Miracle in Harlem

16mm motion picture film of Miracle in Harlem

Directed by
Kemp, Jack
Written by
Valentini, Vincent Andrew, American, 1895 - 1948
Medium
16mm Film (a): acetate film;
16mm Film (b): acetate film
Dimensions
Duration: 69 Minutes
Length (Film Reel 1): 1350 Feet
Length (Film Reel 2): 1200 Feet
Type
motion pictures (information artifacts)
Place depicted
Harlem, New York City, New York County, New York, United States, North and Central America
Date
1948
Caption
When a real estate tycoon is found dead, his latest real estate casualty is suspected of the crime.
Description
2015.167.15.1ab: 16mm black and white films.
A sweet elderly woman who runs a candy manufacturing business out of her home, with the help of her niece and a young divinity student, is swindled out of her business by a shady businessman.
Aunt Hattie, a deeply religious, elderly black woman who operates a candy factory from her kitchen in Harlem, eagerly awaits the arrival of Bert Hallam, her adopted son, who is returning from the Army to study for the ministry. Bert is in love with Julie Weston, Hattie's niece, who will soon be taking over control of the candy factory. At the same time, Lt. Renard of the police homicide bureau begins a search for Phillip Manley, a confidence artist who is wanted for murder and is known to have been involved in a Chicago check swindling operation with Jim Marshall, the ne'er-do-well son of candy manufacturer Albert Marshall. During a police interview, Albert informs detectives that he sent his son to Chicago to study chemistry, and that his son was not interested in the candy business. Back at Hattie's home, the old woman tells Bert and Julie that she has had a premonition of her impending death and begins rehearsing for her funeral. When Jim makes an unexpected visit to his father's office, Albert cuts off his money supply and tells him that his reckless living is the result of his mother's death. To spite his father, Jim vows to work for Albert's rival candy company and make them a better business competitor by modernizing their equipment. Albert likes the idea, though, and instead of opposing his son, decides to use his idea to swindle Hattie out of her business. Acting anonymously through an employee named Wilkinson, Albert convinces Hattie to sign her company over to him by pledging to upgrade and expand her factory. Julie and Hattie fall for Albert's trick, but when Jim accuses his father of stealing his idea, Albert puts him in charge of Hattie's factory. Jim and Julie soon fall in love, and one day, Bert catches Jim making a pass at her. A short time later, however, Jim rejects Julie's romantic overtures and tells her that Albert is actually the owner of Hattie's factory. Bert punches Jim when he catches him trying to coerce Julie into yielding to his affections. When Albert double-crosses Wilkinson, Wilkinson sends him a box of poisoned chocolates. Albert eats the chocolate and dies, after which Julie is arrested on suspicion of murder. Julie proclaims her innocence and tells police that Alice, Albert's secretary, and Jim had better motives to kill Albert. Julie is released by the police, but when she returns home, Jim tries to kill her. During the struggle, a mysterious man enters the darkened room and kills Jim. Julie is arrested again and placed in a police line-up. A break in the case finally comes when Bert recalls Jim's association with Manley. A trap is then set for Manley, and he is arrested following a full confession of his crimes, which includes the killing of Jim. After Alice confesses that she murdered Albert, she attempts suicide but is stopped and later is sent to die in the electric chair. With the racketeering operation exposed, Julie and Bert resume their romance, and Hattie decides to give up her obsession with her impending death.
Sources:
AFI Catalog of Feature Films. Accessed on August 11, 2016 (http://www.afi.com/members/catalog/DetailView.aspx?s=&Movie=25642)
WorldCat. Accessed on August 11, 2016 (https://www.worldcat.org/title/miracle-in-harlem/oclc/15160493&referer=brief_results)
Consists of: 16mm Flim (a).
Topic
African American
Business
Families
Race films
Urban life
Violence
Credit Line
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Randall and Sam Nieman
Object number
2015.167.15.1ab
Restrictions & Rights
Unknown - Restrictions Possible
See more items in
National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection
Collection title
Nieman Film Collection
Classification
Media Arts-Film and Video
Data Source
National Museum of African American History and Culture

NOTE: Cataloging is an ongoing process and we may update this record as we conduct additional research and review. If you have more information about this object, please contact us at NMAAHCDigiTeam@si.edu.