5.1/10
54
6 user 1 critic

Dirty Gertie from Harlem U.S.A. (1946)

| Drama
A sexy, enticing dancer from Harlem makes things happen in a sleepy Caribbean island resort.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Francine Everett ...
Don Wilson ...
Katherine Moore ...
Stella Van Johnson
Alfred Hawkins ...
Jonathan Christian
David Boykin ...
Ezra Crumm
L.E. Lewis ...
Papa Bridges
Inez Newell ...
Mama Bridges
Piano Frank ...
Larry
John King ...
Al
Shelly Ross ...
Big Boy
Hugh Watson ...
Tight Pants
Don Gilbert ...
Manager
Spencer Williams ...
Old Hager
July Jones ...
Specialty Dancer
Howard Galloway ...
Specialty Dancer (as Howard Gallaway)
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Storyline

An all-black Caribbean island resort welcomes flashy dancer Gertie La Rue, forced to perform in this remote spot because she two-timed Al, her Harlem lover and backer, once too often. As Gertie amuses herself by dazzling the local men with her sex appeal, sanctimonious Mr. Christian (shades of 'Rain') schemes to either reform her or have her thrown off the island. On opening night, her sensuous performance exceeds Christian's worst fears...but more serious trouble awaits. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

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Drama

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1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Gertie La Rue: Take your hands off me, you dirty psalm-singin' polecat! If the truth were only known, you want me just like all the rest!
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Connections

Featured in That's Black Entertainment (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

BLUES IN THE NIGHT
Written by Harold Arlen
Lyrics by Johnny Mercer
Performed in part by female voice on record
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User Reviews

Film Buffs Might Want to Watch It
4 November 2012 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Dirty Gertie from Harlem U.S.A. (1946)

** (out of 4)

W. Somerset Maugham's story "Miss Thompson" was often turned into a feature by Hollywood but this version here comes from director Spencer Williams and it has him once again taking a very low-budget and turning out a "race" picture. The film centers on Gertie LaRue (Francine Everett), a singer who comes to work at a small club but soon her past is going to catch up with her. DIRTY GERTIE FROM HARLEM U.S.A. features a terrific title but sadly it's yet another example of a black production simply not having the money to compete with not only Hollywood but even the lowest budgeted movie out there. I watch a lot of really, really low-budget horror movies and I'm really not sure I've ever seen one that had a lower budget than what Williams and countless other "race" picture directors had to work with. It's clear that they couldn't afford too many takes as there are several scenes where actors mess up but keep on going. There's even a very long sequence where a boom mic is visible and in a rather embarrassing way as it's floating around the top of the screen from left to right. The film also doesn't have much camera movement and there are other technical problems along the way. With that said, I think film buffs will be slightly entertained simply because it is something different than what the major studios were turning out at the time. At just 60-minutes the film moves along well enough and while the story is nothing special I thought it was at least entertaining. Star Everett, who was considered the most beautiful woman in Harlem, had a pretty interesting life and her performance here is worth watching the film for. Director Williams appears here playing a female psychic yet there's never an attempt for him to "look" or sound like a woman.


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