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Blaxploitation » Grindhouse » »
Hell Up in Harlem


1970       Fred Williamson

Teaser Storyline for Hell Up in Harlem

Bleeding from wounds received in his battle with mob killers, Tommy Gibbs (FRED WILLIAMSON) manages to retrieve ledgers which implicate city officials in various drug and graft operations. He enlists the aid of his father (JULIUS W. HARRIS) in using the books to get the district attorney to provide protection while he recuperates in the hospital. Mr. DiAngelo, the district attorney (GERALD GORDON) attempts to force the old man into revealing the location of the ledgers but, with the help of Zach (TONY KING), Tommy's henchman, the D.A.'s thugs are routed and the corrupt official realizes he must play ball with Gibbs.

Still burning for revenge against Helen (GLORIA HENDRY), his former girlfriend who had betrayed him in his scrape with the mob, Tommy has his father force the woman to give up her two children to him.

Now fully recovered, Tommy opens his campaign to regain power as overlord of the Harlem underworld. His first assault is an ambush against a gang of

karate-trained thugs on a New York street. He next invades the plush Long Island estate which serves as the mob's playground and headquarters, rushing the heavily guarded bastion from the waters of Long Island Sound with an army of rubber-suited frog men. Tommy tells the subdued mob leaders he expects a piece of their action in the black ghettos of all the key cities across the country.

Tommy appoints his father as his assistant in the new organization, supported by Zach who serves as bodyguard and chief hit man. The arrangement has its drawback as Zach's ambitions create an ever increasing resentment against the old man.

Rufus (D'URVILLE MARTIN), Tommy's oldest friend who had turned away from the rackets to devote attention to his church reluctantly agrees to join Tommy's forces only after the mob chief's assurances that every effort would be made to fight drug pushers in the ghettos. Rufus introduces Tommy to Sister Jennifer (MARGARET AVERY), one of his congregation and the two find themselves attracted to each other.

DiAngelo begins a campaign to undermine Tommy's new power. Aware of Zach's resentment and ambitions, the district attorney wins his cooperation and Zach's first move is to kill Helen in an alley off Broadway. Calling Tommy to his office, DiAngelo convinces him that his father had killed the girl despite Tommy's order that she be left unharmed.

The old man denies taking part in the killing but Tommy is unconvinced and declares that he has had enough of the New York operation. Taking Jennifer and the two boys with him, he leaves for L.A. Control of the New York group is abandoned to his father with a warning that he must administer it without help.

Zach quickly takes advantage of Tommy's absence to threaten the Gibbs' control of the organization. In a final confrontation with Tommy's father, a fight ensues and the old man dies of a heart attack from the effort. A band of hit men is sent to Los Angeles to get Tommy but he out-shoots them. Enraged, Tommy flies to New York to begin a one-man assault on Zach's gunmen. Picking off his targets singly and in groups, Tommy soon manages to devastate his enemy's forces.

In desperation, DiAngelo and Zach direct their counter-attack at Jennifer and the two children intending to hold them hostage and force Tommy to stop his raids. Tommy intercepts Zach at the airport, killing him in a struggle and then grabs a flight to Los Angeles on the trail of DiAngelo, arriving to learn that the eldest boy had already been kidnapped but Jennifer and the youngest were in hiding.

A message from DiAngelo advises Tommy to appear unarmed at a meeting place if he wants the boy alive. Tommy complies but manages to kill DiAngelo in an ensuing struggle. The battle ended, Tommy embraces the lad and promises to be a father to the boy.





Item Details:
pressbook




Hell Up in Harlem

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A LARCO PRODUCTION
A LARRY COHEN FILM
CAST

Tommy Gibbs ..................... FRED WILLIAMSON
Mr. Gibbs, Senior ................. JULIUS W. HARRIS
Helen Bradley .................... GLORIA HENDRY
Sister Jennifer .................... MARGARET AVERY
Reverend Rufus .................... D'URVILLE MARTIN
Zacharia .......................... TONY KING
Mr. DiAngelo ...................... GERALD GORDON
Irish .......................... JAMES DIXON
Hap .......................... CHARLES MacGUIRE
Frankfurter ..................... BOBBY RAMSEN
The Maids ................... ESTHER SUTHERLAND, ANNIE HORTEN



Produced, Directed and Written by .......................... LARRY COHEN
Executive Producer .......................... PETER SABISTON
Associate Producer .......................... JIM DIXON
Co-Producer .......................... JANELLE COHEN
Photographed by .......................... FENTON HAMILTON
Film Editing by .......................... PETER HONESS, FRANCO GUERRI
Music by .......................... FREDDIE PERREN and FONCE MIZELL
Costumes by .......................... RONNIE'S CASUALS
Production Designer .......................... LARRY LURIN
Sound by .......................... A. VANDERKAR
Songs Performed by .......................... EDWIN STARR
New York Production Associate .......................... ALAN W. BAILEY

Original sound track album available on MOTOWN RECORDS
AN AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL RELEASE
Running time: 96 mm.
Rating: R







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