming story of an African-American family living in a Chicago housing project. The film’s release marked a significant moment in cinematic history, shedding light on the realities faced by marginalized communities while also showcasing the strength and resilience of its characters. Let’s take a closer look at the release and impact of this timeless classic.

The Plot and Characters

Set in the Cabrini-Green housing project, ‘Good Times’ follows the Evans family as they navigate their daily lives and overcome various challenges. James Evans Sr., portrayed by John Amos, works as a maintenance man, while his wife, Florida, played by Esther Rolle, takes care of their three children: J.J., Thelma, and Michael. The film provides a glimpse into their struggles, joys, and the constant pursuit of a better life.

Key characters:

  • James Evans Sr. (John Amos)
  • Florida Evans (Esther Rolle)
  • J.J. Evans (Jimmy Walker)
  • Thelma Evans (BernNadette Stanis)
  • Michael Evans (Ralph Carter)

The Impact

‘Good Times’ resonated with audiences of all backgrounds due to its authentic portrayal of working-class families and their everyday struggles. It highlighted important social issues, such as poverty, racism, and the impact of economic inequality on marginalized communities. The film’s honest and relatable storytelling allowed viewers to empathize with the challenges faced by the Evans family, creating a deeper connection with the characters and their experiences.

Moreover, ‘Good Times’ brought much-needed representation to the big screen. In an era dominated by predominantly white narratives, the film provided a platform for African-American stories and showcased the talent and creativity within the black community. It served as an influential milestone in the Black Power movement, celebrating black culture and challenging societal norms.

Legacy and Cultural Significance

The release of ‘Good Times’ marked a turning point in film history, setting a precedent for greater diversity and representation on screen. Its impact was felt not only in the portrayal of African-American families but also in the broader push for inclusion and equality in the entertainment industry. The film paved the way for other successful African-American sitcoms, such as ‘The Jeffersons,’ ‘Sanford and Son,’ and ‘The Cosby Show,’ which further contributed to changing the landscape of television.

Additionally, ‘Good Times’ continues to have a lasting cultural impact. Its memorable catchphrases, such as J.J.’s famous exclamation, “Dy-no-mite!” have become part of pop culture lexicon. The show’s theme song, composed by Dave Grusin and Alan Bergman, remains instantly recognizable and is often associated with the spirit of resilience and hope that the film embodies.

In Conclusion

‘Good Times’ made its mark on the film industry, releasing in 1974 and quickly gaining a loyal following. The film’s authentic portrayal of a working-class African-American family and its exploration of important social issues resonated with audiences worldwide. Its lasting legacy can be seen in the increased representation of marginalized communities in film and television and the continued cultural significance it holds. ‘Good Times’ remains a beloved classic, demonstrating the power of storytelling to bring about change and foster understanding.


1. When was the film ‘Good Times’ released?

The film ‘Good Times’ was released on December 12, 1974.

2. Who directed ‘Good Times’?

The film ‘Good Times’ was directed by William Friedkin.

3. Who were the main stars of ‘Good Times’?

The main stars of ‘Good Times’ were Sonny and Cher, who played themselves in the film.

4. What genre does ‘Good Times’ belong to?

‘Good Times’ is an American musical comedy film.

5. Was ‘Good Times’ a critical success?

No, ‘Good Times’ received mixed to negative reviews from critics.

6. Did ‘Good Times’ perform well at the box office?

Yes, ‘Good Times’ was a commercial success and grossed over $30 million worldwide.

7. What is the plot of ‘Good Times’?

‘Good Times’ is about two singers who go to the desert to look for uranium to finance their dream of opening a nightclub.

8. Did ‘Good Times’ win any awards?

No, ‘Good Times’ did not win any major awards.

9. Was ‘Good Times’ the only film starring Sonny and Cher?

No, ‘Good Times’ was the second film starring Sonny and Cher, following their debut film ‘Goodbye, Columbus’ in 1969.

10. What is the legacy of ‘Good Times’?

Despite its initial critical reception, ‘Good Times’ has gained a cult following and is remembered for showcasing Sonny and Cher’s onscreen chemistry and musical performances.