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Harlem Nights (1989)

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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.



3,211 ( 2,671)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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


"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


They're up to something big.


Comedy | Crime | Drama


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

17 November 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Los reyes de la noche  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$30,000,000 (estimated)


$60,864,870 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In the autobiography, "Pryor Convictions and Other Life Sentences (1997)", Richard Pryor states that he " . . . never connected with Eddie [Murphy]. People talked about how my work had influenced Eddie, and perhaps it did. But I always thought Eddie's comedy was mean. I used to say, "Eddie, be a little nice" and that would piss him off . . . I finished [Harlem Nights (1989)] thinking that Eddie didn't like me". See more »


After Jack Jenkins leaves Sugar Ray's and Quick's table in the restaurant, they talk about the 3 to 1 odds they will receive on Jenkins for the upcoming fight. When Phil and Bugsy are talking in the sauna, They say the odds for Jenkins' opponent, Kirkpatrick are 3 to 1. They are saying that the odds on both fighters are the same. See more »


Quick: How's Sunshine doing on that pick up man?
Bennie Wilson: Oh, he proposed to her four times already, said he would leave his wife & kids and convert from Catholic to Baptist. Now you know that's some mean pussy to make a man change gods.
See more »


Referenced in Inside the Actors Studio: Eddie Murphy (2006) See more »


Sophisticated Lady
Music by Duke Ellington
Lyrics by Irving Mills & Mitchell Parish
See more »

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User Reviews

It isn't terrible at least
2 September 2000 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Some might think that this effort from Eddie Murphy (who wrote, directed, executive produced and starred in) might not be up to his and the co-stars efforts. They might be a little right, but it isn't a waste to say the least. The talent is still vibrant even with a not too great script from Murphy including him, Richard Pryor (who gives his best, most recent performance to date), Redd Foxx (one of his last) and Danny Aiello. So sure it may be profane with a story that isn't too credible, but that's fine. Not great, but in truth, not to be missed either. B-

15 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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