MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 2,319 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 299 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...

Family Entertainment Guide

Check out IMDb's comprehensive Family Entertainment Guide for recommendations for movies and TV series for every age and every viewing platform.

Visit our Family Entertainment Guide

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 42 titles
created 16 Jun 2011
 
a list of 157 titles
created 10 Sep 2012
 
NYC
a list of 31 titles
created 27 Feb 2014
 
a list of 4999 titles
created 10 months ago
 
a list of 151 titles
created 5 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... 

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
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Real-life individuals discuss topics on society, happiness in the working class among others and with those testimonies the filmmakers create fictional moments based on their interviews. ... See full summary »

Directors: Edgar Morin, Jean Rouch
Stars: Angelo, Nadine Ballot, Régis Debray
The Housemaid (1960)
Crime | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The hero, a composer, has an immoral relation to a maid. The maid is jealous of his wife and gives vent to her bad temper to him. When the hero rebukes her, she asks him for dying together for love.

Director: Ki-young Kim
Stars: Jin Kyu Kim, Jeung-nyeo Ju, Eun-shim Lee
Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A selfless young woman (Supriya Choudhury) sacrifices her own happiness for her unappreciative family.

Director: Ritwik Ghatak
Stars: Supriya Choudhury, Anil Chatterjee, Gyanesh Mukherjee
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
Documentary | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Ichikawa's cameras follow the 1964 Summer Olympics from opening to closing ceremonies. Sometimes he focuses on spectators, as athletes pass in a blur; sometimes he isolates a competitor; ... See full summary »

Director: Kon Ichikawa
Stars: Abebe Bikila, Jack Douglas, Hirohito
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

This was the first movie produced in Israel. It deals with the outbreak of hostilities during the war for independence in 1947. The message of this film was the sadness and stupidity of ... See full summary »

Director: Thorold Dickinson
Stars: Edward Mulhare, Haya Harareet, Michael Shillo
Uptight (1968)
Certificate: M Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Black revolutionaries are betrayed by one of their own. Based on the 1935 classic, "The Informer."

Director: Jules Dassin
Stars: Raymond St. Jacques, Ruby Dee, Frank Silvera
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A simple yet devout Christian makes a vow to Saint Barbara after she saves his donkey, but everyone he meets seems determined to misunderstand his intentions. Will he be able to keep his promise in the end?

Director: Anselmo Duarte
Stars: Leonardo Villar, Glória Menezes, Dionísio Azevedo
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A man (Abhi Bhattacharya) opposes the love between his sister and the orphan (Satindra Bhattacharya) they adopted years earlier.

Director: Ritwik Ghatak
Stars: Madhabi Mukherjee, Bijon Bhattacharya, Abhi Bhattacharya
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

The acclaimed poet is examined in this film completed just prior to his death at age 88, with his speaking engagements at Amherst and Sarah Lawrence Colleges intercut with studies of his ... See full summary »

Director: Shirley Clarke
Stars: Robert Frost, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson
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
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:

HOOKER! FUZZ! JUNK! RUMBLE! These are words that mean big trouble in... 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 »

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:
?