Film / Harlem Nights

Harlem Nights is a 1989 crime comedy/drama film written by, directed by, and starring Eddie Murphy along with Richard Pryor, Redd Foxx, Arsenio Hall and Jasmine Guy. The Film is Set in 1938, Harlem, New York, and is about a Father-Son Duo running a Nightclub while contending with gangsters and corrupt police officials.

The film marks the first (and only) time that Murphy has directed a feature film, the film won a Razzie for Worst Screenplay afterwards.

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This film contains examples of:

  • Agony of the Feet: Vera's pinky toe is shot off by Quick.
  • Batman Gambit: Sugar Ray's plot to take down Bugsy Calhoune.
  • Big Bad: Bugsy Calhoune.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: 133, to be exact.
  • Crapsack World: The setting is The Great Depression, so life is not going to be fun.
  • Dirty Cop: Phil Cantone.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Other the Paramount Pictures logonote  at the start and end, the entire movie takes place at night.
  • Femme Fatale: Dominique La Rue.
  • Fingore: At one point, Bugsy Calhoune has an associate who's failed him place his hand on the edge of a grand piano, and knocks away the lid's support.
  • Gag Echo: Sugar Ray asks Vera if she's got a girl who can work on Richie Vento. Vera says, "I've got a girl who's pussy is so good, if you threw it up in the air it would turn into sunshine." Later, when Vento asks the girl in question her name, she says, "Sunshine."
  • Little Useless Gun: While the Crying Man and one of his associates are firing Tommy guns at Quick, another is firing a small-caliber handgun that makes a weak firecracker-like noise. The Crying Man smacks his associate, saying "Stop shootin' that little shit!"
  • A Minor Kidroduction: Quick is first seen as a child.
  • Sealed Room in the Middle of Nowhere: Sugar Ray and Quick lock Cantone in the vault of an abandoned bank; they tell him they'll call the cops and report Cantone's location in a few days, and joke about how he might not run out of air if he takes shallow breaths.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Quick shoots of Vera's pinky toe and kills Dominique.