"Sugar" Ray is the owner of an illegal casino, who contend with the pressures of vicious gangster and corrupt policemen who want to see him go out of business. In the world of organized ... See full summary »
Nick is a struggling dentist in Canada. A new neighbor moves in, and he discovers that it is Jimmy "The Tulip" Teduski. His wife convinces him to go to Chicago and inform the mob boss who wants Jimmy dead.
A miserable conman and his partner pose as Santa and his Little Helper to rob department stores on Christmas Eve. But they run into problems when the conman befriends a troubled kid, and the security boss discovers the plot.
Billy Bob Thornton,
"Sugar" Ray is the owner of an illegal casino, who contend with the pressures of vicious gangster and corrupt policemen who want to see him go out of business. In the world of organized crime and police corruption in the 1920s, any dastardly trick is fair! Written by
Murray Chapman <email@example.com>
"Harlem Nights" was also the working title for Ralph Bakshi's film, Coonskin. Both films feature the crime racket in Harlem as a plot point. Star Richard Pryor was also believed to be a fan of "Coonskin." See more »
When Quick is shown driving his car, it appears to be a 1940 Packard Coupe. The film supposedly takes place in 1938. See more »
The most common thing critics said to trash Harlem Nights was that it was too profane to be set in 1938. Well, this statement here was completely without logic. Two points to back myself up:
1. In almost every 1930's/40's/50's gangster movie, the characters
are very profane. Look at any movie directed by Martin Scorcese and starring Robert DeNiro and Joe Pesci for evidence of this
2. What do you expect from a movie starring Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy and Redd Foxx? If you expect these three men to watch their language, you are truly a stranger in the ways of their material
As for the movie's sexist feel, I cannot dispute this. However, I can defend it. I am not a sexist young man despite being only
twenty-one years of age. I feel that women should have the same rights as men. However, I think Eddie Murphy was young and dumb and only felt the way he did because he was not mature enough to understand women. Now he is happily married and expecting his fifth child, so I think he is a little wiser today.
As for one review I read that said every white man was a bigot in this movie. Guys, come on, it's Harlem in 1938!
Despite all of this, the movie is a well-made, well-characterized, entertaining film. It was taken too seriously when it was first released, and I'm glad many people here seem to agree with me.
The plot concerns Sugar Ray (Pryor, who was sadly the only disappointing performer here) and his adopted son Vernest Brown, a.k.a. Quick (Murphy) owners of the hottest nightclub in Harlem. It becomes the target of gangster Bugsy Calhoune (an impressive performance by Michael Learner) and his buddy Sgt. Phil Cantone (A terrific Danny Aiello). They plot with their employees to scam him out of his money by placing a fake bet on a boxing match and leave Harlem.
The movie is not without plot holes and the occasional bad line of dialogue, but other than that, it's funny and entertaining. A particular highlight are Foxx's nearsighted Bennie Wilson and Reese's Vera Walker, who exchange profane banter throughout the film, which is hilarious. A cameo by longtime Murphy friend Arsenio Hall (whom I usually dislike) as a crybaby mobster is also very funny. Don't listen to the critics, this movie is funny as hell!
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