Ex-football player Fred Williamson portrays Tommy Gibbs, a ruthlessly ambitious young man who climbs to the top of the New York crime syndicate by first wooing and then exterminating Mafia leaders.
Building up the Harlem turf given to him by a white gang leader, Gibbs quickly becomes well-heeled, hires a syndicate lawyer, buys the lawyer’s condominium apartment completely furnished (Gibbs’ mother is the maid there and he gives her the place) and steals the Mafia’s incriminating ledgers detailing years of bribes to city officials, thus ensuring the police won’t touch his burgeoning operation.
His killings and other pastimes offend his playmate Helen (Gloria Hendry), who takes up with his best friend, Joe (Phillip Roye).
Art Lund appears as the corrupt racist cop, McKinney, who ends up having to shine Gibbs’ shoes while singing Mammy in blackface. The amazing ending was shot on the streets of New York, with Gibbs being gunned down in front of Tiffany’s.
A rushed sequel, Hell Up in Harlem, hit screens just 11 months after Black Caesar was released.
Julius W Harris
Don Pedro Colley
William Wellman Jr
Tommy as a Boy
Joe as a Boy