The Cool World (1963)

Apr 20, 1964 | Crime, Drama, General Film

Director: Shirley Clarke

Writer(s): Shirley Clarke, Carl Lee, Warren Miller (novel) (play), Robert Rossen (play)

Starring: Rony Clanton, Carl Lee, Yolanda Rodríguez, Clarence Williams III, Gary Bolling, Bostic Felton, Gloria Foster, John Marriott, Georgia Burke, Marilyn Cox, Jerome Raphael, Mel Stewart, Joe Dennis, Ronald Perry, Bruce Edwards, Lloyd Edwards, Teddy McCain, Joe Oliver, Claude Cave, Maurice Sneed, Will Ford, Ken Sutherland, J.C. Lee, Bert Donaldson, Billy Taylor, Riley Mac, Alfred Collymore, George Goodman, Richard Ward, Jay Brooks, Val Bisoglio, Vic Ramano, Ted Butler, Pheta Canegata, William Canegata, Sandra McPherson, Wilbur Green, Nettie Avery, Esther Bodie, Irma Williams, Evadney Canegata, Dean Cohen, Peter De Anda, Antonio Fargas, Dizzy Gillespie, Alan Mercer, Milton Williams

Synopsis: Filmmaker Shirley Clarke (“The Connection”) directs this powerful, stark semi-documentary look at the horrors of Harlem ghetto slum life filled with drugs, violence, human misery, and a sense of despair due to the racial prejudices of American society. There is no patronizing of the black race in this cinematic cry for justice. A fifteen-year-old boy called Duke is ambitious to buy a “piece” (a gun) from an adult racketeer named Priest, to become president of the gang to which he belongs, and to return them to active “bopping” (gang fighting) which has declined in Harlem. It is a clearly patent allegory of an attempt by Duke to attain manhood and identity in the only way accessible to him – the antisocial one. READ REVIEW

Note: I need to see this film to better identify people. I found out that Pheta Canegata is Evadney Canegata (the sister-in-law of Canada Lee) but I still didn’t find a picture for her.

Release Date: April 20, 1964 (USA) | Length: 105 min | Genre: Crime, Drama | Certificate: NR