is a 1989 comedy-drama crime film
starring Eddie Murphy
and Richard Pryor
. The film also featured Michael Lerner
, Danny Aiello
, Redd Foxx
, Della Reese
and Murphy's brother Charlie Murphy
. Murphy and Pryor star as a father-and-son team running a nightclub in late-1930s Harlem, New York
while contending with gangsters and corrupt police officials.
Murphy wrote, and directed the film (Murphy was nominated for Worst Director at the 10th Golden Raspberry Awards
, his only directorial effort; the film won Worst Screenplay) and served as an executive producer. He had always wanted to direct and star in a period piece
, as well as work with Pryor, whom he considered his greatest influence in stand-up comedy
. Harlem Nights
was a critical failure, but a financial success, grossing 3½ times the amount it cost to make it (worldwide) and is well known for starring three generations of African American comedians (Foxx, Pryor, and Murphy).
In Harlem, New York
, 1918, Sugar Ray (Richard Pryor
) has a dice game going in the back of his candy store. After nearly being killed by an angry man who lost money, Ray is saved when an 8-year-old errand boy shoots the man in the head. The orphan, who goes by the name "Quick," becomes the "good luck charm" for Ray, who raises him.
Twenty years later (1938), Ray and a grown-up Quick (Eddie Murphy
) now run a highly successful nightclub called "Club Sugar Ray", a speakeasy
with a brothel
in back run by... Read More