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The Harlem Globetrotters (1951)

 -  Drama | Sport  -  24 October 1951 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 90 users  
Reviews: 5 user

Abe Saperstein, owner/manager of the world-famous "Harlem Globetrotters", an all-Negro professional basketball team, signs Billy Townsend, an All-American, to play with the "Globetrotters."... See full summary »




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Title: The Harlem Globetrotters (1951)

The Harlem Globetrotters (1951) on IMDb 6.3/10

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The story of Abe Saperstein and the creation of the Harlem Globetrotters.

Director: James Wong Howe
Stars: Dane Clark, Patricia Breslin, Sidney Poitier


Cast overview, first billed only:
Coach Abe Saperstein
Ann Carpenter
Bill Walker ...
Prof. Turner
Angela Clarke ...
Sylvia Saperstein
Martin (as Peter Thompson)
Billy Brown ...
Billy Townsend (Globetrotter)
Roscoe Cumberland ...
Roscoe - Globetrotter
William 'Pop' Gates ...
'Pop' Gates - Globetrotter
Marques Haynes ...
Marques - Globetrotter
Louis 'Babe' Pressley ...
'Babe' Pressley - Globetrotter
Ermer Robinson ...
Elmer Robinson - Globetrotter
Ted Strong ...
Ted Strong - Globetrotter
Reece 'Goose' Tatum ...
'Goose' Tatum - Globetrotter
Frank Washington ...
Frank Washington - Globetrotter
Clarence Wilson ...
Clarence Wilson - Globetrotter


Abe Saperstein, owner/manager of the world-famous "Harlem Globetrotters", an all-Negro professional basketball team, signs Billy Townsend, an All-American, to play with the "Globetrotters." Saperstein want Billy to finish school first and get his degree but, despite the good advice, Billy quits college and joins the team. He becomes the team star, gets married although it is against the team regulations, and is injured. As a result, the team loses an important game and Billy is fired. He signs a big-money contract to play with another team in the following season. but when he hears that his old team needs him. he forgoes the big money and rejoins the "Globetrotters." Written by Les Adams <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

team | game | contract | college | all american | See more »


Drama | Sport


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

24 October 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Basketbol ilâhlari  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Entertaining But Poorly Made
31 May 2012 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

The Harlem Globetrotters (1951)

** (out of 4)

Fun but poorly made feature about an All-American college player (Billy Brown) who decides to leave school and join the Globetrotters, although their head coach Abe Saperstein (Thomas Gomez) is against the idea. Soon the new player is starting to rub the other members the wrong way. THE HARLEM GLOBETROTTERS was apparently a huge hit when it was first released and I'm going to guess that this was due to how popular the basketball group was and it had zero to do with the quality of the film. I will admit that the film kept me entertained but there's no question that it was poorly made in just about every aspect. What we've basically got are a couple actual Globetrotter games that were filmed and then the "story" was added around them. We basically have a smart kid quitting college to play ball but then he starts to think about what direction he should take going forward. This includes several scenes with the coach, getting into it with his teammates and trying to please his new wife (Dorothy Dandridge) who is worried about his future. The entire film has an incredibly cheap look to it as the basketball footage at times looks worse that stock footage. It also doesn't help that most of the performances are fairly bad. This includes many of the actual Globetrotters but I don't blame them any since none of them were professional actors. They're actually what keeps the movie working so well because as a sports fan it was just interesting to see how they were playing the game back then and especially compared to today. I thought getting to watch the basketball footage was the most interesting thing and I think it's what will keep most people glued to the movie.

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