Dolemite Is My Name struts into theaters this weekend with Eddie Murphy in top form, making a long-awaited return to R-rated material and playing a real-life character for the first time. Set in 1970s Los Angeles, it tells the true story of Rudy Ray Moore, a pudgy, middle-aged wannabe comic and singer—a contemporary of Richard Pryor and Redd Foxx—who strikes gold when he creates a foulmouthed, smack-talking alter ego: Dolemite.

What follows is a film within a film, as Moore self-funds a Dolemite movie with a ragtag group of cohorts (think The Disaster Artist or Ed Wood) that becomes a record-making success and a blaxploitation cult classic. It’s a rollicking good time, a salute to one man’s determination to make it in an industry that would not make room for him.