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Miracle in Harlem (1948)

A crooked real estate tycoon tricks a trusting young woman out of her small candy store. When he is found dead, the girl is suspected of the crime.

Director:

Jack Kemp

Writers:

Vincent Valentini (original story), Vincent Valentini (screenplay)
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Stars: Savannah Churchill, Stepin Fetchit, Sheila Guyse
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Hilda Offley Hilda Offley ... Aunt Hattie
Sheila Guyse ... Julie Weston
Kenneth Freeman Kenneth Freeman ... Jim Marshall
William Greaves William Greaves ... Bert Hallam
Sybil Lewis Sybil Lewis ... Alice Adams (as Sybyl Lewis)
Creighton Thompson Creighton Thompson ... Reverend Jackson
Laurence Criner Laurence Criner ... Albert Marshall (as Lawrence Criner)
Jack Carter Jack Carter ... Phillip Manley
Milton Williams Milton Williams ... Mr. Wilkinson
Monte Hawley Monte Hawley ... Lieutenant Renard
Ruble Blakey Ruble Blakey ... Detective Foley
'Slick' Chester 'Slick' Chester ... Detective Tracy (as Alfred Chester)
Stepin Fetchit ... 'Swifty', the Handyman
Savannah Churchill Savannah Churchill ... Singer - Specialty 'I Want to Be Loved'
Lavada Carter Lavada Carter ... Singer - Specialty 'John Saw the Number'
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Storyline

Julie Weston and her aunt, Hattie, own and operate a candy-store in Harlem. A wealthy business man, Albert Marshall, and his wayward son, Jim Marshall, swindle the women out of the store. Later, Albert Marshall is found murdered, and there are several suspects, including Marshall's secretary and a blackmailer. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

There's Danger! Terror! Mystery! With a Killer on the Loose!

Genres:

Mystery | Romance

Certificate:

Approved
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 November 1948 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Milagre no Harlem See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Herald Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Black and White (Sepiatone)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Connections

Featured in American Experience: Midnight Ramble (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

I Want to Be Loved (But Only By You)
(uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by Savannah Churchill
Played by the Lynn Proctor Trio
Sung by Savannah Churchill and the Lynn Proctor Trio
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A plot no worse than the average musical.
29 October 1999 | by Dick-42See all my reviews

This is a musical murder mystery. The plot, like most musicals, tends to get in the way of the music at times, but it's really not bad. The mean corporate baron swindles the sweet, honest but naive young woman out of her candy business, and she is blamed when he meets an untimely end. Besides the big industrial boss, we've got a dedicated secretary, a loyal henchman, a no count son, an upright boyfriend, a sickly grandmother, an understanding pastor, and an assortment of cops who jump to conclusions, underhanded characters who lurk about, and girls who entice. And there's Stepin Fetchit playing -- Stepin Fetchit! Sometimes, as here, he was genuinely funny, despite playing a character who was an insult to the HUMAN race. In short, there are all the elements of a standard murder mystery drama, which is what the film is, essentially.

But this is also a musical with numbers ranging from rather rough, but realistic, congregational hymn singing, to hot jazz. The 'pop' type numbers are first rate, and the 'Watch Out!' number by the Lynn Proctor Trio is worth far more that the price of admission, which was probably about two bits or less at the time and places of this film's release.

This is one of the best of the genre of 'Race Movies,' which were made on shoestring budgets in the 1920's and 30's by Black production companies with all-Black casts, for showing in Black neighborhood movie houses.

This is a fine film, though not lavish. It's interesting for its genre, but entertaining in its own right. I recommend it without reservation.


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