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.
The Charismatic black nationalist leader Rev Deke O'Malley is trying to sell the people of Harlem a dream. Invest $100 in his company and live in Africa. But cops Gravedigger and Coffin know all about Deke and his fraudulent schemes that take advantage of the poor and the ignorant and can't wait for a chance to expose him. When a barbecue O'Malley is apparently 'robbed' they get their chance to take him and his cohorts down.
Cotton Comes To Harlem is a good movie. The actors and actresses are good plus redd foxx who plays uncle budd he's funny. I'm a big redd foxx fan! the movie and story line is ok!
Buddy movie / crime caper with a new take on American culture when the sixties were coming to an end while racial tensions needed to be addressed... and so does 'Cotton comes to Harlem'.
The film has a promising premise, but it doesn't play its cards right; pretty much straight away it isn't hard to guess that the 'good' reverend would have something to do with the heist. But the pay-off, when finally the curtain falls on him, is rather okay. Most of the other developments in the story didn't have to take as much time as they did (the two riots and the chase are perfect examples of scenes being dragged out too long). A lot of the humour was cheesy without a good punch nor delivery.
Still, the film is an admirable try to focus on several difficult issues, and is the first in the blaxploitation genre, I've read, although this has hardly any of the gore, nudity or explosions in it that one would expect. But it does get across that a little bit of common sense and a sense of humour can go a long way against violence, ignorance, greed and apathy - well, one would hope.
Godfrey Cambridge's terrific performance in 'Watermelon man' bumped this title up my list, and he does quite okay here, but the film itself is rather too long and at times on the dull side to allow anyone to truly shine. Well, Judy Pace deserves a mention - her black is beautiful and not to be messed with!
A good 6 out of 10. If you want to see a true testament to black power in the seventies, go see 'Sweet Sweetback's baad asssss song', though! 646f9e108c
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