This historically valuable "race movie" has been fortunately preserved, largely because of the cult status of its director, Edgar G. Ulmer. Hardworking Minnie (Cora Green) marries "Dollar" Bill (Bud Harris) a shady gambler after her money and her attractive daughter, Sue (Izanetta Wilcois). Sue meanwhile, is in love with Bob (Carl Hough), an idealist fond of looking out over the skyline and saying "Harlem… there’s so much to be done here–it’s fairly screaming for leadership." When Bob decides to organize the community against local racketeers he little realizes would-be father-in-law Dollar Bill is one of them. Bill meanwhile has problems of his own: A vicious white mob from lower Manhattan is muscling in on his action, and bullets are about to fly. Overloaded with heart, strong moments, and Ulmer’s speedy direction, MOON OVER HARLEM was shot in just in four days for $8,000. The film packs lots of action, romance, tragedy, music, dancing, and comedy into it’s brief running time. The cast includes 20 chorus girls, a 46-member choir, and a 60-piece orchestra. Jazz legend Sidney Bechet appears in the opening wedding scene.
Buddy Harris, Cora Green, Izinetta Wilcox
1939, B&W, 69 minutes