This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at The Cool World (film). The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with MOVIEPEDIA, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

For the 1992 film, see Cool World

The Cool World (1964) is a feature film about African-American life in the Royal Pythons, a youth gang in Harlem.[1]


 [hide*1 Cast and Crew

Cast and Crew[edit]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]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, featuringRaymond St. JacquesJames Earl JonesCalvin LockhartHilda Simms, and others.[2] The film helped launch Antonio FargasClarence Williams IIICarl Lee, and Gloria Foster, who married Williams three years later.

In popular culture[edit]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".

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