- SKU: 14125626
- Release Date: 12/07/2004
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- Digitally mastered
- Interactive menus
- Scene index
- Digitally enhanced audio 5.1
Produced in 1938 at the N.B. Murray dude ranch near Victorville, California, Harlem Rides the Range was the last of three all-black Westerns starring troubadour Herb Jeffries (billed for the occasion Herbert Jeffrey) as cowboy Bob Blake. Blake, on his horse "Stardusk" (!), obtains a job on the ranch belonging to Watson (Spencer Williams of Amos 'n Andy fame). Meanwhile, a neighbor, Dennison (Leonard Christmas), is threatened by Bradley (Clarence Brooks) and his thug Connors (Tom Southern) who want to get their hands of the man's secret radium mine. Leaving Dennison for dead, Bradley schemes to kidnap his daughter Margaret (Artie Young), who is arriving with $6,000 for the mortgage and presumably knows where the secret mine is located. The talkative Connors is killed by his boss, who puts the blame on Blake. Arrested by the sheriff (Wade Dumas), Blake uses his dexterity to break out of jail and arrives just in time to save Margaret from Bradley and his gang. Returning to the Dennison spread, Blake and his sidekick Dusty (Lucius Brooks) find the owner, who has stayed alive by hiding in his underground mine. Jeffries, whose singing was better than his acting, warbled his own I'm a Happy Cowboy (over the opening credits) and Prairie Flower, the latter accompanied by the singing group The Four Tones. Lucius Brooks and Flournoy E. Miller (who wrote his own dialogue) provided the same kind of demeaning comedy that almost all African-Americans were subjected to in the 1930s. Following his brief movie career, Jeffries sang with the Duke Ellington orchestra and ran a nightclub in Paris, France. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi
Moon Over Harlem
German immigrant Edgar G. Ulmer directed this melodrama with an all-black cast (including jazz legend Sidney Bechet), and shot the film in just four days. The story concerns a rich widow seduced by a gangster, and the man's attempts to get her money. ~ John Bush, Rovi
The Big Timers
A poor singer borrows a fancy apartment in order to impress her fiancé and his family. This musical comedy with an all-black cast features an all-girl band, and there is even a song by famed comedian Stepin Fetchit. It is a prime example of what used to be called "race movies," films that were made by small, independent companies specifically for black audiences, since many theaters at the time were segregated. ~ Brian Gusse, Rovi
Dirty Gertie from Harlem USA
Gertie flees New York City, running from an old boyfriend, and finds herself on the island of Trinidad. ~ Jeaniff Dorset, Rovi
Cast & Crew
- Clarence Brooks
- Lucius Brooks
- Leonard Christmas
- Wade Dumas
- Herb Jeffries