A Rage in Harlem (1991) - Rotten Tomatoes

A Rage in Harlem (1991)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

A Rage in Harlem Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

Based on a crime novel by Chester Himes, Bill Duke's action comedy stars Forest Whitaker as meek accountant Jackson, who falls head over heels for an on-the-lam con artist (Robin Givens) in 1956 Harlem.more
Rating: R (for violence, sensuality and language)
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure, Art House & International, Mystery & Suspense, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: John Toles-Bey, Bobby Crawford, Robert Crawford
In Theaters:
On DVD: Sep 2, 2003
HBO Video


Robin Givens
as Imabelle
Zakes Mokae
as Big Kathy
Danny Glover
as Easy-Money
Stack Pierce
as Coffin Ed
George Wallace (II)
as Grave Digger
Reynaldo Rey
as Blind Man
Helen Martin
as Mrs. Canfield
Willard E. Pugh
as Claude X.
Samm-Art Williams
as Gus Parsons
John Seitz
as Lester Bunton
Jack Beatty
as Sheriff
Birdie M. Hale
as 1st Domestic
John W. Hardy
as Reverend Gaines
Anthonia Dotson
as 1st Female Mourner
James Spinks
as Bartender
Kipp Cochran
as 1st Cop
Tracy A. Taylor
as Skanky Whore
Kevin Ruthven
as Bus Driver
Leslie Dockery
as Chorus Dancer
Edgar Godineaux Jr.
as Chorus Dancer
Kimberly Hester
as Chorus Dancer
Hajna O. Moss
as Chorus Dancer
Joni Palmer
as Chorus Dancer
John Parks
as Chorus Dancer
Herbert Rawlins
as Chorus Dancer
Romelle Reaux
as Chorus Dancer
Mike Roscoe
as Chorus Dancer
Kiki Sheppard
as Chorus Dancer
Wynonna Smith
as Chorus Dancer
George Wallace
as Grave Digger
George D. Wallace
as Grave Digger
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for A Rage in Harlem

Critic Reviews for A Rage in Harlem

All Critics (33) | Top Critics (14)

With its snazzy Elmer Bernstein score, its snappy period flavor and its all-star cast doing something completely different, A Rage in Harlem should have been much more fun than it is.

Full Review… | July 1, 2013
Seattle Times
Top Critic

Jazzy and jauntily funny.

Full Review… | July 1, 2013
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

As the movie becomes increasingly violent and unpleasant, the characters chase around after each other in a threadbare gangster plot about a trunk of gold.

Full Review… | July 1, 2013
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

[A] flamboyant, engaging action comedy.

Full Review… | July 1, 2013
New Yorker
Top Critic

Duke and company have been true to Himes' brash, blaspheming spirit, and that is no small thing.

Full Review… | July 1, 2013
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Bill Duke's Harlem has the heft of an imaginatively heightened reality; it's a great place to visit.

Full Review… | July 1, 2013
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for A Rage in Harlem


(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.

Cassandra Maples

Super Reviewer


Average comic thriller interesting only for it's unusual adaptation of the book upon it was based, as it concentrates on the crooks rather than the cops.

xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

Ooh Robin Givens is hot!! This movie was very good and funny! Also the late Gregory hines was excellent!

Kelvin Yarbrough

A Rage in Harlem Quotes

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