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Cotton Comes to Harlem (1970)

 -  Action | Comedy  -  27 May 1970 (USA)
6.5
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 885 users  
Reviews: 24 user | 14 critic

Gravedigger Jones and Coffin Ed Johnson are two black cops with a reputation for breaking the odd head. Both are annoyed at the success of the Reverend Deke O'Mailey who is selling trips ... See full summary »

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(based upon the novel by), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: Cotton Comes to Harlem (1970)

Cotton Comes to Harlem (1970) on IMDb 6.5/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Godfrey Cambridge ...
Raymond St. Jacques ...
...
Rev. Deke O'Malley
Judy Pace ...
Iris
...
Uncle Budd / Booker Washington Sims
Emily Yancy ...
Mabel
...
Capt. Bryce
Lou Jacobi ...
Goodman
...
Lt. Anderson
...
Calhoun
Mabel Robinson ...
Billie
Dick Sabol ...
Jarema
...
Lo Boy
Teddy Wilson ...
Barry (as Theodore Wilson)
Maxwell Glanville ...
Caspar
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Storyline

Gravedigger Jones and Coffin Ed Johnson are two black cops with a reputation for breaking the odd head. Both are annoyed at the success of the Reverend Deke O'Mailey who is selling trips back to Africa to the poor on the installment plan. When his truck is hijacked and a bale of cotton stuffed with money is lost in the chase, Harlem is turned upside down by Gravedigger and Coffin Ed, the Reverend, and the hijackers. Much of the humor is urban black, which was unusual in 1970. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

cotton | chase | black cop | loot | police | See more »

Taglines:

Introducing COFFIN ED and GRAVEDIGGER, two detectives only a mother could love.

Genres:

Action | Comedy

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

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Release Date:

27 May 1970 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cotton Comes to Harlem  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,200,000 (estimated)
 »

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Runtime:

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Color:

(DeLuxe Color)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

During the car chase, the mirror on the driver's side of the police car gets shot off. Once the police car collides with the watermelon cart a few seconds later, the mirror reappears. See more »

Quotes

Gravedigger Jones: Any black man might rat on Whitey. I might myself.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Harlem Aria (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Down in my Soul
Music by Galt MacDermot
Lyrics by William Dumaresq
Sung by Leata Galloway
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User Reviews

The TRUE origin of "blaxploitation"
17 January 2001 | by (Chicago, Illinois) – See all my reviews

COTTON COMES TO HARLEM is the adaptation of Chester Himes' 1965 novel of the same title and stars Godfrey Cambridge and Raymond St. Jacques as his two Harlem police detectives "Gravedigger" Jones and "Coffin" Ed Johnson respectively. Their motto: "[We] may have broke some heads, but we ain't never broke no promise." Jones and Johnson are on the trail of "Reverend" Deke O'Malley (Calvin Lockhart. O'Malley is funding a "Back to Africa" cruise by taking donations from the good people of the 'hood. However, before he can make his getaway, a robbery breaks out and the money, hidden in a bale of cotton, gets lost in Harlem. This sends the cops, O'Malley and the robbers on a wild search through the New York area for the stolen loot. Redd Foxx appears as a junk dealer (two years before SANFORD AND SON) who holds the key to the fate of the money.

Oddly enough, the movie is less rough then Himes' novel (which had quite a bit of rough language and sex in it), yet received an R rating back then. It would hardly register as a PG-13 today. COTTON COMES TO HARLEM should be seen to see the true origins of the genre known as "blaxploitation" (black exploitation movies).

COTTON is quite an enjoyable action romp. It is especially light compared to the later "blaxploitation" films that followed it.


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