Between swing and blues musical numbers, the story of comedian Lem Anderson, whose long-awaited chance to act dramatically vanishes when he witnesses a mob killing and is forced to leave ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Frank H. Wilson ...
Lem Anderson (as Frank Wilson)
Mamie Smith ...
Madame Mamie
Norman Astwood ...
Rough Jackson
Edna Mae Harris ...
Doll Davis
Merritt Smith ...
Ned Avery
Francine Everett ...
Desdemona Jones
Sidney Easton ...
Sneeze Ancrum (as Sydney Easton)
Babe Matthews ...
Laura Lou
Lionel Monagas ...
Matt Gilson
Madeline Belt ...
Acme Delight
Herman Green ...
Ganaway
Percy Verwayen ...
Spanish (as Percy Verwayne)
George Williams ...
Runt
Alec Lovejoy ...
Misery
Lucky Millinder ...
Himself - Bandleader (as Lucky Millinder and his Orchestra)
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Storyline

Between swing and blues musical numbers, the story of comedian Lem Anderson, whose long-awaited chance to act dramatically vanishes when he witnesses a mob killing and is forced to leave town. Lem becomes a wanderer, then an alcoholic. Finally a chance to play Othello draws him back to Harlem. Is it too late for Ned? Or too soon to suit Rough Jackson's mobsters? Melodramatic events lead to an unusual conclusion. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Sensational Inside Story of a Great Comedian Whose One Ambition Could Not Be Denied!! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Musical

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

December 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Othello in Harlem  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

The train Lem returns on from Dixie to New York appears to be the Twentieth Century Limited hauled by a streamlined J3 Class 2-6-4 Hudson locomotive. See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

I GOTTA PUT YOU DOWN
Written by Lucky Millinder
Performed by Lucky Millinder (uncredited) with band & chorus
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Paradise in Harlem was quite an interesting "race movie" I just watched
11 February 2014 | by (Baton Rouge, LA) – See all my reviews

With this month being Black History Month, I thought I should once again review some films featuring African-Americans, only this time it won't be in chronological order like I did in previous years. In this one, Frank H. Wilson plays Lem Anderson, a Minstrel performer with ambitions of doing serious drama like Shakespere's Othello. However, he gets sidetracked when he witnesses a mob hit and has to hightail it out of Harlem after his wife dies. I'll stop there and just say that not all is somber as plenty of musical numbers by the likes of Mamie Smith, Edna Mae Harris, Bebe Matthews, Juanita Hall, and Lucky Millinder abound. Oh, and Francine Everett plays a character actually named Desdemona! In summary, while amateurish, Paradise in Harlem was still quite a compelling drama with many entertaining musical numbers. P.S. As a Chicago native, I'd like to note that Lucky Millinder was raised there and played in several venues in those areas when starting out.


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