4.9/10
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Moon Over Harlem (1939)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Romance | 31 October 1939 (USA)
Musical numbers highlight this story of a wealthy widow who disowns her daughter after a new man enters her life.

Director:

Edgar G. Ulmer

Writers:

Mathew Mathews (story), Shirley Ulmer (screenplay) (as Sherle Castle) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Buddy Harris Buddy Harris ... Dollar Bill (as Bud Harris)
Cora Green Cora Green ... Minnie
Izinetta Wilcox Izinetta Wilcox ... Sue
Earl Gough Earl Gough ... Bob
Zerita Steptean Zerita Steptean ... Jackie (as Zerita Stepteau)
Daphne Fray Daphne Fray ... Pat
Mercedes Gilbert Mercedes Gilbert ... Jackie's mother
Frances Harrod Frances Harrod ... Maud
Alec Lovejoy Alec Lovejoy ... Fats
Walter Richardson Walter Richardson ... Brother Hornsby
Slim Thompson Slim Thompson ... Long-Boy
Freddie Robinson Freddie Robinson ... Half-Pint
John Bunn John Bunn ... Wallstreet
Marieluise Bechet Marieluise Bechet ... Nina Mae Brown
Archie Cross Archie Cross ... A Boy from Newark
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Storyline

Musical numbers highlight this story of a wealthy widow who disowns her daughter after a new man enters her life.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Powerful drama... Ripped from the heart of harlem!

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 October 1939 (USA) See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$8,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Variray Blue Seal Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

To shoot this film on such a low budget, Edgar G. Ulmer shot this feature in 16mm using "short ends" (unexposed film at the end of a reel that was unused by the original purchaser). See more »

Connections

Edited into SanKofa Theater (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Moon Over Harlem
(1939)
Music and Lyrics by Donald Heywood
Published in connection with this movie and possibly used instrumentally
See more »

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User Reviews

One of the Best Black Cast Films!
9 November 2003 | by msladysoulSee all my reviews

I would recommend this Black cast film first to anyone who's new to Black cast films. This film is the best. You can tell that because this movie has been shown a lot over the years even till this day. Moon over Harlem is more then just a Black film, it's a family story that anyone can relate to. A mother falls in love with a gangster and doesn't know it, desperate to have a man because her husband died, she overlooks her new husband flaws. All the time he has his eyes on the beautiful daughter and his new wife's money. The new husband comes between the daughter and mother and mother takes the new husband side. The daughter has to go into show business to support herself and drops out of school, something her mother detested her daughter doing. All goes wrong for the married couple, for both dies. The daughter never made amends with her mother but she has her man by her side, so everything will be okay. This really tells a story and you forget the color and look at the talent. The Black entertainment in the film is wonderful. It shows you how the nightclubs were in Harlem that we hear so much about. Its not stereotypical at all. The cast does some great acting and most of these people have never been in films before. One thing about these Black cast films is that the people that were in them only appeared in a few and that's it. I wish they would of done more and I wish the public would of kept up with them. I'm glad these films were made and I guess these wonderful actresses and actors were too beautiful and talented for Hollywood but thank goodness for Black Cinema. Izenetta Wilcox is very beautiful and talented. I wish she would have done more. The whole cast is filled with pretty girls... High Browns and High Yalla's. Cora Green is great as always, check her out in Oscar Micheaux's Swing. It's a fast paced story but ful-filling. A movie like this could never be made in Hollywood because it's not stereotypical and Blacks are really acting and Hollywood could never back then have Blacks as classy and sophisticated as whites in Hollywood movies. That's a big no no! I'm glad Edgar Ulmer made this movie outside of Hollywood and this is his best.


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