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Harlem Nights
List Price: $9.98

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Product Description

A 1930's nightclub owner has a scheme to keep mobsters from muscling in on his Harlem hot spot.
Genre: Feature Film-Comedy
Rating: R
Release Date: 29-DEC-2004
Media Type: DVD

This is a supremely disappointing film, especially considering the talent involved. Indeed, the cast would seem to be the summit of African American comedians, starring the three most influential standups of the modern era: Redd Foxx, Richard Pryor, and Eddie Murphy. Murphy obviously was paying respect to his elders when he cast them as his father and grandfather in this story of Harlem in the 1930s. Written and directed by Murphy, the plot involves gangsters and rival nightclub owners but doesn't add up. What's a particular shame is that, with three comics as funny as Murphy, Pryor, and Foxx, there are so few laughs and so much misogyny. Do you really want to watch Della Reese get shot in the foot to shut her up? That's the level of the humor here. --Marshall Fine

Customer Reviews:

  • Juvenile
    This movie disappointed me and the viewing public at large when it was released in theaters. Eddie Murphy is, if nothing else, a smart comedian and observer of people. What he's made here appears to be a movie he first dreamed up when he was 11 years old and heard about the history of Harlem. The problem is, it's got exactly that level of sophistication, too. It could, in fact, be very enjoyable for boys aged 10-13, given the crude humor, simple plot, and overly aggressive interaction of the characters. Nevertheless, I can't recommend it to parents because of the extreme profanity....more info
  • Black or white...you gotta laugh!
    I've had this VHS film in my collection since it came out; now the DVD is here...no extras, but finally in a widescreen that shows off the period detail in its glory. Eddie Murphy wrote and directed, and it's an auspicious debut. (Nominated for an Oscar for Costumes). Say or think what you want, this is a funny film, which is not really Black-centered, but shows foibles and general short-comings from all involved. It just happens to take place in Harlem in the 20's. There are serious and pensive looks on Pryor's face everytime someone makes a racial epithet...watch for that. It's powerful! Eddie's a riot, as is Foxx, and Della Reese is magnificent; her line "Kiss my entire a**" ...must go down as a great line in film history. ...I'm a white man, and I still find no end of humor in this film. Love it or hate it...it's funny! ...more info
  • Murphy and Pryor are an incredible pair!
    Saturday Night Live alum and stand-up comic Eddie Murphy and Richard Pryor,also a stand-up comic,deliver an incredible performance set in the 1940's,when guys wore suits and hats when out in public. This film is one of a multitude of Paramount films Murphy did. Pryor did buddy films with Gene Wilder previously(and one subsequently),but no one can imagine Wilder doing a film like this,set in a New York town that was mostly populated by blacks. Della Reese,late of CBS's Touched By An Angel,even has audiences cracking up over her schtick. Pryor influenced Murphy's brand of humor,neither's is 100% clean like those of some other comedians I could name. Pryor's film career didn't last too much longer after this film because the multiple sclerosis victim became confined to a wheelchair in the early 90's. Despite the paralysis,Pryor occasionally still did comedy concerts. Sadly,the good Lord took away 65-year-old Peoria,Illinois-born Pryor on December 10,2005. Murphy continues his film career to this day,but in mostly non-profane,family-oriented films....more info
  • A Great Movie - Entertaining, funny and will be a classic
    Although this movie has been out for quite awhile and I have seen it many times on television I finally purchased the DVD. My collection would not be complete without this funny and very entertaining movie. Forget the critics and purchase the DVD.

    You'll laugh your little pinky toe off!!...more info

  • Redd Foxx stole the show , well part of it....
    Very funny movie with a very funnny cast...Not a great storyline but neither was Titanic and that boring nonsense won an award...Redd Foxx was at his best and Eddie's sly wit with the parakeet was just genuis..I just wish Robin Harris had more lines as well as Charlie Murphy...But it was still a very funny flick...I wonder how funny the deleted scenes and outtakes were..It a shame they're not in the DVD.......more info
  • The funniest movie ever
    I don't know what the reviewers were watching when they saw this movie, but this movie is pure comedy! If you love Eddie then you will love Harlem Nights. P.S. seeing Della get shot in the foot is classic....more info
  • Classic comedy
    Come on, the cast list itself should sell this movie! Just get it. Should be in everyone's library....more info
  • Eddie,Richard & Redd at their best
    Harlem Nights is a great that stars the funniest three black comics to ever grace a comdey stage. Eddie Murphy knew what he was doing when he decided to cast Redd Foxx and Richard Pryor in the other two male leads. The film has great one-liners and a amusing fight scene between Eddie and Della Reese. If you've never seen this film, you're in for a treat...more info
  • If you don't like this you must be a blind......
    Fans of the movie know what would come next in the title of this review. I don't know about the black/white humor thing - I'm white and my husband and I and another couple find this movie side splitting. The talented comedians in this film are great! We have quoted lines to each other from this film for at least the last ten years, anyway. So glad it's out in DVD. It will make a great Valentine's gift for dh....more info
  • An all time favorite
    Just the interaction between Red Foxx and Della Reese is worth the price of the movie! And the "con" involving the gangster and the hooker had me rolling on the floor. This movie is really funny. I have watched it over and over again...and pick up something new every time. Loved it!...more info
  • Where it all went wrong for Eddie
    Harlem Nights is a vanity project and vanity projects usually stink. Now I wont go as far as to say that Harlem Nights stinks because it doesnt but when you think about all the talent that was involved it is disappointing.

    Plot: Sugar Ray(Richard Pryor) and Quick(Eddie Murphy)run a nightclub in Harlem and have to end up dealing with a crooked cop called Phil Cantone(Danny Aiello) and jealous night club owner called Bugsy Calhoun(Michael Lerner).

    Opinion: Harlem Nights is funny in the first 30 minutes and somewhere in the middle of the movie. The problem is that humor misses more than hits most of the time. When it becomes conscious that it was supposed to be a comedy it tries too hard and ends up falling flat. Two examples: the scene where Arsenio Hall and his goons square off with Quick is just painfully unfunny. The scene where Vera(Della Reese) fights Quick is not only weak but it is the most overrated scene in the whole movie(everybody who talks about Harlem Nights always brings up that scene). The only scene that was slightly funny was watching Quick's face when he gets hit(he looks like Gumby getting beat up) but the exchange of words before and during the fight was weak("Oh now you wanna hit me with garbage", Oh now you wanna shoot me in my pinky toe"). Oh come on! You mean to tell me that the guy who came up with Delirious and Raw cant do better than this? Incredible. The film has other problems. Danny Aiello is just awful as Phil Cantone. Every time he is on screen you just dread each moment. While Micheal Lerner is great as Bugsy Calhoun, Danny Aiello is just hammy as Phil Cantone and you almost forget that the guy can actually act(See Jacob's Ladder for proof of this). Richard Pryor plays the most likeable character in the whole movie, Sugar Ray. Quick is too arrogant and hotheaded to root for. Two complaints that most critics bring up when discussing Harlem Nights: racism and misogyny. Racism: Harlem Nights is set during the 1930s and racism was rampant back then so what kind of a complaint is that? Misogyny: The critics do have a point here. Every woman in Harlem Nights is either a hooker or a madame. Dominique Loreaux(Jasmine Guy) is used to set up Quick. Sunshine(Lela Rochon)is used to set up Richie(this is genuinely the funniest part of the movie). Vera is called out of her name all throughout this movie(they must have called her a b***** like 100 times). Now I know you will say that this is a comedy but is that really an excuse? Positives: Harlem Nights is funny albeit sporadically. The all-star cast and the time period is a plus. The way they set up Phil Cantone and Bugsy Calhoun was pretty clever. I like Harlem Nights' stick-it-to-the-man mentality. Both Richard Pryor and Michael Lerner's characters were cool. But the negatives outweigh the positives.

    Closing comments: Harlem Nights had two options that might have saved it. The all-star comedy cast could have chipped in to write the script or they could have went for a drama instead of a comedy. Since neither was done Harlem Nights ends up being an average movie that is sporadically funny and sometimes bland. Harlem Nights is where it all went north for Eddie because afterwards every good movie he starred in was followed by a couple of bad ones. Another 48 Hours, Nutty Professor II: The Klumps, The Haunted Mansion, Beverly Hills Cop III, I-Spy, Norbit are all proof of this statement. Harlem Nights is not the worst vanity project ever made(hello, Hudson Hawk, anyone?) but it could have been much better than this. 3 stars and nothing higher....more info
  • Foxx, Pryor, and Murphy...What More Could You Ask For?
    Harlem Nights is such an overlooked film in the comedy genre. There are so many hilarious exchanges in this film, especially between Redd Foxx and Della Reese. Richard Pryor actually plays the straight man in this and does a pretty admirable job. Eddie Murphy plays his son Quick, who is a hot headed gambler. The supporting cast is really what sets this film apart from others. Arsenio Hall plays the brother of slain character Tommy Smalls and is immensely effective in his brief appearance. Danny Aiello plays the crooked cop Phil Cantone so smugly that you want to reach through the screen and smash his face. But Redd Foxx and Della Reese steal the show with their hilarious banter about each others weight and eyesight. It is apparently clear that of these three generations of comic heavyweights, Redd Foxx is the undisputed champion. This is a fine addition to any dvd collection and as good as it gets in the comic genre....more info
  • This is a classic!
    Anyone that rated this item under 4 stars doesn't know good comedy. This is clearly a classic. If you like black
    comedians this movie has the best and belongs in your collection....more info
  • Harlem Nights
    What a funny, FUNNY movie! I don't think of it as essential but it's hilarious. If one bases a review upon the entertainment value of an item, then one must rate it accordingly. This movie scores five stars for that reason, because this movie is HIGHLY entertaining. The only problem I have with this movie is the language, but I understand that it adds to the realism of it. Eddie Murphy is the genius behind the movie (check the credits). There isn't any role in this movie that's a miscast; all are funny including Danny Aiello. The cast is all-star ensemble of comedians including Richard Pryor (the tamest role in the film), Redd Foxx & Della Reese. Get this one because it has to be one of the funniest movies made in the last forty years!...more info
  • This is one of the funnies movies i've ever saw
    i saw this movie about 4 years ago and it was so funny. all of you guys saying this movie wasn't funny, you are very wrong. this is a classic and it always will be....more info
  • The Best Comdey Ever Made
    This the the best Comdey ever made. You cover 3 Gerations of Great Comdains. It had a great flow all the way thru the movie, could not stop laughing. This is a must go buy movie (no bootleg). It is a shame it took this long to come to the DVD Format. I Love this MOVIE!!!!...more info
  • Absolute garbage
    If there has ever been a bigger waste of talent than Harlem Nights, I haven't seen it yet.

    This movie is what happens when a big star (Eddie Murphy) is allowed to do whatever he wants by a big movie studio. So, he hires his family, friends and his 2 comedy influences Redd Foxx and Richard Pryor.

    They spent millions of dollars on wardrobe for this movie and about 5 minutes on the script. It's like they just made it up as they went along. They wanted to look good but left out the funny. Eddie Murphy should be ashamed of this movie.

    So, here is Eddie Murphy, Richard Pryor and Redd Foxx NOT being very funny or entertaining. Quite an achievment for three comedy legends. What a wasted opportunity....more info
  • FUNNY!!!
    okay, im 16. i have been involved with this movie since i was 5 or 6. it is one of the FUNNIEST movies i have ever seen. richard pryor (who is one of the original kings of comedy as far as i'm concerned) shows a smooth side, as does richard pryor. the trade-off insults between redd foxx (another original koc) and della reese are classic.[...]. i love this movie [...]....more info
  • Classic Eddie Murphy
    For some strange reason Harlem Nights has always been panned by critics (the same critics that panned other classics like Fight Club). It wasn't a box office smash either. Yet, from the very first viewing, I've been in love with this film. It's fall-on-the-floor funny. Pryor, Eddie, Red Fox, and Arsenio Hall make a fantastically funny cast.

    I believe this was Eddie Murphy's directorial debut. If so, he did a splendid job. The film holds up superbly today and is fun-filled adventure. Don't miss out!...more info
  • Greatest of all time
    This movie is just that the greatest of all time. Eddie Murphy had me [really] laughing on this movie. What makes it so, funny is that the movie seems as if it is not evening trying to make you laugh. Red Foxx (I think that's his name) was one person on the movie that you could not stop laughing at becuse he always had some slick comment to say to everyone. This is a classic and it never get's old, it old school comedy at it best. Eddie Murphy's best movie he ever played in! Pay your respect to the legends in the comedy game and see this movie it's worth your time....more info
  • Veiwers choice
    This movie never really got the exposure it should have. I will admitt it is one of thos movies you simply must watch more than once because you miss all of the funny lines the first time. I did not care for all of the swearing; It should have been toned down. I feel if it were made today Eddie Murphy would have not had so much profanity in it. I also did not care for Jazzmine Guy as a sex symbol- her pettite frame and previous role as Witney Gilbert on the TV sitcom, made it hard for me to see her as sexy. Richard Pryor and Redd Foxx were right on key. I really liked the clothes of that era and Eddie Murphy did a wonderful job of creating a very nastolgic look back....more info
  • Wonderful "old" movie.
    My husband loves this movie. We did not have it in our collection, so I found it on Amazon and ordered it for him. He was so thankful.

    The cast line-up is outstanding and the acting is great. ...more info