Harlem Nights (1989)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Eddie Murphy, in addition to starring as Quick, the son of 1930s Harlem gambling-house proprietor Sugar Ray (Richard Pryor), also wrote and directed the film. The plotline details the combined efforts of Quick and Sugar Ray to prevent white gangster Bugsy Calhoune (Michael Lerner) from muscling in on their operation. The supporting players include Redd Foxx, Danny Aiello and Jasmine Guy. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
R (adult situations/language, violence)
Action & Adventure , Comedy
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Paramount Home Video

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Richard Pryor
as Sugar Ray
Redd Foxx
as Bennie Wilson
Danny Aiello
as Phil Cantone
Michael Lerner
as Bugsy Calhoune
Stan Shaw
as Jack Jenkins
Jasmine Guy
as Dominique La Rue
Vic Polizos
as Richie Vento
Lela Rochon
as Sunshine
Arsenio Hall
as Crying Man
Uncle Ray
as Willie
Robin Harris
as Jerome
Thomas Mikal Ford
as Tommy Smalls
Tommy A. Ford
as Tommy Smalls
Joe Pecoraro
as Joe Leoni
Miguel A. Núñez Jr.
as Man with Broken Nose
Desi Arnez Hines II
as Young Quick
Reynaldo Rey
as Gambler
Ji-Tu Cumbuka
as Toothless Gambler
Bobby McGee
as Gambler
Roberto Duran
as Bouncer
Nick Savage
as Gambler
Russell Tyrone Jones
as Crapshooter
Don Blakely
as Crapshooter
Bill Bateman
as Orderly
Alvin Silver
as Headwaiter
Margaret Wheeler
as Elderly Woman
Rick Aiello
as Man #1
Robert Vento
as Bartender
Michael Buffer
as Announcer
Marc Figueroa
as One of Calhoune's Boys
George Kyle
as Man at Bugsy's
Michael Stroka
as Detective Simms
Eddie Smith
as Driver
Gene Hartline
as Michael Kirkpatrick
Woody Omens
as Ringside Announcer
Roger E. Reid
as Crapshooter
Eugene Robert Glazer
as Detective Hogan
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News & Interviews for Harlem Nights

Critic Reviews for Harlem Nights

All Critics (15) | Top Critics (4)

The movie is a whirlingly divergent romp, blending serious violence with outrageous comedy, but it has the feel of oral history, of lives and times rescued from oblivion.

Full Review… | October 26, 2016
New Yorker
Top Critic

Once there was Freddy. Once there was Chuckie and Jason and Howard the Duck. Now there is the scariest of them all. Now there is Harlem Nights.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Washington Post
Top Critic

Does it matter to Eddie Murphy whether Harlem Nights is good or bad? It doesn't look like it.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Washington Post
Top Critic

An uninspired cross between Cotton Club and the characters of Damon Runyon, told in cliches so broad you keep waiting for it to poke fun at itself, but it never does.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Not as bad as you might think, but not all that good either.

February 12, 2004
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Though it's not easy to watch, Harlem Nights is gorgeous to look at.

July 30, 2002
Apollo Guide

Audience Reviews for Harlem Nights

This movie, directed by Eddie Murphy, was boring, unfunny, and forgettable.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

three generations of comedy legends and a stellar supporting cast star in this film written and directed by murphy in his prime. engaging and hilarious, red foxx and della reese especially shine in this film. i rewach it every ten years or so.

danny d
danny d

Super Reviewer


Movie about organised crime and police corruption in 1920s Harlem.

Candy Rose
Candy Rose

Super Reviewer

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