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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

Film featured seven people that would later appear on Sanford and Son. They include Redd Foxx, Lou Jacobi, Wally Taylor, Helen Martin, Teddy Wilson, Emily Yancy and Judy Pace. 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

Barry: Was that black enough for you?
Uncle Bud: It ain't, but it's gonna be.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Black Caesar (1973) 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

A Preview of Things to Come
8 August 2006 | by SargebriSee all my reviews

This is one of the funniest movies of the early 1970's. The story, the acting as well as the characters helped to make this a great film. In many ways this film was a preview of things to come due to the fact that the very next year with the premier of Shaft, the era of the "blaxploitation" film would begin. Also, you have to wonder if the team who created the Lethal Weapon series were somewhat inspired by this due to the fact that characters of Gravedigger and Coffin are somewhat reminiscent of Briggs and Murtaugh from that series. However, the thing that really made this fun was the brief appearance of Redd Foxx playing a character that was not dissimilar from the character that would earn him his biggest fame, Fred Sanford. This is definitely a lost classic.


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