In 1964, a group of high school friends who live on the Near North Side of Chicago enjoy life to the fullest...parties, hanging out, meeting new friends. Then life changes for two of the ... See full summary »
As Carl Black gets the opportunity to move his family out of Chicago in hope of a better life, their arrival in Beverly Hills is timed with that city's annual purge, where all crime is legal for twelve hours.
"Sugar" Ray is the owner of an illegal casino, who contend with the pressures of vicious gangsters and corrupt policemen who want to see him go out of business. In the world of organized crime and police corruption in the 1930s, any dastardly trick is fair.
After Jack Jenkins leaves Sugar Ray's and Quick's table in the restaurant, they talk about the 3 to 1 odds they will receive on Jenkins for the upcoming fight. When Phil and Bugsy are talking in the sauna, They say the odds for Jenkins' opponent, Kirkpatrick are 3 to 1. They are saying that the odds on both fighters are the same. See more »
[about Young Quick at the crap table]
Man, I ain't shootin' shit! I told you kids bring me bad luck! I can't stand them little bastards!
[turns to young Quick]
Now get the fuck outta here before I kick yo' ass!
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In the late 80's to early 90's, black entertainers were not only making an impact in front of the cameras but behind. Directors like Spike Lee and Robert Townsend were trail blazers in the black film movement. Eddie Murphy, the decades biggest star, faced heavy criticism for not breaking ground for black filmmakers and actors until he included a predominantly black cast in 1988's Coming to America. And now with the "Black Film Renaissance" in full swing, Murphy wanted to direct. 1989's Harlem Nights was Murphy's first and last foray into film-making. Harlem Nights is a period piece set in 1938 Harlem. Sugar Ray (Richard Pryor) and Quick (Murphy) are owners of an illegal casino and they're being chased out of business by rival gangsters and corrupt police. The cast, which included the likes of Murphy along with Pryor, Redd Foxx, Robin Harris, Della Reese and a then unknown Charlie Murphy, is stellar. With all this comedic talent in one film, you'd expect a lot more laughter. The film is hilarious but Pryor's role is limited, as far as comedy goes. With all these comedy legends you'd expect to be bleeding internally from laughter. That is probably the only flaw in this film. Aside from the comedy, the films set decoration and wardrobe puts you in the prohibition era, and led to its Academy Award nomination. Harlem Nights also spawned one of the most memorable square offs in film history between Murphy and Reese. Watch that scene and you won't argue with anyone when they tell you that this film is a classic.
Harlem Nights - *** out of ****
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