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Cotton Comes to Harlem [VHS]

4.5 out of 5 stars 149 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Godfrey Cambridge, Raymond St. Jacques, Calvin Lockhart, Judy Pace, Redd Foxx
  • Directors: Ossie Davis
  • Writers: Ossie Davis, Arnold Perl, Chester Himes
  • Producers: Samuel Goldwyn Jr.
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, HiFi Sound, Original recording reissued, NTSC
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • VHS Release Date: January 9, 2001
  • Run Time: 97 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 149 customer reviews
  • ASIN: 0792839935
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #324,987 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

One of the most influential Soul Cinema pix ever to shoot onto the screen, Cotton Comes To Harlem spawned the blaxploitation boom by delivering a "refreshingly different detective action yarn with soul and humor" (Cue) and an unbeatable mix of "fast-paced adventure [and] comic lunacy" (Pacific Film Archive). Detectives "Gravedigger" Jones (Godfrey Cambridge) and "Coffin Ed" Johnson(Raymond St. Jacques) are on the case and in everyone's face when they investigate Rev. Deke O'Malley (Calvin Lockhart)a brother whose "Back To Africa" campaign is nothing more than a big scam forbigga' bucks. But when $87,000 of O'Malley's laundered cash gets stashed in a bail of cotton, Gravedigger and Coffin find they're not the only dudes suddenly interested in soaring cotton prices! Trailing the bale all over Harlem, the detectives come up against the mafia, the police, black militantsand more in an all-out dash to nab the $87,000 cashand to 86 anyone who stands in the way!

Amazon.com

Based on Chester Himes's novel, this film marked actor-writer Ossie Davis's directing debut. Godfrey Cambridge and Raymond St. Jacques play Himes's volatile police detectives, Gravedigger Jones and Coffin Ed Johnson, who are on the trail of white men who pulled an armed stickup at a Back to Africa rally in Harlem. The money belongs to the poor people who paid for a chance to return to the motherland--but was it really a stickup? Or is the flashy preacher at the center of the Back to Africa movement (Calvin Lockhart) involved in a scam to rip off his own people? The plot drags; the best part of the film are the performances (as well as spotting cameos by such actors as the then-unknown Cleavon Little) and the on-location shooting in parts of New York where a camera had rarely ventured previously. Redd Foxx shows up in a small part as a ragpicker that led to his role in TV's Sanford and Son. --Marshall Fine


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