Moon Over Harlem

2354. MOON OVER HARLEM (1939-usa). WITH Bud Harris, Cora Green, Sidney BECHET and HIS CLARINET. Directed by EDGAR G. ULMER. A fast-paced all-black-cast melodrama-with-music which opens with the marriage Of an honest widow named Minnie and a womanizÂing gambler and hoodlum called “Dollar Bill.” Minnie is blindly in love with Bill, whom she thinks is in the “grocery business.” However, no sooner has Bill said “I do” than he is seen throwing less-than-fatherly kisses at Minnie’s very grown-up daughter Sue. It is for this reason that Sue is forever trashing her new step-dad, resulting in friction between mother and daughter. As the scenario unfolds, and Bill also tussles with Sue’s civic-minded boyfriend Bob. He dreams Of the day when Harlem will be free Of crime and corruption, and is determined to lead a campaign to rid it Of rackÂeteers like Dollar Bill. Interspersed Into the scenario are plenty Of musical numbers, from negro spirÂituals to nightclub acts featuring scantily-clad chorus girls and the clarinet playing Of legendary jazzman Sidney Bechet. The film is loaded with priceless dialogue and local color. After watching it, you will have a vivid sense Of what it was like to live in Harlem way back when the Cotton Club was all the rage. 69 minutes. ÒAll BlackÓ Musical