Harlem Nights

Harlem Nights

DVD - 2001
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A night club owner and his son fight to keep the mob and corrupt police from putting them out of business.
Publisher: Hollywood, Calif. : Paramount, c2001.
Edition: Widescreen version.
ISBN: 9780792178729
0792178726
Branch Call Number: DVD MOVIE COMEDY HARLEM N
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (115 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in.

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lukasevansherman
Jul 31, 2018

This film doesn't have a great reputation and kind brought an end to Eddie Murphy's triumphant run in the 80s. He not only starred in it but wrote and directed, and he also brought in key influences like Richard Pryor and Redd Foxx to co-star. Maybe audiences weren't ready for a nearly all-black period gangster comedy. And it's actually pretty. The period setting is stylish, and the cast is great. White audiences might not have liked a movie in which all the white characters are bad guys, led by gangster Michael Lerner and crooked cop Danny Aiello. It's actually quite refreshing. Murphy is too contemporary and too much a lightweight to be a convincing gangster, but the old timers are great. It was one of Pryor's last great roles before bad health derailed his career. You might recognize Della Reese from "Touched by an Angel," but here she's a foul mouthed, feisty madame. Jasmine Guy, Lela Rochon, and Arsenio Hall co-star. It's still Murphy's only outing as director. If anything, it was maybe a few years too early, as the 90s would see plenty of period gangster films ("L.A. Confidential," "Miller's Crossing," "Hoodlum").

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