Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Cotton Comes to Harlem (1970)

Director: Ossie Davis

Writers: Chester Himes, Arnold Perl, Ossie Davis

Composer: Galt MacDermot

Starring: Godfrey Cambridge, Raymond St. Jacques, Calvin Lockhart, Judy Pace, Redd Foxx, Emily Yancy, John Anderson, Lou Jacobi, Eugene Roche, J.D. Cannon, Mabel Robinson, Dick Sabol, Cleavon Little

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Introducing COFFIN ED and GRAVEDIGGER, two detectives only a mother could love.

Plot: 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.

My rating: 6/10

Will I watch it again? No.

I don't care what it is, if Redd Foxx or Godfrey Cambridge are in it, I'll watch it.  Cambridge is having a blast from start to finish and he's a lot of fun but sadly Foxx's role is pretty brief...but classic!   

It's pretty standard crime/action/Blaxploitation fare with a few laughs here and there.  It's over-the-top and goofy sometimes but it's the cast that makes this watchable.  The striptease on the bale of cotton has got to be seen to be believed.  Unfortunately every release of this is fullscreen.  The MGM DVD I've got (make that had after this weekend's garage sale) only has the theatrical trailer as an extra.  Hell, even the Blu-ray that's coming out on 9/9/14 is listed as being fullscreen.  The fuck?

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