The Cool World (film)

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For other uses, see Cool World (disambiguation).
The Cool World
The Cool World.jpg
Theatrical poster
Directed by Shirley Clarke
Produced by Frederick Wiseman
Written by Warren Miller (novel)
Robert Rossen (play)
Shirley Clarke (screenplay)
Starring Hampton Clanton
Yolanda Rodríguez
Antonio Fargas
Carl Lee
Clarence Williams III
Music by Mal Waldron (composer)
The Dizzy Gillespie quintet (performer)
Production
company
Wiseman Film Productions
Distributed by [Cinema V]
Release dates
  • April 20, 1964 (1964-04-20)
Running time 125 min.
Country United States
Language English

The Cool World (1963) is a feature film about African-American life in the Royal Pythons, a youth gang in Harlem.[1]

Cast and Crew[edit]

The Cool World stars real Harlem youth, and some real gang members:

  • Hampton Clanton (Duke, a fifteen-year-old)
  • Carl Lee (Priest, a neighborhood gangster, is killed by the Mob)
  • Yolanda Rodríguez (LuAnne, a prostitute used by the Royal Pythons)
  • Clarence Williams III (Blood, the gang's president)
  • Gary Bolling (Littleman, killed by a rival gang, the Wolves)
  • Bostic Felton (Rod)
  • Joe Oliver (Angel, leader of the Wolves, is killed by the Royal Pythons)
  • Gloria Foster (Duke's Mom)
  • Ted Butler (Mom's lover)
  • Marilyn Cox (Priest's woman, a prostitute)
  • Antonio Fargas
  • The Dizzy Gillespie quintet

Original music by Mal Waldron and cinematography by Baird Bryant

Production background[edit]

This semi-documentary looking movie was produced by Frederick Wiseman, directed by Shirley Clarke, and adapted by her and Carl Lee from the 1959 novel The Cool World by Warren Miller.

A play, written by Miller and Robert Rossen based on the novel, was first shown in Philadelphia and then twice at Broadway's Eugene O'Neill Theatre on February 22 and 23, 1960, featuring Raymond St. Jacques, James Earl Jones, Calvin Lockhart, Hilda Simms, and others.[2] The film helped launch Antonio Fargas, Clarence Williams III, Carl Lee, and Gloria Foster, who married Williams three years later.

In popular culture[edit]

The soundtrack to the film was recorded by Dizzy Gillespie and his quintet, and was released as an album of the same name in 1964.

In 1994, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

References[edit]

  1. ^ New York Times
  2. ^ IBDB; Internet Broadway Database

External links[edit]