A Great Day in Harlem
A Great Day in Harlem (1995)

This Oscar nominated documentary chronicles a single event amongst jazz musicians: the day in 1958 when many of the greatest gathered together for a photo shoot for Esquire magazine. A fair portion of the film is devoted to that which lead… More

Directed By:
Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: June 1, 1995
DVD Release Date: January 3, 2006
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Critic Score: 89% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader

If you wanted to introduce someone to what jazz is all about, this would be an ideal place to start.

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Hollywood Reporter


Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid

The film is alive and keeps moving briskly.

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Godfrey Cheshire

For non-buffs, pic fails the acid test of exciting interest where there was little or none before; it could easily have covered the same ground in half its length.

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Stephen Holden
New York Times

Anyone with the misconception that the spirit of a particular music is not a direct reflection of the souls of the musicians who created it must see A Great Day in Harlem, Jean Bach's small and very moving documentary about the jazz life.

TV Guide

Even casual fans should appreciate the film's genuine admiration for these great artists, whose lives were interwoven with their creativity and who changed the face of 20th-century music.

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Time Out

A wonderful, warm little movie.

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Jesse Hamlin
San Francisco Chronicle

It's a funny and moving film whose swinging rhythms and informal tone capture a feeling for the music, the people who make it and the affection and respect they feel for each other and the art form.

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Kam Williams

A fascinating examination of the artistry, camaraderie and idiosyncrasies among a generation enigmatic jazz giants.

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