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Pharaoh Haqq Presents: Dirty Gertie From Harlem U.S.A.

Spencer Williams

Set on the fictional Caribbean island of Rinidad, this haunting yet comedic film follows the trials and errors of Gertie LaRue, a nightclub performer who travels to the island to headline the local cabaret. Glamorous and seemingly destined for fame, LaRue soon finds herself in a world of trouble and unwanted attention

“It’s not perhaps the most polished film (as one of the so-called “race films” which were made by and for a black audience, largely outside the mainstream of film production, it doesn’t exactly most an immense budget). However, for all that it shows plenty of flair, not least in the sheer exuberance and glamour of star Francine Everett, who’s an entertainer from Harlem come to perform on the island nation of Rinidad. Sure, things move towards an ending in which the sins of the flesh are punished, but it’s about the most perfunctory thing in the film. Instead, much of the running time is about Gertie’s liberated ways, and how she cuts a swathe through society.” Ewan, Letterboxd


  • 8/22 | 8:30PM