Moon Over Harlem

According to Ulmer's widow, who rewrote the original script by Mathew Mathews, this mini-melodrama for the 'coloured' audience was made for $8,000 in four days, mostly in a disused cigar factory in New Jersey. It was Ulmer's only 16mm production, most likely the smallest of all the 'ethnic' pictures he made between his expulsion from Universal in 1934 and his arrival at PRC in 1942. Against the advice of friends, naive nightclub dresser Minnie (Green) marries protection racketeer Dollar Bill (Harris), estranging her daughter Sue (Wilcox). Minnie finally dies in crossfire and an angry rival rubs out Dollar. The message, personified by Sue's fiancé (Gough), is 'Clean up Harlem!' Given the production constraints, it's no surprise that most of it is hopelessly stagey. But there are flashes of Ulmer style in the nightclub scenes, and none other than Sidney Bechet blows clarinet at the wedding.

Release details

Duration: 68 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Edgar G Ulmer
Screenwriter: Sherle Castle, Mathew Mathews
Cast: Bud Harris
Cora Green
Alec Lovejoy
Earl Gough
Izinetta Wilcox
Sidney Bechet
Christopher Columbus and his Swing Crew
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