IMDb > Black Caesar (1973)
Black Caesar
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Black Caesar (1973) More at IMDbPro »

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Larry Cohen (written by)
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Release Date:
7 February 1973 (USA) See more »
Hail Caesar, Godfather of Harlem...The Cat with the .45-Caliber Claws!
Tommy Gibbs is a tough kid, raised in the ghetto, who aspires to be a kingpin criminal. As a young boy... See more » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
Hail the mighty Williamson for defining the "blaction" era. See more (36 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Fred Williamson ... Tommy Gibbs

Gloria Hendry ... Helen
Art Lund ... McKinney

D'Urville Martin ... Reverend Rufus

Julius Harris ... Mr. Gibbs (as Julius W. Harris)
Minnie Gentry ... Momma Gibbs
Philip Roye ... Joe Washington
William Wellman Jr. ... Alfred Coleman

James Dixon ... Bryant

Val Avery ... Cardoza
Patrick McAllister ... Grossfield

Don Pedro Colley ... Crawdaddy
Myrna Hansen ... Virginia Coleman
Omer Jeffrey ... Tommy as a Boy
Michael Jeffrey ... Joe as a Boy
Allan Bailey ... Motor (as Allen W. Bailey)
Cecil Alonzo ... Sport
Francisco De Gracia ... Cab Driver (as Francisco DeGracia)
Larry Lurin ... Carlos
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Andrew Duggan ... Man at Shoeshine (uncredited)

Directed by
Larry Cohen 
Writing credits
Larry Cohen (written by)

Produced by
Larry Cohen .... producer
James Dixon .... associate producer
Peter Sabiston .... executive producer
Janelle Webb .... co-producer (as Janelle Cohen)
Benjamin Fisz .... producer (uncredited)
Kenneth Rive .... producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
James Brown 
Cinematography by
Fenton Hamilton (director of photography)
Film Editing by
George Folsey Jr. 
Casting by
Mike Carey 
Michael D. Corey  (as Mike Corey)
Production Design by
Larry Lurin 
Makeup Department
Rick Baker .... makeup designer (uncredited)
Production Management
Allan Bailey .... production manager: New York (as Allen W. Bailey)
Sound Department
Marvin Kerner .... sound effects editor
Alex Vanderkar .... sound
Special Effects by
Rick Baker .... special effects (uncredited)
Nick Dimitri .... stunts (uncredited)
Orwin C. Harvey .... stunts (uncredited)
Larry Holt .... stunts (uncredited)
Bob Minor .... stunts (uncredited)
Paul Stader .... stunt coordinator (uncredited)
James Winburn .... stunts (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Jim Dunn .... camera operator
Alex Fernbach .... camera operator
Deke Gibson .... still photographer (as 'Deek' Gibson)
Mike Horner .... camera operator (as Don Hart)
Robert Isenberg .... camera operator (as Bob Isenberg)
James Signorelli .... director of photography: Harlem sequence
Stu Spahn .... camera operator
Casting Department
Black Beauty .... casting: New York
Editorial Department
Franco Guerri .... assistant editor (uncredited)
Music Department
Barry De Vorzon .... music supervisor (as Barry DeVorzon)
Lenny Stack .... composer: song "Big Daddy"
Janelle Webb .... composer: song "Big Daddy" (as Janelle Cohen)
Transportation Department
Francisco De Gracia .... transportation manager (as Francisco DeGracia)
Other crew
Cecil Alonzo .... production coordinator
Franco Guerri .... production assistant
Paul Stader .... technical advisor
Joan Tucker .... script girl
David Sheldon .... production executive (uncredited)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"The Godfather of Harlem" - Ireland (English title) (imdb display title), UK
"Чёрный цезарь" - Soviet Union (Russian title)
"Black Caesar - Il Padrino nero" - Italy
"Black Caesar, le parrain de Harlem" - France (imdb display title)
"Black Max" - Germany (DVD title)
"Der Pate von Harlem" - West Germany (TV title)
"El padrino de Harlem" - Spain
"Fekete Caesar" - Hungary (imdb display title)
"Godfather of Harlem (Der Pate von Harlem)" - West Germany (imdb display title)
"Harlemin babasi" - Turkey (Turkish title) (imdb display title)
"Heiße Hölle Harlem" - West Germany
"L'emperador negre" - Spain (Catalan title)
"Mavros gigas" - Greece (reissue title)
"Musta keisari" - Finland
"O Chefão de New York" - Brazil (cable TV title)
"O Chefão de Nova York" - Brazil (imdb display title)
"O mavros nonos" - Greece (transliterated ISO-LATIN-1 title)
"Street Kill" - Denmark (video box title)
"T. Gibb - The Harlem Fighter" - West Germany (video title)
See more »
87 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Australia:R | Finland:(Banned) (1988) | Netherlands:16 | Singapore:PG | UK:18 | USA:R (certificate #23539) | USA:TV-MA (certificate #23539) (cable rating) | West Germany:18 (nf) (cut)

Did You Know?

Originally offered to Sammy Davis Jr., who turned it down.See more »
Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): When Tommy's henchmen are being assassinated, a bearded one wearing a Gray Apple-Jack hat is shot on the street and ends up dying on a two-wheeled cart. His dying act is not to clutch where he was just shot, but hold on to his rather large Apple-Jack hat as he rolls down the cart.See more »
Reverend Rufus:Mama! Does Tommy know you're here?
Mama Gibbs:Pray for him, Rufus... you were always a good boy, pray for him.
Reverend Rufus:Okay Mama, we'll pray for him.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Spoofed in Coonskin (1975)See more »
Blind Man Can See ItSee more »


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9 out of 11 people found the following review useful.
Hail the mighty Williamson for defining the "blaction" era., 18 February 1999
Author: Jason C. Atwood from Suffolk, Virginia

BLACK CAESAR is only the first half in the gangster epic of Tommy Gibbs (Fred Williamson). It has attitude, and comes up strong in detailing the urbanized ghetto culture in a gritty style. Compare this to THE GODFATHER, if you will, because there isn't a lot going on here that its second-half sequel HELL UP IN HARLEM actually offers much more to the story (Maltin, take note of this!). Both films gave Williamson the spotlight he deserved in show business with his mean, dirty style of action-packed influence. This one's just warming up. Best scene to remember: Gibbs putting on the shoe polish of a white man's face to resemble Al Jolson, only in beating the living daylights out of him as he shouts "Mammy! Mammy!". As you'd normally expect for a "blaction" classic, it's pure entertainment, and James Brown's soul music score (absent in the sequel) is the best I've heard. There is a call for examination on Gibbs' "superior" gang who wants to rule over the opposing race, a plot that sometimes goes overboard and needs to be studied. You need to check out and watch BOTH of these titles simultaneously to avoid instant confusion, letting them stick together into a three-hour movie on its own.

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