Harlem Double Feature: Gang War (1940) / Broken Strings (1940)

A headstrong violinist's life is ruined after a serious accident renders him partially paralyzed / Two rival gangsters fight a deadly battle on the streets of Harlem.
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Format:  DVD-R
item number:  ALP 5089D
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DVD Features:

  • Rated: Not Rated
  • Run Time: 2 hours, 3 minutes
  • Video: Black & White
  • Released: June 27, 2006
  • Originally Released: 1940
  • Label: Alpha Video
  • Encoding: Region 0 (Worldwide)
  • Aspect Ratio: Full Frame - 1.33
  • Audio:
    • (unspecified) - English

Performers, Cast and Crew:

Starring &
Directed by &

Entertainment Reviews:

Description by OLDIES.com:

Gang War (1940, B&W): Bullets fly and blood flows in the streets of Harlem as three rival gangster bosses vie for control of the lucrative jukebox racket. Aptly named "Killer" Meade (Ralph Cooper) eventually rises to the top of this seamy heap by ruthlessly exterminating the competition, but the one person closest to him puts the police on his trail. The all-powerful crime lord is caught in a running gun-battle with the cops across the rooftops of the city.

A rugged and charming actor, multi-talented Ralph Cooper was variously billed as the "Bronze Bogart" and the "Dark Gable." A song-and-dance man, he learned the movie trade by paying close attention on the set while choreographing the Shirley Temple film, Poor Little Rich Girl. He went on to make a series of hits on the "Black" cinema circuit. Cooper was also one of the founders and early emcees at Harlem's famed talent showcase, the Apollo Theater. Gang War was directed by crime film specialist, Leo C. Popkin, who produced the noir classic D.O.A. in 1951. Starring Ralph Cooper, Gladys Snyder, Maceo Sheffield. Directed by Leo C. Popkin.

Broken Strings (1940, B&W): The gifted hands of a world-renowned musician are crippled in a car crash. Reduced to giving lessons to children on the instrument he once mastered, violinist Arthur Williams (Clarence Muse) has become an embittered malcontent. Frustrated by the apparent lack of discipline in his students (one of them, his own son), and despairing of the decadent rise of primitive swing music, he is sorely in need of some kind of miracle-whether medical or musical.

Revered black actor Clarence Muse brings depth and gravity to this inspiring tale of the curative powers of love and music. Muse had a distinguished 50-year career in both "black" and "white" cinema, dating back to 1929, appearing in such classics as Huckleberry Finn (1931), White Zombie (1936), Count of Monte Cristo (1934), Show Boat (1936), Shadow of a Doubt (1943), Heaven Can Wait (1943), Double Indemnity (1944), Lost Weekend (1945), Porgy and Bess (1959), Car Wash (1976) and The Black Stallion (1979). Broken Strings also features an adolescent appearance by Our Gang graduate, Matthew "Stymie" Beard. Starring Clarence Muse, Matthew "Stymie" Beard, Darby Jones. Directed by Bernard B. Ray.


This product is made-on-demand by the manufacturer using DVD-R recordable media. Almost all DVD players can play DVD-Rs (except for some older models made before 2000) - please consult your owner's manual for formats compatible with your player. These DVD-Rs may not play on all computers or DVD player/recorders. To address this, the manufacturer recommends viewing this product on a DVD player that does not have recording capability.
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Product Info

  • Sales Rank: 23,791
  • UPC: 089218508997
  • Shipping Weight: 0.27/lbs (approx)
  • International Shipping: 1 item

Film Collectors & Archivists: Alpha Video is actively looking for rare and unusual pre-1943 motion pictures, in good condition, from Monogram, PRC, Tiffany, Chesterfield, and other independent studios for release on DVD. We are also interested in TV shows from the early 1950s. Share your passion for films with a large audience. Let us know what you have.
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