IMDb > Cotton Comes to Harlem (1970)
Cotton Comes to Harlem
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Cotton Comes to Harlem (1970) More at IMDbPro »

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Cotton Comes to Harlem -- Open-ended Trailer from Warner Bros.


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Up 20% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Chester Himes (based upon the novel by)
Arnold Perl (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for Cotton Comes to Harlem on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
27 May 1970 (USA) See more »
Introducing COFFIN ED and GRAVEDIGGER, two detectives only a mother could love.
Gravedigger Jones and Coffin Ed Johnson are two black cops with a reputation for breaking the odd head... See more » | Add synopsis »
1 win & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
The TRUE origin of "blaxploitation" See more (27 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Godfrey Cambridge ... Grave Digger Jones

Raymond St. Jacques ... Coffin Ed Johnson

Calvin Lockhart ... Rev. Deke O'Malley

Judy Pace ... Iris

Redd Foxx ... Uncle Budd / Booker Washington Sims
Emily Yancy ... Mabel

John Anderson ... Capt. Bryce

Lou Jacobi ... Goodman

Eugene Roche ... Lt. Anderson

J.D. Cannon ... Calhoun
Mabel Robinson ... Billie
Dick Sabol ... Jarema

Cleavon Little ... Lo Boy

Teddy Wilson ... Barry (as Theodore Wilson)
Maxwell Glanville ... Caspar

Arnold Williams ... Hi Jenks
Van Kirksey ... Early Riser (as Van Kriksey)

Helen Martin ... Church Sister
Irwin C. Watson ... Minister
Gertrude Jeannette ... Sister Minnie

Leonardo Cimino ... Tom
Simm Landres ... Luddy
Turk Turpin ... Dum Dum

Tommy Lane ... '44'
Gilbert Lewis ... 1st Black Beret
Wally Taylor ... 2nd Black Beret
William Pratt ... 3rd Black Beret

Lisle Wilson ... 4th Black Beret
John D. Anthony ... 5th Black Beret

Anthony Chisholm ... Black Plainclothesman

Tony Brubaker ... John Hill (as Anthony Brubaker)

Jonelle Allen ... Secretary

Walter Scott ... Cowboy (as Walter Scott Jr.)
Jimmy Hayeson ... Wino
Lawrence Cook ... 1st Young Black Man
Vincent Hamill ... Lead picket
Rudy Townsend ... 2nd Picket

Vernee Watson ... Woman
Ernest Marks ... Man

Al Fann ... Billie Boy
Alyce Webb ... Angry Woman
Louis Whitman ... Chicken Man
Kenneth Manigault ... Traveling Man
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Vinnette Carroll ... Reba (uncredited)
Harold Gaetano ... Plainclothesman (uncredited)
Stanley Greene ... Chep (uncredited)

Albert Hall ... Backround Detective (uncredited)
Gene Lindsey ... Luddy (uncredited)

Melba Moore ... Singer at the Apollo Theater (uncredited)
Frederick O'Neal ... (uncredited)
Lee Steele ... Sidewalk Fur Coat Salesman (uncredited)

Directed by
Ossie Davis 
Writing credits
Chester Himes (based upon the novel by)

Arnold Perl (screenplay) and
Ossie Davis (screenplay)

Produced by
Samuel Goldwyn Jr. .... producer
Original Music by
Galt MacDermot 
Cinematography by
Gerald Hirschfeld (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Robert Q. Lovett 
Art Direction by
Emanuel Gerard 
Costume Design by
Anna Hill Johnstone 
Makeup Department
Irvin Carlton .... makeup artist
Walter Fountain .... hair stylist: Miss Pace
Production Management
Stanley Neufeld .... executive in charge of production
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Sam Bennerson .... second assistant director
John Cates .... second assistant director
Domenic D'Antonio .... assistant director
Alan Hopkins .... assistant director
Max Kleven .... second unit director
Art Department
Robert Drumheller .... set dresser
Sheldon Haber .... sketch artist
Clint Marshall .... property master
Bruno Robotti .... scenic artist
Sound Department
Newton Avrutis .... production sound mixer
Robert Rogow .... boom operator (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Ira Anderson Jr. .... special effects (as Ira Anderson)
Max Kleven .... stunt coordinator
Alan Oliney .... stunts (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Enrique Bravo .... camera operator
Gil Geller .... photographer: second unit
Alec Hirschfeld .... first assistant camera (uncredited)
Ron Zarilla .... second assistant camera (uncredited)
Casting Department
Vic Ramos .... extras casting (as Victor Ramos Jr.)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Gertha Brock .... wardrobe coordinator
Catherine Gaudio .... set wardrobe
Editorial Department
John Carter .... associate editor
Barry Malkin .... associate editor
Marquis Shelton .... assistant editor
Location Management
Stanley E. Campbell .... location coordinator (as Stanley Campbell)
Music Department
George Adams .... music editor
Martin Banks .... musician: trumpet (uncredited)
Gary McFarland .... music arranger (uncredited)
Other crew
Al Fann .... assistant to producer
Roger Furman .... assistant to producer
Louis Johnson .... choreographer
Noni Rock .... production secretary
Bert Schneiderman .... production accountant
John Shabazz .... community relations
Julia Tucker .... continuity (as Judy Tucker)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Хлопок прибывает в Гарлем" - Soviet Union (Russian title)
"Algodón en Harlem" - Spain
"Bawelniany przekret" - Poland (imdb display title)
"Crni panterji v Harlemu" - Slovenia (imdb display title)
"Dö'grävarn & Co" - Sweden
"Da bomuld kom til Harlem" - Denmark (imdb display title)
"Gyapot jön Harlembe" - Hungary
"Harlem - Kara tehlike" - Turkey (Turkish title)
"Humor Negro e Violência" - Portugal (imdb display title)
"Johnson kai Jones, oi dyo detective tou Harlem" - Greece (transliterated ISO-LATIN-1 title)
"Kaksi nuuskijaa Harlemissa" - Finland
"Le casse de l'oncle Tom" - France
"Pupe calde e mafia nera" - Italy
"Rififi no Harlem" - Brazil (imdb display title)
"Rorusu Roisu ni gin no jû" - Japan (imdb display title)
"Wenn es Nacht wird in Manhattan" - West Germany
See more »
97 min
Color (DeLuxe Color)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Australia:A | Finland:K-16 | Netherlands:14 (orginal rating) | Norway:16 (1971) | Sweden:15 | UK:X | USA:R (certificate #22520) | West Germany:16 (nf)

Did You Know?

Released the same day as Watermelon Man (1970), which also starred Godfrey Cambridge.See more »
Continuity: During the car chase, the mirror on the driver's side of the police car gets shot off. Once the police car collides with the watermelon cart a few seconds later, the mirror reappears.See more »
Gravedigger Jones:Another fine mess you got us into!
Coffin Ed:I got us into? Shut up and shoot!
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Baadasssss Cinema (2002) (TV)See more »
Ed and DiggerSee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
18 out of 18 people found the following review useful.
The TRUE origin of "blaxploitation", 17 January 2001
Author: Tresix from Chicago, Illinois

COTTON COMES TO HARLEM is the adaptation of Chester Himes' 1965 novel of the same title and stars Godfrey Cambridge and Raymond St. Jacques as his two Harlem police detectives "Gravedigger" Jones and "Coffin" Ed Johnson respectively. Their motto: "[We] may have broke some heads, but we ain't never broke no promise." Jones and Johnson are on the trail of "Reverend" Deke O'Malley (Calvin Lockhart. O'Malley is funding a "Back to Africa" cruise by taking donations from the good people of the 'hood. However, before he can make his getaway, a robbery breaks out and the money, hidden in a bale of cotton, gets lost in Harlem. This sends the cops, O'Malley and the robbers on a wild search through the New York area for the stolen loot. Redd Foxx appears as a junk dealer (two years before SANFORD AND SON) who holds the key to the fate of the money.

Oddly enough, the movie is less rough then Himes' novel (which had quite a bit of rough language and sex in it), yet received an R rating back then. It would hardly register as a PG-13 today. COTTON COMES TO HARLEM should be seen to see the true origins of the genre known as "blaxploitation" (black exploitation movies).

COTTON is quite an enjoyable action romp. It is especially light compared to the later "blaxploitation" films that followed it.

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