23 Classic Black Moviesby SteelKeez | created - 24 May 2011 | updated - 24 May 2011 | Public
23 classic black films over the last 50 years
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1. Cooley High (1975)
PG | 107 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
In 1964, a group of high school friends who live on the Near North Side of Chicago enjoy life to the fullest...parties, hanging out, meeting new friends. Then life changes for two of the ... See full summary »
2. Malcolm X (1992)
PG-13 | 202 min | Biography, Drama, History
Biographical epic of the controversial and influential Black Nationalist leader, from his early life and career as a small-time gangster, to his ministry as a member of the Nation of Islam.
Votes: 70,846 | Gross: $48.17M
3. The Color Purple (1985)
PG-13 | 154 min | Drama
A black Southern woman struggles to find her identity after suffering abuse from her father and others over four decades.
Votes: 67,308 | Gross: $98.47M
5. Menace II Society (1993)
R | 97 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
A young street hustler attempts to escape the rigors and temptations of the ghetto in a quest for a better life.
Votes: 43,757 | Gross: $27.90M
7. Do the Right Thing (1989)
R | 120 min | Comedy, Drama
On the hottest day of the year on a street in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, everyone's hate and bigotry smolders and builds until it explodes into violence.
Votes: 67,733 | Gross: $27.55M
9. Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song (1971)
R | 97 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
After saving a Black Panther from some racist cops, a black male prostitute goes on the run from "the man" with the help of the ghetto community and some disillusioned Hells Angels.
Votes: 3,728 | Gross: $15.18M
10. The Mack (1973)
R | 110 min | Crime, Drama
Goldie returns from five years at the state pen and winds up King of the pimping game. Trouble comes in the form of two corrupt white cops and a crime lord who wants him to return to the ... See full summary »
11. Uptown Saturday Night (1974)
PG | 104 min | Action, Comedy, Crime
At Madame Zenobia's illegal nightclub, when Steve Jackson and Wardell Franklin get robbed of their wallets containing a winning lottery ticket, they set out to recover it.
13. Ray (I) (2004)
PG-13 | 152 min | Biography, Drama, Music
The story of the life and career of the legendary rhythm and blues musician Ray Charles, from his humble beginnings in the South, where he went blind at age seven, to his meteoric rise to stardom during the 1950s and 1960s.
Votes: 121,036 | Gross: $75.33M
15. Hollywood Shuffle (1987)
R | 78 min | Comedy
An actor limited to stereotypical roles because of his ethnicity, dreams of making it big as a highly respected performer. As he makes his rounds, the film takes a satiric look at African American actors in Hollywood.
Votes: 3,193 | Gross: $5.23M
16. Claudine (1974)
PG | 92 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
In the 1970s Harlem, garbage collector Roop feels intimidated by the idea of dating Claudine who is a single mother of six on welfare.
17. What's Love Got to Do with It (1993)
R | 118 min | Biography, Drama, Music
Votes: 14,632 | Gross: $39.10M
19. Dead Presidents (1995)
R | 119 min | Action, Crime, Drama
A Vietnam vet adjusts to life after the war while trying to support his family, but the chance of a better life may involve crime and bloodshed.
Votes: 16,818 | Gross: $24.20M
21. Coming to America (1988)
R | 116 min | Comedy, Romance
An extremely pampered African Prince travels to Queens, New York, and goes undercover to find a wife whom he can respect for her intelligence and will.
Votes: 134,889 | Gross: $128.15M
22. Friday (1995)
R | 91 min | Comedy, Drama
Two homies, Smokey and Craig, smoke a dope dealer's weed and try to figure a way to get the $200 they owe to the dealer by 10 p.m. that same night.
Votes: 84,335 | Gross: $27.47M
23. Harlem Nights (1989)
R | 116 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama
During the 1930s, a New York City illegal gambling house owner and his associates must deal with strong competition, gangsters, and corrupt cops in order to stay in business.
Votes: 16,045 | Gross: $60.86M