Two Gun Man from Harlem


1h 5m 1938
Two Gun Man from Harlem

Brief Synopsis

When a cowboy is framed for murder, he travels to Harlem and masquerades as a gangster.

Film Details

Genre
Drama
Musical
Western
Release Date
May 1, 1938
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Merit Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Sack Amusement Enterprises, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 5m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1

Synopsis

After spending a pleasant evening with pretty Sally Thompson and her talkative young brother Jimmy, Bob Blake returns to John Steel's Wyoming ranch, where he works as a cowboy. At the ranch, Bob discovers that Steel has been murdered by a man with whom his wife Ruth was having an affair, and whom she refuses to name. As Bob inspects the body, Ruth substitutes her lover's gun with Bob's, and Bob subsequently is accused of the crime by the sheriff. During the sheriff's interrogation, Bob's friend Bill, the ranch cook, turns off the lights, and the sheriff, believing that Bob has escaped, rides off with his men. Once alone with Bob, Ruth confesses to framing him and insists that he leave the area to avoid arrest. Bob hitchhikes across the country and eventually arrives in Harlem, where he meets a man known as The Deacon, a killer who was once a preacher, and gets an idea to assume a new identity and return to Wyoming disguised as a church elder. Back in Wyoming, Bob, now known as The Deacon, allies himself with Butch Carter, a miner who has been paid by the well-to-do John Barker, Steel's killer, to kidnap and murder Ruth. After Bob and Carter rob Barker on the road, Carter rides to Sally's ranch, where he forces himself on the young woman. Bob, who has been told by Jimmy that Sally is being pressured into marrying Barker to avoid foreclosure on her father's ranch, saves Sally from Carter's advances. With Carter's money, Bob pays Sally two thousand dollars, which she happily gives to Barker to pay off her father's loan. Soon after, Bob confers with an angry, confused Ruth, who has been locked in a shed, and again robs and fights with Barker. While Jimmy rushes to find the sheriff, Barker and Carter descend on the old mine where Bob has taken Sally for protection. Just as the sheriff arrives, Bob overwhelms Barker and takes the lawman to Ruth, who finally exposes Barker as her husband's killer. After revealing his true identity, Bob leaves with a smitten Sally.

Film Details

Genre
Drama
Musical
Western
Release Date
May 1, 1938
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Merit Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Sack Amusement Enterprises, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 5m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1

Articles

Two Gun Man From Harlem


Friday, July 29 10:30 pm ET

Herbert Jeffries, also known as Herb Jeffries and Herb Jeffrey, plays dual roles - as Bob Blake and the Deacon - in Richard C. Kahn's Two Gun Man From Harlem (1938). Jeffries's character is wrongfully accused of murder and goes to Harlem, where he assumes the identity of a preacher-turned-gangster who looks like him. He infiltrates the gang in order to catch the men who framed him for the murder. The second in a series of Herb Jeffries Westerns, Two Gun Man From Harlem helped enforce the idea that a black man could ride the range and save the day as easily as a white cowboy.

The idea for the character came to Jeffries in the thirties, while touring as a singer around the southern states with Earl Hines's band. He came upon a crying black child and when the boy explained that he was forbidden to join a pretend cowboy game because there were no black cowboys, Jeffries realized that he had to make a Western for his race. Though Hollywood darkened his skin and covered his wavy hair with a huge cowboy hat, Jeffries became a popular attraction on the black movie circuit as Bob Blake, the singing cowboy. In all, he made four Westerns including Two Gun Man From Harlem. The others were Harlem on the Prairie (1937), The Bronze Buckaroo (1939), and Harlem Rides the Range (1939).

"A good entertainer, a man with a vision and the fortitude to make it a reality, is an inspiration to all children, of any color, and he's a man we all can look up to," Herb Jeffries once remarked. He has certainly proven himself to be that man and Jeffries is still writing and recording songs. In 1996 he received the Golden Boot Award from the Motion Picture and Television Fund Foundation for his contribution to the western film genre.

Director: Richard C. Kahn
Producer: Richard C. Kahn, Alfred N. Sack
Screenplay: Richard C. Kahn
Cinematography: Harvey Gould, Marcel Le Picard
Music: Herb Jeffries
Art Direction: Vin Taylor
Cast: Herb Jeffries (Bob Blake/The Deacon), Marguerite Whitten (Sally Thompson), Clarence Brooks (John Barker), Mantan Moreland (Bill Blake), Matthew "Stymie" Beard (Jimmy Thompson), Spencer Williams (Butch Carter).
BW-65m.

by Kerryn Sherrod
Two Gun Man From Harlem

Two Gun Man From Harlem

Friday, July 29 10:30 pm ET Herbert Jeffries, also known as Herb Jeffries and Herb Jeffrey, plays dual roles - as Bob Blake and the Deacon - in Richard C. Kahn's Two Gun Man From Harlem (1938). Jeffries's character is wrongfully accused of murder and goes to Harlem, where he assumes the identity of a preacher-turned-gangster who looks like him. He infiltrates the gang in order to catch the men who framed him for the murder. The second in a series of Herb Jeffries Westerns, Two Gun Man From Harlem helped enforce the idea that a black man could ride the range and save the day as easily as a white cowboy. The idea for the character came to Jeffries in the thirties, while touring as a singer around the southern states with Earl Hines's band. He came upon a crying black child and when the boy explained that he was forbidden to join a pretend cowboy game because there were no black cowboys, Jeffries realized that he had to make a Western for his race. Though Hollywood darkened his skin and covered his wavy hair with a huge cowboy hat, Jeffries became a popular attraction on the black movie circuit as Bob Blake, the singing cowboy. In all, he made four Westerns including Two Gun Man From Harlem. The others were Harlem on the Prairie (1937), The Bronze Buckaroo (1939), and Harlem Rides the Range (1939). "A good entertainer, a man with a vision and the fortitude to make it a reality, is an inspiration to all children, of any color, and he's a man we all can look up to," Herb Jeffries once remarked. He has certainly proven himself to be that man and Jeffries is still writing and recording songs. In 1996 he received the Golden Boot Award from the Motion Picture and Television Fund Foundation for his contribution to the western film genre. Director: Richard C. Kahn Producer: Richard C. Kahn, Alfred N. Sack Screenplay: Richard C. Kahn Cinematography: Harvey Gould, Marcel Le Picard Music: Herb Jeffries Art Direction: Vin Taylor Cast: Herb Jeffries (Bob Blake/The Deacon), Marguerite Whitten (Sally Thompson), Clarence Brooks (John Barker), Mantan Moreland (Bill Blake), Matthew "Stymie" Beard (Jimmy Thompson), Spencer Williams (Butch Carter). BW-65m. by Kerryn Sherrod

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Onscreen credits indicate the film was copyrighted in 1938; however no registration has been located in the copyright records. Although a song is performed in the picture, its title and composer have not been determined. Actor Herbert Jeffrey used the name Herb Jeffries when appearing as a singer.