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

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Up 18% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Larry Cohen (written by)
View company contact information for Black Caesar on IMDbPro.
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:
Black Exploitation Classics See more (35 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:
Finland:(Banned) (1988) | Netherlands:16 | Singapore:PG | UK:18 | USA:R | USA:TV-MA (cable rating) | West Germany:18 (nf) (cut)

Did You Know?

Cameo: Andrew Duggan as 'man at shoeshine.'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:
White Lightning (I Mean Moonshine)See more »


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5 out of 9 people found the following review useful.
Black Exploitation Classics, 3 February 2005

Black Caesar (1973) is a star vehicle for former pro football star Fred Willamson. He portrays the aforementioned title character. A no nonsense street thug who rises to the top of his profession and he'll do what ever he can to keep his position of power. Neither his wife, his shady preacher brother nor his partners in crime can keep him from being the king pin of New York. Will he do what he has to do to stay in power or will he become just another flash in the pan?

The writing and direction from Larry Cohen works and the music by James Brown is perfect for this film. Fred Williamson plays his role well, after this film he continued to star in similar roles (but not as dark). He also learned film making from Larry Cohen as well. The two were such a perfect team that they just had to make a sequel, Hell Up In Harlem. But there's one thing missing from the second part. No James Brown. I guess he didn't want to work for free. A shame really because he wrote a whole soundtrack for the moving, including "The Big Payback".

Recommended for fans of this genre, others need not apply.

Was the above review useful to you?
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