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Harlem Nights (1989)

 -  Comedy | Crime | Drama  -  17 November 1989 (USA)
5.8
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 11,983 users   Metascore: 16/100
Reviews: 52 user | 18 critic | 14 from Metacritic.com

"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 »

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Title: Harlem Nights (1989)

Harlem Nights (1989) on IMDb 5.8/10

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Vera
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Annie
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Jack Jenkins
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Dominique La Rue
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Richie Vento
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Sunshine
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Tony
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...
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 | Romance

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  »

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
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Gabi Tartakovsky's 7th June 2011 article "Harlem Nights (1989): Eddie Murphy and the Original Gangsters of Black Comedy" at the Pop Matters website, "[Richard] Pryor's toning down the Sugar Ray character wasn't scripted as such, and Pryor believed his performance was the result of being bothered with a recent Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis, which he kept to himself at the time". See more »

Goofs

A double yellow line dividing the road can be seen when Quick is being chased down the highway by Tommy Small's brother. Center lines in 1938 were painted white. Double yellow lines were not used on US Highways until 1971. See more »

Quotes

[after Quick leaves to fight Vera]
Bennie Wilson: You betta watch it, Quick! You fuckin' with a heavyweight!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Family Guy: Brian's Got a Brand New Bag (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Mood Indigo
Written by Duke Ellington, Irving Mills & Barney Bigard (as Albany Bigard)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The BEST Eddie Murphy comedy of all time....
28 June 2000 | by (Tokyo Japan) – See all my reviews

...Thats right the best. This movie was a hallmark for standup comedy. For the first time you had all the greats in one movie, Eddie Murphy, Richard Pryor, Redd Foxx, Robin Harris. Especially since the last 2 have passed away and Richard Pryor is too ill to do a movie again. When he made Nights he had to sit in his wheelchair when he wasn't filming, hence you never see him do anything physical in the movie. I first saw this movie one I was 10 with my dad, uncles and my grandmother. Of course she was turned off by the profanity but we all were laughing untill our sides hurt. I also remember all the things the great voices of cinema said about this movie. And to that i say how can you look down at this movie for profanity and praise movies like Goodfellas and Pulp Fiction (great movies by the way) when they have twice the vulgar langauge. And to those that say, well why did they portray the white mobsters as the bad guys? Well its Harlem in the 30's and ask any black person who owned a place of buisness then how hard it was. To me this wasn't just about Eddie, Eddie, Eddie, this was an epic for comedy and I hate to use the clinche but "Black" movies as well. The only other Murphy movie that comes close is Nutty Professer. I hope the sequel to that is half as funny as Nights. One last point that I think why critics panned this movie is, we all now Eddie is a comic genuis, but people were so use to seeing him play to a white partner or sidekick (i.e. Trading Places, All the Beverly Hill Cops and 48 Hours) But to a comedy standup fan like me, Murphy, Pryor, Foxx, Hall, Harris in one movie was like giving a Star Wars fan (as I am) premire tickets to Ep. 2 & 3. If you haven't seen this I recommend it just for the fact that half the cast had passed on and this was their last work, but its also a fun take on the mobster movie craze of the 30's and 40's.


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