6.5/10
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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 »

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Writers:

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Grave Digger Jones
... Coffin Ed Johnson
... Rev. Deke O'Malley
... Iris
... Uncle Budd / Booker Washington Sims
Emily Yancy ... Mabel
... Capt. Bryce
... Goodman
... Lt. Anderson
... Calhoun
Mabel Robinson ... Billie
Dick Sabol ... Jarema
... Lo Boy
... Barry (as Theodore Wilson)
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:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 May 1970 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Algodón en Harlem  »

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Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(DeLuxe Color)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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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

When Jarema puts on the paper bag, there is only one hole cut out - for his nose. Moments later, when he runs out into the hall, the bag now has eyeholes as well. See more »

Quotes

[people outside police station demanding O'Malley return their money]
Coffin Ed: Digger and I will do our damnedest to get your money back. We promise.
Rioter: Promises! Hell with promises!
Gravedigger Jones: Anybody out there ever hear of Coffin Ed or the Gravedigger make a promise we didn't keep?
[Crowd gets quiet]
Coffin Ed: Now, we may have broken some heads, but we never broke no promises.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Parkinson: Episode dated 7 December 1974 (1974) See more »

Soundtracks

Ain't Now, But it's Gona Be
Music by Galt MacDermot
Lyrics by Ossie Davis
Sung by Melba Moore
See more »

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User Reviews

Funny, energetic cop movie from Ossie Davis
20 July 1999 | by See all my reviews

Based on a novel by Chester Himes, Cotton Comes to Harlem boasts sharp dialogue and super performances from top to bottom. Cult favorites Calvin Lockhart and Redd Foxx are great, but the real fire belongs to the sublime Godfrey Cambridge as wise police detective Gravedigger Jones. The colorful story follows Gravedigger and his partner Coffin Ed Johnson (Raymond St. Jacques) as they keep tabs on charlatan evangelist Lockhart during his high-octane revival campaign. The film has solid action, but is also very funny. Upon seeing it, one will wonder why Cambridge never became a much bigger star.


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