5.9/10
15,093
62 user 22 critic

Harlem Nights (1989)

During the 1920s, a New York illegal gambling house owner and his associates must deal with strong competition, gangsters and corrupt cops in order to stay in business.

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
Vera
...
Annie
...
Jack Jenkins
...
Dominique La Rue
...
Richie Vento
...
Sunshine
...
Tony
...
...
Tommy Smalls (as Tommy Ford)
Uncle Ray Murphy ...
Willie (as Uncle Ray)
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Storyline

"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 <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They're up to something big.

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 November 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Los reyes de la noche  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$60,864,870 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"Harlem Nights" was also the working title for Ralph Bakshi's film, Coonskin (1975). Both films feature the crime racket in Harlem as a plot point. Star Richard Pryor was also believed to be a fan of Coonskin (1975). See more »

Goofs

When the young Quick shoots the enraged gambler in the head, his shot is shown striking him squarely in the man's forehead. Given Quick's height, the man's height and Quick's location vis-a-vis the man, this was not possible. Quick is both too short and too close to the man to have made the shot. See more »

Quotes

Quick: Vera, put that razor away!
[pulls gun]
Quick: I ain't playin' games no more. You put that fuckin' razor away or I'll blow your goddamn pinky toe off!
Vera: Oh! Now you're gonna shoot me in my pinky toe.
Quick: I'm not playing with you. I will blow that little black, gnarled crusty, dead motherfucker the fuck off your foot! Now put the razor away!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Serial Mom (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Black Beauty
Written by Duke Ellington
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User Reviews

 
Ignore the critics on this one.
21 November 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is one of Murphy's best works. Ignore what the critics say. They just didn't get it. I am a mid-aged white woman - and even I get it. It is a misogynistic as any stylized Western you may have seen. And the language is just what you would expect from Murphy and Pryor. This is stylized Harlem, guys.

I do not think Murphy set out to break ground plot-wise. Its meant to be a very traditional good vs. bad mobster movie. In this rare case we get to see the other side of tracks version. Why not??

This movie is a rare joining of a classic team of talents including Richard Pryor, Della Reese and Red Foxx. Della was my favorite and her rapport with Foxx is classic.


11 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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