MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 8,300 this week

The Cool World (1963)

6.8
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.8/10 from 296 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 12 critic

Filmmaker Shirley Clarke ("The Connection") directs this powerful, stark semi-documentary look at the horrors of Harlem ghetto slum life filled with drugs, violence, human misery, and a ... See full summary »

Director:

0Check in
0Share...

IMDb Picks: August

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in August.

Visit the IMDb Picks section

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 1001 titles
created 04 Oct 2011
 
a list of 1003 titles
created 17 Aug 2013
 
a list of 1153 titles
created 5 months ago
 
a list of 34 titles
created 4 months ago
 
a list of 1002 titles
created 4 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "The Cool World" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Cool World (1963)

The Cool World (1963) on IMDb 6.8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Cool World.
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A proud black man and his school-teacher wife face discriminatory challenges in 1960s America.

Director: Michael Roemer
Stars: Ivan Dixon, Abbey Lincoln, Julius Harris
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A schoolteacher (Miereveld or "field of ants") is entranced by one of his students (Fran). Not being able to have his love fulfilled he tries to escape it and moves house and job. Working ... See full summary »

Director: André Delvaux
Stars: Senne Rouffaer, Beata Tyszkiewicz, Hector Camerlynck
Passenger (1963)
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The last film of Andrzej Munk, who died in a crash during the filming. A German woman on a ship coming back to Europe notices a face of another woman which brings recollections from the ... See full summary »

Directors: Andrzej Munk, Witold Lesiewicz
Stars: Aleksandra Slaska, Anna Ciepielewska, Janusz Bylczynski
Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A independent director is faced with artistic difficulty when he asks his actresses to show nudity.

Director: George Kuchar
Stars: Donna Kerness, George Kuchar, Stella Kuchar
The Exiles (1961)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Native Americans in Los Angeles. For 12 hours one Friday night, from late afternoon until dawn, we follow a handful of urban Indians. Yvonne is pregnant, commenting on her life and dreams ... See full summary »

Director: Kent MacKenzie
Stars: Yvonne Williams, Homer Nish, Tom Reynolds
Ceddo (1977)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The Ceddo try to preserve their traditional African culture against the onslaught of Islam, Christianity, and the slave trade. When King Demba War sides with the Muslims, the Ceddo kidnap ... See full summary »

Director: Ousmane Sembene
Stars: Tabata Ndiaye, Moustapha Yade, Ismaila Diagne
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

This film follows an antisocial working-class husband and father struggling to find work in the Midwest. As the film progresses, it seems that he has little actual interest in supporting ... See full summary »

Director: Jon Jost
Stars: Tom Blair, Wayne Crouse, Jessica St. John
Blonde Cobra (1963)
Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.2/10 X  

A man fondles objects, looks at himself in the mirror, poses in different clothes, smiles and makes faces at the camera while his voice on the soundtrack speaks of his despair, makes ... See full summary »

Director: Ken Jacobs
Stars: Ken Jacobs, Jack Smith
Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

December 3, 1966, Oscar winning filmmaker Shirley Clarke invites Jason Holiday, a black gay hustler, drug addict and transient to her Chelsea Hotel penthouse in New York City to film him ... See full summary »

Director: Stephen Winter
Stars: Mike Bailey-Gates, Gordon Beeferman, Jordan Saunders Brooks
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

With full disturbing and weirdo graphic plus sexual scenes, Flaming Creatures is one of most daring and controversial film of all time, According to Jack Smith's Flaming Creatures is a comedy in a haunted music studio.

Director: Jack Smith
Stars: Francis Francine, Sheila Bick, Joel Markman
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  
Directors: Danièle Huillet, Jean-Marie Straub
Stars: Danièle Huillet, Bahgat Elnadi, Gérard Samaan
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
Directors: Jean-Daniel Pollet, Volker Schlöndorff
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rony Clanton ...
Duke (as Hampton Clanton)
Carl Lee ...
Priest
Yolanda Rodríguez ...
Luanne
...
Blood (as Clarence Williams)
Gary Bolling ...
Littleman
Bostic Felton ...
Rod
...
Mrs. Custis
John Marriott ...
Hurst
Georgia Burke ...
Grandma
Marilyn Cox ...
Miss Dewpoint
Jerome Raphael ...
Mr. Shapiro
Mel Stewart ...
Con-man
Joe Dennis ...
Douglas Thurston (as Joseph Dennis)
Ronald Perry ...
Savage
Bruce Edwards ...
Warrior
Edit

Storyline

Filmmaker Shirley Clarke ("The Connection") directs this powerful, stark semi-documentary look at the horrors of Harlem ghetto slum life filled with drugs, violence, human misery, and a sense of despair due to the racial prejudices of American society. There is no patronizing of the black race in this cinematic cry for justice. A fifteen-year-old boy called Duke is ambitious to buy a "piece" (a gun) from an adult racketeer named Priest, to become president of the gang to which he belongs, and to return them to active "bopping" (gang fighting) which has declined in Harlem. It is a clearly patent allegory of an attempt by Duke to attain manhood and identity in the only way accessible to him - the antisocial one. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

These are the ones who play it cool, and find out about life and love before they're in high school ! This is the picture that explodes like a time bomb In the face of a city! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 February 1965 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Die lässige Welt  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This film was selected to the National Film Registry, Library of Congress, in 1994. See more »

Connections

References The Secret of the Purple Reef (1960) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The Cool World is a shocking portrait of street life in 1960's America.
16 October 2003 | by (Decatur, Ga) – See all my reviews

"The Cool World", a 1963 independent film directed by Shirley Clarke is probably the most shocking, interesting, and realistic film I have ever seen. The films follows the character of Duke played by Rony Clanton. This film shows how it really was to be an African American teen growing up in urban America (Harlem, N.Y.) in the 1960's. The gun serves as a character in the film itself, for it demonstrates manhood for the character of Duke.

By no means is this film a glorification of street life that is so common today in American pop culture. The viewer will see in this film how ugly crime is especially these characters who are driven to commit crimes because of the desperate, depressed situations of the ghetto. The character of Duke searches throughout this movie for a gun to own as almost a way to arm himself against the failures that surround him daily such as rat infested tenements, garbage filled streets, drugs, pimps, prostitutes, gangs, and over zealous cops.

If John Cassevetes is considered the new phase of film making that occurred in the late 1950's with his superb film "Shadows" then Shirley Clarke is his female counterpart. Shirley Clarke masterfully merges documentary footage and Jazz music to the actual film that creates somewhat of a frightening, haunting, realistic portrait of urban America that I feel has not been seen very much in cinema since "The Cool World". It is interesting to note that actors Clarence Williams III, Antonio Fargas, Gloria Foster, and Peter De Anda who appeared in this film went on to make great strides of achievement in both film and television in the 1970's.

"The Cool World" is shown in many film festivals across the country. Unfortunately it is not on video, but someday I hope it will be for the world to see. I rate this movie **** excellent.


24 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Will it ever be available on video? TerranceCrooms
My Car. Please do tell. mrobbins1925
Discuss The Cool World (1963) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?