4.7/10
132
6 user 5 critic

Moon Over Harlem (1939)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Romance | 31 October 1939 (USA)

Director:

Writers:

(story), (screenplay) (as Sherle Castle) | 1 more credit »
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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)
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
Archie Cross ...
A Boy from Newark
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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)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Variray Blue Seal Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Chorus girls were paid just 25c per day, from which they had to pay their car fares from Harlem to the studio in New Jersey. See more »

Connections

Featured in Black Shadows on the Silver Screen (1975) See more »

Soundtracks

One More River to Cross
(1939)
Music and Lyrics by Donald Heywood
Sung by the mourners at the funeral
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User Reviews

Blacks Not Stereotyped in Ulmer's Moon Over Harlem
15 March 2003 | by (New York, NY) – See all my reviews

Gangster marries world's kindest, most charitable woman, scams money from her while coming on to her daughter. When gangster is caught by his wife attempting to rape the daughter, he lies and blames the girl. Driven from her mother's home, the girl turns to show business to make a living.

Performances vary from extraordinary (Cora Green) to unusual (Percy Harris) to just plain amateur night. According to the publicity accompanying the dvd of this film, Ulmer made it for $8,000. It seems hard to believe since there are many sets and crowds of people.

Edgar Ulmer's 1939 black programmer was almost lost forever. Several versions of the film were found and re-mastered into a dvd which is at best fair. It is frequently hard to hear and there are occasional bewildering cuts. If you see this movie, remember it was made in the same year as "Gone With the Wind" and "The Wizard of Oz."

The best thing about the movie is it's display of a black working/middle class far from the "street" folks many people tend to associate with Harlem. The movie is never condescending and never portrays blacks as seterotypes. As a glimpse into the life of the average black family in New York in the late '30's, Moon Over Harlem, while it fails as drama, succeeds as history lesson.


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