Miracle in Harlem (1948)

Genres - Crime, Drama  |   Run Time - 69 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Its many production flaws aside, Miracle in Harlem is a pretty good example of the "all-black" films prevalent in the segregated 1940s. The story concerns a Harlem candy store that is taken over by a gang of crooks. Julie Weston (Sheila Guyse), stepdaughter of the store's elderly owner (Hilda Ofley), resists not only the takeover, but the amorous advances of the head crook's delinquent son (Lawrence Criner). When the ringleader Kenneth Freeman turns up dead, Julie finds herself the main suspect, but a series of unbelievable plot contrivances come to her rescue. Miracle in Harlem is worth seeing for the presence in the cast of Jack Carter, who 10 years earlier had starred in Orson Welles' all-black MacBeth, and Stepin Fetchit, who, after being banned from mainstream Hollywood productions for his stereotypical performances, goes through his time-tested "lazy" routines once more. Musical highlights include a number by the Juanita Hall Choir, led by the woman who'd later gain Broadway fame as Bloody Mary in South Pacific.

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Keywords

killing, false-accusation, gangster, investigation, murder, candy, casting, miracle, shop, syndicate