6.1/10
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21 user 27 critic

Hell Up in Harlem (1973)

R | | Crime, Drama | December 1973 (USA)
A gangster in Harlem must rescue his ex-wife, who has been kidnapped by the Mafia.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Papa Gibbs (as Julius W. Harris)
...
Helen Bradley
...
Sister Jennifer
D'Urville Martin ...
Reverend Rufus
...
Zach
Gerald Gordon ...
Mr. DiAngelo
Bobby Ramsen ...
Joe Frankfurter
James Dixon ...
Irish
Esther Sutherland ...
The Cook
Charles MacGuire ...
Hap
...
Tough Bikini Woman
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Storyline

Tommy comes from a forced rest period due to injuries suffered in Harlem's gang warfare. With the help of his girl, he will reorganize his gang, and overcome his rival gang leaders, through extreme acts of violence and death. Written by Artemis-9

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He may never get to heaven, but he's raisin' Hell up in Harlem. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

December 1973 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Black Caesar Part II  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Ryder Sound Services)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Larry Cohen filmed some of the scenes with the same crew and equipment as It's Alive (1974), and due to Fred Williamson's other commitments he had to make most of the film with a stand-in, Williamson himself only really appearing in the close-ups. The close-ups were filmed in LA, where Williamson was based, and the rest of the film was shot on location in New York. See more »

Goofs

After Tommy locks the dead guy in the airplane bathroom. He notices the guy's shoes on the floor and tosses them aside. According to Larry Cohen on the DVD commentary, the guy playing the killer was actually a friend of one of the crew members. Fred Williamson actually knocked the guy out of his shoes before he tumbles over a chair. See more »

Quotes

Papa Gibbs: [to Zach] You need a whooping, Boy!
Zach: Boy?... Where you see a boy?
Papa Gibbs: And I'm gonna do it with these own two hands!
Zach: Old man gonna whoop my ass?
[Papa and Zach have it out with each other]
See more »

Connections

Featured in TCM Underground: Black Caesar/Hell Up in Harlem (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Ain't It Hell up in Harlem?
(uncredited)
Written by Freddie Perren and Fonce Mizell
Performed by Edwin Starr
courtesy of Motown Records Corp.
See more »

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User Reviews

Disappointing and rushed sequel to the brilliant 'Black Caesar'. More action, but far less interesting.
13 April 2003 | by (Perth, Australia) – See all my reviews

I loved Larry Cohen and Fred Williamson's previous collaboration 'Black Caesar', one of the toughest and most enjoyable movies of the early 70s blaxploitation boom. That movie was a great success and in the rush to cash in with a sequel something was lost. Cohen was shooting his killer baby classic 'It's Alive' at the same time Williamson was making 'That Man Bolt', yet they still attempted to make 'Hell Up In Harlem' simultaneously! Cohen's script is weaker this time around and the emphasis is on fights (fists and guns) over character development and story. The movie is more of an action film than a crime drama and therefore much less interesting to me. Williamson is still a powerhouse, but the movie as a whole fails to satisfy. Gloria Hendry ('Black Belt Jones') and D'Urville Martin ('Dolemite') both return from the first movie but aren't required to do all that much. You could even call their roles cameos and not be far wrong. Julius Harris ('Superfly') also returns as Williamson's father, but this time round he has a much larger role, and almost carries the first third of the movie all by himself. The film directly follows on from 'Black Caesar' with Tommy Gibbs (Williamson) recovering from a near fatal gunshot wound. He relies upon his Pop to keep things together, and this enables Harris to blossom from a middle aged straight citizen into a cool dressing killing machine almost overnight! This is one of the most entertaining things about the whole movie, but not enough to stop it from being a disappointment. Even the score this time round is inferior, with no James Brown content. I think this movie was too rushed and suffers for it. It has its moments but isn't a patch on 'Black Caesar'. I've noticed that quite a few blaxploitation classics fail to deliver with their sequels (I'm especially thinking of 'Foxy Brown', Jack Hill's weak follow up to his sensational 'Coffy'). I wonder why that was? Greed perhaps, or lack of faith in the material, I don't know. Anyway, 'Hell Up In Harlem' is okay, but it could have been, SHOULD have been a lot better! 'Black Caesar' is still brilliant though, don't miss that one.


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