The Cool World
Want to See
Not Interested
Rate it ½ star
Rate it 1 star
Rate it 1½ stars
Rate it 2 stars
Rate it 2½ stars
Rate it 3 stars
Rate it 3½ stars
Rate it 4 stars
Rate it 4½ stars
Rate it 5 stars
The Cool World
No relation to the later Ralph Bakshi semi-animated feature of the same name, Cool World is set in the meanest sections of Harlem. Hampton Clayton plays Duke, a powerful street gang member who claims that he is motivated by the Black Muslim movement. His subsequent criminal activities are thus not merely for gain, but as a means to declare black supremacy over the white establishment. One of director Shirley Clarke's few mainstream projects, Cool World was the first commercial film venture to be shot on location in Harlem. The largely unknown cast features future luminaries (and husband… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"As we've come to expect of Miss Clarke's pictures, it is boldly and studiously styled as a literal documentation of a particular social scene, and its attack is more that of the reporter than of the interested teller of a tale."
‑ Bosley Crowther, New York Times
"Sometimes the characters get a bit lost in the general schematics of the pic, which at times waters down its underlying irony. But, overall, Clarke has a firm hold on her characters and story."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"Often crudely photographed, but with a brilliantly multi-layered sound-track which integrates some fine jazz."
‑ , Time Out
"This little alleycat film captures the day-to-day desperation of the ghetto world, mainlining its images with transfusions of eclectic jazz background."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"It certainly had a visceral impact when it first appeared, helped enormously by Baird Bryant's cinematography and Dizzy Gillespie's score."
‑ Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"A truly unmissable, unforgettable experience."
‑ Keith H. Brown, Eye for Film
More reviews for The Cool World on Rotten Tomatoes