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Rage in Harlem
Rage in Harlem
Actors: Forest Whitaker, Gregory Hines, Robin Givens, Zakes Mokae, Danny Glover
Director: Bill Duke
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
R     2003     1hr 55min

Sultry Robin Givens (HEAD OF STATE) heats up the screen with Forest Whitaker (PHONE BOOTH), Gregory Hines (ONCE IN THE LIFE), and Danny Glover (THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS) in this cool, sexy thriller about a gangster's girlfrien...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Forest Whitaker, Gregory Hines, Robin Givens, Zakes Mokae, Danny Glover
Director: Bill Duke
Creators: Forest Whitaker, John Toles-Bey, Kerry Rock, Ron Stacker Thompson, Stephen Woolley, Bobby Crawford, Chester Himes
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Crime, Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Miramax
Format: DVD - Color - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 09/02/2003
Original Release Date: 05/03/1991
Theatrical Release Date: 05/03/1991
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 1hr 55min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Fun Entertainment, not for Kids
Mike | P.G. County, Md | 06/14/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is a nice period film in the "Cotton comes to Harlem" style. It's a kind of 50's gangster action comedy, with a southern twist. The film has high quality production values, and Danny Glover, Robin Givens, Forrest Whitaker, and Gregory Hines all turn in great performances. As an added bonus,when you see Robin Givens in that Red Dress (They had to sew it on her for the movie), you'll finally understand Mike Tysons' infatuation with her. So for some good entertainment rent this film. P.S. Watch out for the line "Pop goes the Weasel."
Robin Givins is a star!
Synthia | USA | 08/13/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I was in college when this came out and Robin's character taught me everything I needed about being sultry.

She is a bad ass bitch in the movie, in the vein of a Pam Grier character. The setting is Harlem, where only the feisty, the sly, and those with panache survive. Robin's portrayal of Immabel as slow-slurring, smooth as butter, carefree but calculating seductress is deftly-done.

She carries the movie well and it's hard to take your eyes off her. This is crucial, because if Immabel wasn't captivating the movie would fall flat. All the drama hinges on the girl and the gold.

There is some annoying, raunchy comedy from some satellite undertakers in the movie. But that's to entertain the droll.

Mostly, this movie is a bodacious gangster caper made lovable by the Harlem bravado and attitude turned in by actors Givens, Badja Djola, Danny Glover, Gregory Hines, et al.

Badja, as Robin's boyfriend, plays a tough as nails, no-mercy crime boss and is purely riveting in his hard-core masculine portrayal. He will make you quake.

Glover gives his best performance ever because we rarely get to see him play a bad ass and he was goood at it! The tension between him and Badja .. and Givens was palpable.

Whitaker was OK too.

The directing by Bill Duke is outstanding. The style and atmosphere he creates in the movie is perfect. He is responsible for making sure Robin comes off as the siren she is because the camera angles shoot her as a goddess.

Lastly, I'm a huge Robin Givens fan. She was on her way to becoming a topshelf star when Rage in Harlem came out and then was trailed by Boomerang a year later. (She gives another kick ass performance in that).

Why Halle blew up and Robin didn't is perplexing. In everything I've seen Robin in, including Brewster's Place, she's been outstanding. What a beautiful, intelligent, confident chocolate specimen! She was blackballed for no good reason and we definitely need to see her more.
Freshen up your Mothergoose, or you'll fall with Humpddy
knobnoter | Augusta, GA. | 08/09/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I was already familar with the movie, and loved it so much had hunted for 15 years for it. As soon as I saw it on Amazon I said "Pop goes the Weezel. The charactors were as refreshing as I remembered. Who doesn't want to get away free with a trunk full of gold. Robin Givens, as Amabelle was excellent, surely they had to paint her in those skin-tight outfits. My granddaughter who wants to be a designer was in heaven with each new outfit she worn. Her character was more fitting as Jackson's girl(Forrest Whitaker)than as the girlfriend of the gangster, the nursey rhyme spitting thug. I think he had some Mommy issues. Maybe he was molesterd as a child when his mama left him in daycare. Jackson is the nerd in everybody's family, with those large nerdy glasses. He is the lovable uncle figure that you don't mind leaving your kids with. His brother Sherman with that sexy side part in his hair(Gregory Hines) is another story, he played his part so well, I couldn't leave my child with him, he would sale her a ticket to heaven within 5-minutes. Although a lovable character, he comes across as wanting to be rich but not wanting to work for it. He's the family member who is always reaching for that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, instead of putting in a honest days work. He did have one good quality-he valued his friends. From the fumbling keystone cops, to the idiot funeral director, and his horney disrespetful workers, this movie with Danny Glover surely was a roller coaster ride; they not only out ran the law, out smarted the mob, out shot the competition, but they proved to Hollywood that Black actors can ACT all the way to the bank."
Outrageously funny
Nuisance | Miami | 12/15/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"A Rage In Harlem is probably one of the most slept-on comedy/action features of all time. It had an all-star cast and didnt waste them and under the direction of Bill Duke, it succeeded in what it needed to be.

The story: Imabelle is a pretty female crook that leaves for Harlem after taking the money with her. She meets up with a naive milksop named Jackson(Forest Whitaker)and uses his naivete' to her advantage. She later ends up falling for him but things get worse when her gang shows up to his apartment.

A Rage In Harlem is interesting when its funny and is interesting when its not being funny. Its funny without trying too hard and it captures the 1930s era of Harlem. Plus it has nightclubs where people actually perform(hell, Harlem Nights didnt even have that). Forest Whitaker is good as the naive Jackson and Gregory Hines(RIP) is also good as his cousin Goldy. Robin Givens is great as the gorgeous but deceptive Imabelle. They have a little chemistry with each other even though I could do without the scene where Jackson licks her buns(YUCK!). Too raunchy for my taste. At any rate, A Rage In Harlem is one hell of ride from start to finish and is definitely worth being in your collection. Two thumbs up.

Also recommended movies by director Bill Duke: Hoodlum, Sister Act 2 and Deep Cover."