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A Great Day in Harlem (1995)

tomatometer

89

Average Rating: 7.2/10
Critic Reviews: 9
Fresh: 8 | Rotten: 1

No consensus yet.

audience

71

liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 183

My Rating

Movie Info

A Great Day in Harlem is a wonderful documentary about a seemingly ho-hum subject -- the taking of a photograph. Even when the photograph in question involves some of the greatest jazz musicians who ever lived, building a film around a static subject like a photograph is not an easy task. Jean Bach's achievement lies in making this come brilliantly alive; indeed, there's a surprising buoyancy and a sprightliness to the entire enterprise that makes the film unique. True, there's a great deal of

Jan 3, 2006

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All Critics (19) | Top Critics (9) | Fresh (17) | Rotten (2) | DVD (6)

If you wanted to introduce someone to what jazz is all about, this would be an ideal place to start.

October 17, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

For non-buffs, pic fails the acid test of exciting interest where there was little or none before; it could easily have covered the same ground in half its length.

October 17, 2007 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
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A wonderful, warm little movie.

February 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
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Monumental.

December 29, 2005
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Anyone with the misconception that the spirit of a particular music is not a direct reflection of the souls of the musicians who created it must see A Great Day in Harlem, Jean Bach's small and very moving documentary about the jazz life.

August 30, 2004 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's a funny and moving film whose swinging rhythms and informal tone capture a feeling for the music, the people who make it and the affection and respect they feel for each other and the art form.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The film is alive and keeps moving briskly.

September 12, 2008 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Even casual fans should appreciate the film's genuine admiration for these great artists, whose lives were interwoven with their creativity and who changed the face of 20th-century music.

October 17, 2007 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

A fascinating examination of the artistry, camaraderie and idiosyncrasies among a generation enigmatic jazz giants.

January 18, 2007 Full Review Source: AALBC.com
AALBC.com

This isn't Ken Burns' jazz, but something with the spark and intuition of the real thing.

January 9, 2006 Full Review
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Combining home movies, interviews from the time, contemporary reminiscences from locals and those who took part, and fascinating performance footage, this is a joyful celebration of an extraordinary event and of jazz music in general.

May 24, 2003 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

Wonderful documentary; great seeing all those jazz legends.

August 30, 2002
Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)

A magnificent achievement.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: San Francisco Examiner
San Francisco Examiner

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