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Moon Over Harlem (1939)

Not Rated  |   |  Crime, Drama, Romance  |  31 October 1939 (USA)
4.7
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Ratings: 4.7/10 from 136 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 5 critic

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Title: Moon Over Harlem (1939)

Moon Over Harlem (1939) on IMDb 4.7/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Buddy Harris ...
Dollar Bill (as Bud Harris)
Cora Green ...
Minnie
Izinetta Wilcox ...
Sue
Earl Gough ...
Bob
Zerita Steptean ...
Jackie (as Zerita Stepteau)
Petrina Moore ...
Alice
Daphne Fray ...
Pat
Mercedes Gilbert ...
Jackie's mother
Frances Harrod ...
Maud
Alec Lovejoy ...
Fats
Walter Richardson ...
Brother Hornsby
Slim Thompson ...
Long-Boy
Freddie Robinson ...
Half-Pint
John Bunn ...
Wallstreet
Marieluise Bechet ...
Nina Mae Brown
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Storyline

Add Full Plot | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Powerful drama... Ripped from the heart of harlem!

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

31 October 1939 (USA)  »

Box Office

Budget:

$8,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Variray Blue Seal Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was shot in four days; two days at the New Jersey studio and two days in New York City. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Keepers of the Frame (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Teach Me How to Sing Again
(1939)
Music and Lyrics by Donald Heywood
Played by Christopher Columbus and His Swing Crew and sung by Izinetta Wilcox and chorus at the nightclub
Reprised by an off-screen chorus at the end
See more »

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User Reviews

 
So-so entry in the "race films" genre
17 September 2004 | by (California) – See all my reviews

Edgar G. Ulmer's "Moon Over Harlem" has its good points and its bad points. It's good points are that, as several posters have mentioned, it wisely avoids the stereotypes that many all-black-cast films of the time--known as "race films," almost all of which were made by whites, as was this one--were party to. The black people in this film come from strong families, are educated, gainfully employed, and are about as far from the "Stepin Fetchit" image of blacks that pervaded films of the time as you could get. Its downside is that, frankly, it's just not very good. Performances range from just above competent to just below embarrassing, and, even taking into account its rock-bottom $8000 budget, the preponderance of stock footage gets annoying and its production shortcomings--the sound is terrible, for one thing--are frustrating. Ulmer had a good idea with this film, and it's obvious that he was trying for something much different than that found in the typical "race film" of the time, but as so often happened with Ulmer's projects, talent and good intentions couldn't overcome a lack of money. The cast tries hard but they're just not up to it, and the general shoddiness of the production and the amateurishness of the performances help to defeat what potential this film had to stand out from the other race films of its day. Ulmer gets an "A" for effort, but a "D" for results.


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