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Black Caesar (1973)

Tommy Gibbs is a tough kid, raised in the ghetto, who aspires to be a kingpin criminal. As a young boy, his leg is broken by a bad cop on the take, during a payoff gone bad. Nursing his ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Helen
Art Lund ...
McKinney
...
Reverend Rufus
...
Mr. Gibbs (as Julius W. Harris)
Minnie Gentry ...
Momma Gibbs
Philip Roye ...
Joe Washington
William Wellman Jr. ...
Alfred Coleman
...
Bryant
...
Cardoza
Patrick McAllister ...
Grossfield
...
Crawdaddy
Myrna Hansen ...
Virginia Coleman
Omer Jeffrey ...
Tommy as a Boy
Michael Jeffrey ...
Joe as a Boy
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Storyline

Tommy Gibbs is a tough kid, raised in the ghetto, who aspires to be a kingpin criminal. As a young boy, his leg is broken by a bad cop on the take, during a payoff gone bad. Nursing his vengeance, he rises to power in New York City's Harlem. Angry at the racist society around him, both criminal and straight, he sees the acquisition of power as the solution to his rage. He performs a free-lance hit on a Mob contract to attract the attention of the head of a Mafia family. Reluctantly accepted into 'The Family,' he grows increasingly autonomous and aggressive, eventually starting a gang war. Written by Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Hail Caesar, Godfather of Harlem...The Cat with the .45-Caliber Claws!


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 February 1973 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Godfather of Harlem  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When filming in Harlem, Larry Cohen was accosted by local gangsters who threatened to disrupt the shoot unless they were paid off. Instead, Cohen offered them small roles in the film. They helped so enthusiastically that they attended the premiere to sign autographs. See more »

Goofs

The mob boss' glass of red wine turns into a glass of water, and also swaps hands. See more »

Quotes

Tommy Gibbs: You can sleep until noon, if you want anything, just press a button.
Mama Gibbs: Me? Live in this apartment? Why they'd hang me right off that terrace, Jew folks ain't even allowed here.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Hell Up in Harlem (1973) See more »

Soundtracks

Like It Is, Like It Was
Written by James Brown and Fred Wesley
Performed by James Brown
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Shouldn't be so cool but it is.
22 November 2004 | by (Chantilly, VA) – See all my reviews

A low budget remake of "Little Caesar" with a scene from "Scarface" thrown in should not be this enjoyable. Credit two people: star Fred Williamson and writer/director,Larry Cohen. In Williamson's hands, Tommy Gibbs is a magnetic presence. He is very cool and smart. His success is no surprise but also his downfall is no surprise. How he turns could have been overplayed or understated for an actor with more ego. The scene was necessary and effective because in the end this movie was not about glamorizing gangsters. Cohen's contributions are also significant. He understood he wasn't making a message film, even though the message is there. The movie is full of bloody violence (it seemed to me that during the pool massacre, some of the victims were spouting blood before they were shot) because that was what fans of this genre wanted. In the end, however, viewers see that even with James Brown blaring about what a bad mutha Tommy Gibbs was, he was just as much a pawn as everyone else. Of course, the sequel would change that thought.


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