Murder on Lenox Avenue (film #23 on Feature Films). [Category: Sleaze & Outsider]

From its title, you would think that this all-black cast movie was a murder mystery, but it isn’t. It’s really more of a soap opera, with more subplots than you can shake a stick at, including several interlocking romantic triangles, and an unwed mother who kills herself, though the main story seems to be about an upstanding fellow who tries to eliminate graft from the Harlem Better Business Society. Although there are several rather stereotyped comic relief characters, and one of the bad guys is a really poorly-done hunchback, for the most part this has a realistic feel. And even though the plot is hard to figure out at times, it holds your interest for the most part. An interesting slice of African-American culture from the 40s.

Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: **. Weirdness: ****. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ***.

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