Cotton Comes to Harlem

Watch Cotton Comes to Harlem

"Introducing COFFIN ED and GRAVEDIGGER. Two detectives only a mother could love."
  • R
  • 1970
  • 1 hr 37 min
  • 6.5  (2,647)

In the movie Cotton Comes to Harlem, released in 1970, African-American detectives Gravedigger Jones (Godfrey Cambridge) and Coffin Ed Johnson (Raymond St. Jacques) are on a mission to retrieve $87,000 stolen from a local community fund in Harlem. The money was intended to help residents buy land and start their own businesses. The investigation leads the detectives through a maze of clues involving a phony reverend (Calvin Lockhart), a female con artist, and a group of militants seeking to overthrow the government. Along the way, they encounter a cast of colorful characters, including a trio of wild and crazy hippies, a beautiful nightclub singer, and a chain-smoking prostitute.

The film, directed by Ossie Davis and adapted from Chester Himes' novel of the same name, is a blend of comedy, action, and social commentary. It explores themes of corruption, racism, and community empowerment, while also celebrating African-American culture and pride.

Cambridge and St. Jacques are excellent in their roles as the tough and no-nonsense detectives, bringing a sense of humor and humanity to their characters. Lockhart is equally impressive as the slick and charismatic reverend, whose true motives are hidden beneath his religious facade.

The film's soundtrack, composed by Galt MacDermot, is a mix of funk, soul, and jazz, adding to the movie's funky and groovy vibe.

Cotton Comes to Harlem was released during the height of the Black Power movement and was a groundbreaking film for its time. It was one of the first movies to feature African-American detectives as the lead characters, portraying them as intelligent and capable, rather than stereotypes or caricatures.

The film was also notable for its depiction of Harlem as a vibrant and diverse community, with a rich history and culture. It celebrates African-American traditions such as gospel music, soul food, and fashion, while also addressing the challenges facing the neighborhood such as poverty, crime, and police brutality.

Overall, Cotton Comes to Harlem is an entertaining and thought-provoking film that still resonates today. Its message of black pride, community unity, and resistance to oppression is as relevant now as it was 50 years ago.

Cotton Comes to Harlem is a 1970 action movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 37 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.5.

Cotton Comes to Harlem
Where to Watch Cotton Comes to Harlem
Cotton Comes to Harlem is available to watch free on Pluto TV and Tubi TV. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, Apple TV Channels, The Roku Channel, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Cotton Comes to Harlem for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 37 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.5  (2,647)