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A Rage in Harlem

A Rage in Harlem

Genders: Crime, Comedy

Director: Bill Duke

Writer: Chester Himes (novel), John Toles-Bey (screenplay)

Actors: Forest Whitaker, Gregory Hines, Robin Givens, Zakes Mokae

Year: 1991
Run time: 115min
IMDB score: 5.9
Updated: one year ago

Movie infomation

Movie name: A Rage in Harlem

Genders: Crime, Comedy

Imdb Score: 5.9

Runtime: 115min

Released: 03 May 1991

Director: Bill Duke

Writer: Chester Himes (novel), John Toles-Bey (screenplay)

Actors: Forest Whitaker, Gregory Hines, Robin Givens, Zakes Mokae

Company: HBO Video

Imdb Link

A Rage in Harlem Available Subtitles

English subtitles A Rage in Harlemone year ago
Brazilian Portuguese subtitles A Rage in Harlemone year ago
Spanish subtitles A Rage in Harlemone year ago

Trailer


Review

A great comedy/thriller

9/10 I think this is an underrated classic. A story of gold,double-cross,love,revenge and death all served up with great humour nicely by the main characters. The acting is great especially Forest Whittaker as the loser who eventually comes good. Robin Givens is superb and sexy in this role as she steals the gold from her partners and goes on the run. The late great Gregory Hines is also in top form as Whittaker's brother who is only interested in the gold at first. Badja Djola plays a memorably vicious villain and Danny Glover pops up as a rival gangster who "had another dream" about Givens - much to the fury of Djola. This film has some great comic moments. The music score by Elmer Bernstein is also superb.

one year ago

One the best gangster films ever

10/10 Robin Givens stars in this brilliant action-comedy-crime-thriller flick about a gangster's moll, who after a bloody shoot-out in the beginning, flees to Harlem with a trunkload of gold. She later finds herself involved with a shy assistant(the always dependable Forest Whitaker). They predictably fall in love and pretty soon Givens' presumed dead boyfriend comes to town looking for her and the gold.

As my one line summary states it, this is one the best gangster movies ever made. In the vein of such gangster films like "The Untouchables" or "Hoodlum", "A Rage in Harlem" ranks pretty high up there. Director Bill Duke who directed Laurence Fishburne in the very stylish "Deep Cover" and the gritty "Hoodlum" is at the top of his game here. The 1950s setting really adds to the overall greatness of this movie.

Robin Givens is excellent and very beautiful in a role that seems almost perfectly suited for her. Forest Whitaker plays his role almost too good. Not only does fit his part but he looks it as well.

To sum it up, this movie is excellent. The direction, acting, and casting are all top notch.

10/10

one year ago

Good, but nothing like the novel

6/10 This is a pretty good, violent, gangster romp directed with definite panache by Bill Duke. Forrest Whitaker plays a decent upstanding Christian boy how gets embroiled in hokey plot involving stolen money (or something) and Robin Givens. Different groups of parties are all after the dough (including Forrest's good for nothing brother Gregory Hines), when Forrest just wants the girl. Its pretty hackneyed stuff, but the players (in particular the great Gregory Hines and the baddass Danny Glover) elevate it to a standard that just serves to entertain and no more.

It also features a great recurring joke about a picture of Jesus that I won't spoil.

The only problem I have with this film is that the book it's based on is actually nothing like this. The first scene in the barn is lifted from the book, but everything else has been changed. The two cops in the film, Gravedigger Jones and Coffin Ed are Chester Hime's greatest creations, but here they're just an obstacle for Whittaker (who in the book is actually a supporting character and is a coward, here he is the against all the odds hero of the piece). If you haven't read Chester Hime's novels you won't notice, but be prepared to be disappointed with the liberties taken with the story.

On it's own though, this is an accomplished movie from the talented Mr Duke, who's next movie was one of the best of the nineties, Deep Cover.

one year ago

Sing it again, Screamin' Jay!

9/10 (Includes one minor spoiler, but it's unrelated to the plot and really more of a recommendation.)

Surprised to see so few votes and comments for A Rage in Harlem - it was a modest commercial hit in Britain, so perhaps the all-black casting and setting just didn't play Peoria.

The tone of this stylish, good-looking period crime adventure swings wildly between brutal, raunchy, tragic and comic, but a clever, funny script and likeable characters - especially Gregory Hines's big-hearted wiseguy Goldy, but also several delightfully written minor roles - maintain attention and sympathy throughout what could otherwise have been a bumpy ride. It's an emotionally engaging film, much more character-driven than the average urban thriller of the 1990s.

Its purely incidental pleasures are many, topped by a splendid musical treat in the shape of cult R 'n' B hero Screamin' Jay Hawkins, giving a no-holds-barred performance of his voodoo classic I Put a Spell on You at the Harlem Undertakers' Ball. If you have a taste for the old school of black show business, this sequence will have you holding up the rest of the picture until you've given Screamin' Jay an encore.

Thrills, laughs, and pathos, dished up with verve and heart, make a film that many of us still remember very affectionately.

one year ago

Violent and dark...but I liked it

7/10 This takes place in 1956. Imabelle (Robin Givens) gets away from her mobster boyfriend with a stash of gold he stole. She drives from Mississippi to NY and hides out totally unaware that her boyfriend and his gang are after her. She gets an overweight, naive and trusting man named Jackson (Forest Whitaker) to love her--but then her boyfriend shows up. She leaves him but Jackson gets his brother Goldy (Gregory Hines) to help him find her.

That may sound a little plot heavy...but that's only the first hour! This movie is way too convoluted and far too long. Also Hines and Givens are just not good actors. They try but they can't pull this off--although Givens looks great in some of her costumes. Still I did like this.

Some previous posters pointed out that this is extremely bloody and that's very true. Also it has strong doses of black humor. Still, it didn't bother me. If anything it gave the film a few nice jolts. It's well directed by Bill Duke, has great period detail (love the cars!) and (aside from Givens and Hines) has plenty of good acting. So, if you like extreme violence, black humor and gangster movies this should work for you. I give it a 7.

one year ago