Sunday, December 21, 2008

"Is that Black Enough For Ya?"

"If it ain't now, it's gonna be..."

"Cotton Comes to Harlem", released in 1970, is a personal favorite. The movie is a contemporary updating of a Chester Himes' novel that was part of Himes' Harlem detective series featuring the characters Coffin Ed and Gravedigger Jones. The movie is directed with manic energy by the great Ossie Davis and stars Raymond St. Jacques and Godfrey Cambridge as detectives searching for a bail of cotton containing $87,000. Davis got great performances out of the Calvin Lockhart, Judy Pace, and a score of late 1960s and early 1970s black actors. The revelation is the spot-on chemistry between St. Jacques and Cambridge---not to mention Cambridge's performance itself. The actor/comic is smooth, tough and gets off the movie's best one-liners.

No comments: