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on May 18, 2002
"Cotton Comes to Harlem" is a solid, funny, and most of all, cool movie which was, besides "Shaft" and "Coffy," to set the trend of the black movies of the 70s. Look how Godfrey Cambridge and Raymond St. Jacques walk and talk, and you'll know the meaning of "style."
Based on Chester Himes's novel, the film follows the two super-cool cops who suspect that Rev. O'Malley's "Back to Africa" campaign (minimun entry 100 dallors needed) is a fraud to steal money from people living in Harlem. But things get complicated when, during the rally, the organization is attacked by masked gangsters who took the money of $87,000, and that was done under the nose of the very cops. Determined to nail the criminal, and possibly the preacher himself, the detective Gravediffer & Coffin start their investigation, and do it in their own fashion.
The film keeps the fast pace with a tightly knit web of characters including Reverend's beautiful wife Iris. But most charming part of the film remains the same today: its being funny and smart. In fact, you will see among violent actions suddenly unexpected humor. The best thing of the film is, in my book, the car chase scene that include "the cemetary chase" and "a flying guy." The film also ends with a showdown in the Apollo Theater (though I don't know whether the inside scene of it was really shot there) And the real Harlem locale of the 70s, which helps to create the authentic atomospher, would be someday a precious record of the New York City.
In short, this is a film Quentin Tarantino with his known flair for characters and story might have shot 30 years ago. Some part of the film look, I admit, dated today when you see women's parts are little better than secondary, just catering obligatory sex scenes. Still, those scenes have been given slight touch of humor, that might almost compensate for the lack of the screen goddess like Pam Grier. Buy this one, along with "Coffy" and "Shaft" and perhaps "Across the 110th Street." That makes a quick course of learning what the blaxploitation films are all about.
Those two main charaters are to reappear in "Come Back Charlston Blues," which is, unfortunately, not as good as this one.
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on January 2, 2010
This refers to the double feature version containing both "Cotton Comes to Harlem" and "Hell Up in Harlem".

I purchased the older DVD with just "Cotton Comes to Harlem" some years ago but was looking for a replacement with the correct aspect ratio, which is 1.85:1 per IMDb. From the description of this product, both here and elsewhere, it appeared to me that both films were available in both 1.33:1 and 1.85:1, a not uncommon occurrence.

Unfortunately, this is not correct: the package labling clearly states that "Cotton Comes to Harlem" is 1.33:1 and "Hell Up in Harlem" is 1.85:1.

The film itself is great. I enjoyed when I read the book, when I saw the film at the time it came out, and I enjoy it every time I see it even in P&S.

I just wish the product description had been more precise.
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on June 29, 2003
Seeing Judy Pace in this movie is worth the price of admission alone! The movie itself has an interesting storyline and it does bounce around a little but is definately entertaining. This movie isn't as cliche as many of the other films in this genre. There are some good chase scenes and it was interesting to see Redd Foxx pre 'Sanford and Son'. I would consider this one of the most important movies of the blaxploitation genre.
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on June 14, 2001
This film might have been very funny when it first came out in 1970, but for recent audiences it's more interesting than good. Not much in the way of laugh-getting qualities. It is interesting to see the soon-to-be's that would later star in Black movies and TV shows of the 70s and having lived in Harlem for a while as a child in the early 70s, the locations bring back memories. But what i found fascinating (aside from watching that FINE Judy Pace) was Calvin Lockheart's portrayal of Deke O'Mally, which today looks like an ugly and eerily accurate prediction of Louis Farrakhan and other such leaders that were to come in the future.
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on February 24, 2016
I love it for "Cotton Comes to Harlem," but could do without the other feature. Why not create a 2-disk set with "Cotten" and the sequel "Comeback Charleston Blue." Surely there is a decent transfer out there somewhere.
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on May 14, 2009
Make no mistake about it, this is the funniest, most down with it movie made about life in the Hood back in the 70's.
Best characters: Calvin ( The Right Reverend Deke O' Malley - I'M I BLACK ENOUGH FOR YOUUUU ! ), and Redd at the end who winds up with the money and the chicks( Redd Style ! ).
The part of REV. O'Malley was a take off on Rev. Ike, a real life Rev. up in Harlem who dressed in Custom Made Silk Suits,Wore Mink Coats of different colors, Alligator Shoes and Borsalino Hats, Drove a Gold Rolls-Royce and lived in a Penthouse up in Riverdale in the Bronx. Rev. Ike was a man of his time, he always had a
Knockout Sister on his Arm and Transmited his sermons on Sundays from his Church up in Harlem; I remember him saying one time that the Lord didn't want him to be poor and neither any member of his Congregation, that they should all go out there and get rich and bring him some.
The Brother was Super Cool and Out-of-sight; they broke the mold when he was born.
How many of you out there remember Rev. Ike ?
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on January 23, 2016
This is a classic movie from 1970's featuring many great actors from that period like Judy Pace, Godfrey Cambridge, Raymond St. Jacques, Calvin Lockhart, Cleavon Little, J.D. Cannon, Eugene Roche and Helen Martin.
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on April 2, 2015
I absolutely love this combination but I especially Love Cotton Comes to harlem, I've watched this movie over and over and still manage to find something new & hilarious I missed the previous time watching it. They just don't make movies with character any more!
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on July 6, 2013
My husband and I were really excited to find these old movies on DVD, we couldn't pass it up. We purchased a few other titles as well. The quality of the picture is fabulous and the prices are good. I'd recommend these DVDs to anyone who wants to add some oldies but goodies to their movie collection, you won't be disappointed.
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on January 23, 2014
I loved cotton comes to Harlem. The 70's were so cool then and the stunt drivers really could handle them cars. This movie alone was worth the price of admission. Hell Up in Harlem was decent! Melvin Van Peebles set the stage for this area of African American film. alone with Shaft and Cotton Comes To Harlem!
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