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Cotton Comes to Harlem (1970)

R | | Action, Comedy | 27 May 1970 (USA)
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Gravedigger Jones and Coffin Ed Johnson are two black cops with a reputation for breaking the odd head. Both are annoyed at the success of the Reverend Deke O'Mailey who is selling trips ... See full summary »

Director:

Ossie Davis

Writers:

Chester Himes (based upon the novel by), Arnold Perl (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Godfrey Cambridge ... Grave Digger Jones
Raymond St. Jacques ... Coffin Ed Johnson
Calvin Lockhart ... Rev. Deke O'Malley
Judy Pace ... Iris
Redd Foxx ... Uncle Budd / Booker Washington Sims
Emily Yancy Emily Yancy ... Mabel
John Anderson ... Capt. Bryce
Lou Jacobi ... Goodman
Eugene Roche ... Lt. Anderson
J.D. Cannon ... Calhoun
Mabel Robinson Mabel Robinson ... Billie
Dick Sabol Dick Sabol ... Jarema
Cleavon Little ... Lo Boy
Teddy Wilson ... Barry (as Theodore Wilson)
Maxwell Glanville Maxwell Glanville ... Caspar
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Storyline

Gravedigger Jones and Coffin Ed Johnson are two black cops with a reputation for breaking the odd head. Both are annoyed at the success of the Reverend Deke O'Mailey who is selling trips back to Africa to the poor on the installment plan. When his truck is hijacked and a bale of cotton stuffed with money is lost in the chase, Harlem is turned upside down by Gravedigger and Coffin Ed, the Reverend, and the hijackers. Much of the humor is urban black, which was unusual in 1970. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Introducing COFFIN ED and GRAVEDIGGER, two detectives only a mother could love.

Genres:

Action | Comedy

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 May 1970 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Algodón en Harlem See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,200,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Formosa Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (DeLuxe Color)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Released the same day as Watermelon Man (1970), which also starred Godfrey Cambridge. See more »

Goofs

During the car chase, the mirror on the driver's side of the police car gets shot off. Once the police car collides with the watermelon cart a few seconds later, the mirror reappears. See more »

Quotes

[Drunken man stumbles up during riot at police station]
Man: Well, ain't this the "Goin' Back to Africa Rally"?
Coffin Ed: No, baby, it is the "Goin' Home Rally".
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Best of Eddie Murphy: Saturday Night Live (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

The Loving Ballad
(uncredited)
Written by Galt MacDermot & William Dumaresq
Sung by Denis Dillapena
See more »

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User Reviews

The beginning of the blaxploitation genre
13 September 2002 | by raysondSee all my reviews

One of the most influential pictures ever to shoot onto the screen, "Cotton Comes To Harlem" spawned the beginning of the blaxploitation action boom in 1970 by delivering a refreshingly different detective action yarn with a lot of humor,a lot of hard-hitting drama with a lot of black soul(It was know as SOULPOWER!). An unbeatable mix of fastpaced adventure and sheer comic having spiced with spectacular shootouts and chases with a lot of fast talking and tough repartee with solid performances by Godfrey Cambridge,Raymond St. Jacques and Calvin Lockhart no to mention to comedic timing of Redd Foxx. This picture became a milestone for a genre of action movies that would remain throughout the rest of that decade(including its sequel "Come Back Charleston Blue" two years later).


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