The top 10 Black Comedy Movies of the 90s our my own favorites. Yes there are some major comedy movies missing, but that is why I posted this. I would love to know what others think as we begin thinking about the type of shows we will produce in the near future. I really do believe that laughter is a form of medicine. Within our community, we have some of the best comedians due to the fact they can express our inner most thoughts for us. They allow us to release the tensions of living in oppressive situations and unhealthy environments. Read this article later about the benefits of laughter and stress. But first get your laugh on with these classics! These are in no order, just my favorites from that time period. Please comment and share!
Don’t Be A Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice In the Hood. 1996
Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood is a 1996 American comedy film directed by Paris Barclay, and produced by Keenen Ivory Wayans, and also written by Wayans brothers Shawn and Marlon Wayans, who also both starred in the lead roles. The film was released in the United States on January 12, 1996. Similar to I’m Gonna Git You Sucka, the film spoofs a number of black, coming-of-age, hood films such as Juice, Jungle Fever, South Central, Higher Learning (more on Wikipedia)
The Nutty Professor is a 1996 American slapstick science-fiction comedy film directed by Tom Shadyac, and a remake of the 1963 film, which starred Jerry Lewis. Grossly overweight yet good-hearted professor Sherman Klump (Eddie Murphy) takes a special chemical that turns him into the slim but obnoxious Buddy Love (more on Wikipedia)
During Prohibition, loudmouth Harlem grifter Ray (Eddie Murphy) and the no-nonsense Claude (Martin Lawrence) team up on a bootlegging mission to Mississippi that could bring them big bucks. But they run into trouble when a crooked lawman hits them with a phony murder charge. Ray and Claude are given life sentences and shipped off to jail, where they must think of a way to prove their innocence and avoid the brutal guards while battling their biggest enemies — their opposing personalities. (more at Wikipedia)
Miami-Dade detectives Mike Lowrey (Will Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence) blow a fuse when $100 million worth of heroin they recently confiscated is heisted from station headquarters. Suspecting it was an inside job, Internal Affairs gives them five days to track down the drugs before they shut down the narcotics division. Action meets farce when Marcus is compelled to masquerade as his partner in order to gain the trust of a call girl (Tea Leoni), a key witness in their investigation.
When a Chinese diplomat’s daughter is kidnapped in Los Angeles, he calls in Hong Kong Detective Inspector Lee (Jackie Chan) to assist the FBI with the case. But the FBI doesn’t want anything to do with Lee, and they dump him off on the LAPD, who assign wisecracking Detective James Carter (Chris Tucker) to watch over him. Although Lee and Carter can’t stand each other, they choose to work together to solve the case on their own when they figure out they’ve been ditched by both the FBI and police.
Maj. Benson Payne (Damon Wayans) lives, breathes and sleeps war. But after being honorably discharged from the Marines due to a lack of wars, Payne, the natural-born killer, has absolutely no idea how to cope in everyday civilian life. Fortunately, before he completely breaks down, Payne finds his way back into a military capacity at Madison Preparatory School, leading a group of misfit JROTC students who don’t want to be led. Whipping these kids into shape might be his toughest battle yet.
Rushon (Tommy Davidson) is sexually pent-up and ready to take thing things to the next level with his girlfriend, Nikki (Tamala Jones). But when he calls for a date, she asks to make it a double — bringing along her brash friend Lysterine (Vivica A. Fox), whom Rushon sets up with his lewd buddy, Bunz (Jamie Foxx). Things go better than expected. As the evening transitions from the restaurant to the bedroom, the two men go on a madcap search for what will surely make the night complete: condoms.
When Mondo Burger sets up across the street, sneaky Dexter and burger-obsessed Ed realise they need to fight to keep their fast food joint going. Their new secret sauce might be the answer, but not if Mondo can grab it.
In this animated depiction of a calamitous first date, Robin Harris (Faizon Love) hits it off with the gorgeous Jamika (Vanessa Bell Calloway), whom he meets at her boss’ funeral. On the ride back, Harris is introduced to her well-behaved son (Wayne Collins), and asked if he wants to go with them to the amusement park the next day. Harris accepts, and arrives to find three more children joining them. Jamika is watching her friend Bebe’s kids — which is the beginning of Harris’ problems.
Nollywood is a term that originally referred to the Nigerian film industry.
I decided to write this for a couple of reasons. First I began watching some of the films a few years ago when I heard the term Nollywood one day. Living in Arizona and seeing so many telenovelas from co workers and friends I noticed Nollywood movies I saw were very similar in look and content. Drama, Drama, Romance, Drama, Love…great stories if you love Romance, maybe not the best production, but worth it in the end.
The next reason I really got into the genre is I found out I am of Nigerian descent. So a deep dive into the culture I found I already liked many musicians from Nigeria and a sense of pride has developed in the Country. So it feels natural to work with the Nigerian Film Industry by sharing the films here on our site and writing this piece. Lets get into some facts I learned from Wikipedia and other sources. Please comment below if you can expand and help me and others learn more.
The cinema of Nigeria, often referred to informally as Nollywood, consists of films produced in Nigeria; its history dates back to as early as the late 19th century and into the colonial era in the early 20th century. The history and development of the Nigerian motion picture industry is sometimes generally classified in four main eras: the Colonial era, Golden Age, Video film era and the emerging New Nigerian cinema We will look into the different eras on another blog.
What Is Nollywood really?
Where the original word “Nollywood” remains unclear; Jonathan Haynes traced the earliest usage of the word to a 2002 article by Matt Steinglass in the New York Times, where it was used to describe Nigerian cinema
Over the years the term Nollywood has also been used to refer to other affiliate film industries, such as the Ghanaian English-language cinema, whose films are usually co-produced with Nigeria and/or distributed by Nigerian companies.
So why did it take so long for any of us to hear about the Nigerian and West Africa film industry? I wont go into all that here, but one thing you need to know is that the term is not accepted by all who are in Nigeria. It is seen as a form of colonialism which most of us in the Diaspora deplore. We will discuss the Nollywood 20 celebration and the conflict it brought up.
I decided to make a List of the Best Black Movies To Watch From the 90s because I went online and everyone that has a list for us are people I just ain’t feeling to be honest. As I build this network of entertainment and information for the African Diaspora, I noticed as a black man who grew up in the 90’s that there is no real good list of movies that were part of a small renaissance. Funny thing, my wife and I raised my kids to only watch what the parental recommendations, so if you 13, no R, you 12 no PG13. Ran that on a hardline..anyway. My young adult children are only now watching these movies and I realized they have missed a lot from that era. So
So this is not only for the Diaspora, but for my young adults. Please comment on your favorites and share. We will start with 1990-1992 after that the next post will be 1993 which was a break out year. Then top Black films from 1994-1995, 1996-1997, and then will end with 1998-1999.
Hope you enjoy the good, the bad, the ugly, and the beautiful of this Black American experience and era. So lets get started with… A List of the Best Black Movies To Watch From the 90s (
We will start here with 1990-1992 please come back to this post for links to the other years or follow us on Instagram or Facebook where we post updates.
Before we get started we got a great deal for watching videos on Amazon Prime. One discount and one free trial.
The Best Black Movies of 1990-1992
Another 48 Hours1990
While trying to capture drug lord “The Iceman,” policeman Jack Cates (Nick Nolte) confronts two criminals and kills one of them in self-defense. The head of internal affairs (Kevin Tighe) wants to prosecute Jack since there was no weapon found on the victim. In order to prove his innocence, Jack rescues ex-convict Reggie Hammond (Eddie Murphy) from a hit ordered by The Iceman. Reggie, who knows the real identity of the criminal, may be Jack’s last hope.(IMDB)
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Play’s parents are out of town, and he’s planning the house party to end all house parties. His best friend, Kid, wants to go more than anything, knowing Sydney (Tisha Campbell-Martin), the hottest girl in school, is sure to be there. But when Kid gets into a fight at school, his father grounds him. Still determined to go, Kid sneaks out of the house and faces one calamity after another as he makes his way to Play’s house and the party of the school year. (IMDB)
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Boyz n The Hood 1991
Tre (Cuba Gooding Jr.) is sent to live with his father, Furious Styles (Larry Fishburne), in tough South Central Los Angeles. Although his hard-nosed father instills proper values and respect in him, and his devout girlfriend Brandi (Nia Long) teaches him about faith, Tre’s friends Doughboy (Ice Cube) and Ricky (Morris Chestnut) don’t have the same kind of support and are drawn into the neighborhood’s booming drug and gang culture, with increasingly tragic results. (One of the Best Black Movies to Watch of the 90s)
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Daughters of the Dust 1991
At the dawn of the 20th century, a family in the Gullah community of coastal South Carolina — former West African slaves who adopted many of their ancestors’ Yoruba traditions — suffers a generational split. Young Haagar (Kaycee Moore) wants to move to the mainland away from tradition-bound matriarch Nana (Cora Lee Day). Former prostitute Yellow Mary (Barbara-O) gets a cold shoulder when she returns to the island with her female lover, especially from her sister Viola (Cheryl Lynn Bruce). (IMdB)
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House Party 2 1991
Rapper-turned-scholar Kid (Christopher Reid) gets into college, but he runs out of cash just as classes start. Desperate for dough, he tries working in the cafeteria, but when his time spent serving slop to students starts to interfere with studying and his relationship with girlfriend Sidney (Tisha Campbell), he looks for a new plan. He calls up his old partner in partying, Play (Christopher Martin), and they organize a pajama shindig, where women dress scantily and men must pay to enter. (IMdB)
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Jungle Fever 1991
A married black lawyer named Flipper (Wesley Snipes) begins an affair with Angie (Annabella Sciorra), his white secretary. When the news is leaked through an acquaintance, Flipper’s wife (Lonette McKee) kicks him out of the house. Flipper decides to begin courting his mistress, only to be greeted by disapproval from friends, family and even strangers. The relationship continues to be strained in a society not ready to accept it, and people are hurt during its inception. (IMdB)
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New Jack City 1991
Drug tycoon Nino Brown (Wesley Snipes) and his minions, known collectively as the Cash Money Brothers, have rapidly risen to the top of the New York City narcotics trade. Under Nino’s heartless leadership, the drug operation has grown into a multimillion-dollar empire. Scotty (Ice-T) and Nick (Judd Nelson), two police officers who know their way around the streets of Harlem, aim to bring Nino and his cohorts down. To do so, though, they’ll have to play by Nino’s rules and go undercover. (IMdB)
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Straight Out Of Brooklyn 1991
When Dennis (Lawrence Gilliard Jr.), the oldest son of an impoverished family living in a Brooklyn housing project, decides to earn some quick money by robbing a drug dealer, he gets caught up in much more than he bargained for. The stolen briefcase is filled with thousands of dollars in cash. Despite his concern, Dennis intends to use the money to move his family into a better neighborhood. But things take a turn for the worse when the dealer and his henchmen track Dennis down. (IMdB)
This movie is not available for streaming yet…hmm. Well you can buy the DVD and VHS at Amazon.
The Five Heartbeats 1991
Coming in on the tail end of a rhythm and blues singing group explosion, The Five Heartbeats (Robert Townsend, Michael Wright, Leon, Harry J. Lennix, Tico Wells) rise and fall within the space of seven years. Along the way, the group deals with all manner of fame and fortune distractions — jealousy, greed, too much womanizing and drugs all take a toll. Their troubles culminate when executive Big Red (Hawthorne James) is arrested for the murder of manager Jimmy Potter (Chuck Patterson). (IMdB)
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Before We go into films of 1992, I want to bring some attention to films in the 70’s which are very similar to the 90’s boom. Our collective black image has been impacted both for good and bad, so I got an exercpt of a article that touches on why I do what I do. Check it out.
Blaxploitation: Empowering or Destructive?
It’s 1971. You drive up to the movie theater in your ’69 Ford Mustang. You look up at the Marquee and you make sure Shaft is on the sign. You grab your ticket and make your way to your seat. You hear funky music play as the title sequence begins. You can dig it.
Shaft and many other black films of the 1970’s were part of the blaxploitation genre. Blaxploitation films of the 1970s had lasting effects on the black community. As actor Jim Brown once said, “I looked at it as an opportunity for me to break down taboos. To play roles that had never before been played by black actors.” The roles black actors and black actresses had were popular, and their movies were seen all across the country. While this significance was unprecedented, it also means the negative stereotypes they were portraying became prevalent. While these movies empowered some and hindered others, they provided a means of black recognition, even through stereotypical reinforcements of black culture. The films created outlets for black actors to gain recognition on the screen despite reinforcing negative images. Read More or Check out some of the 70’s Films Here
Ok..back to List of the Best Black Movies To Watch From the 90s
A cocky ad executive, Marcus (Eddie Murphy) has a reputation as a ladies’ man. However, Marcus gets a taste of his own medicine when a merger finds him working under the beautiful Jacqueline (Robin Givens), who has a similarly cavalier attitude about romance. Marcus and Jacqueline become involved, but he is put off by her noncommittal approach to their relationship. Meanwhile, Marcus also begins to develop feelings for the pretty Angela (Halle Berry), who is more thoughtful than Jacqueline. (IMdB)
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Skeptical graduate student Helen Lyle (Virginia Madsen) befriends Anne-Marie McCoy (Vanessa Williams) while researching superstitions in a housing project on Chicago’s Near North Side. From Anne-Marie, Helen learns about the Candyman (Tony Todd), a knife-wielding figure of urban legend that some of her neighbors believe to be responsible for a recent murder. After a mysterious man matching the Candyman’s description begins stalking her, Helen comes to fear that the legend may be all too real. (IMdB)
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Class Act 1992
Duncan Pinderhughes (Christopher Reid) is a nerdy straight-A student with no social life, and Blade Brown (Christopher Martin) is a tough bad boy with grades so low he has little hope of graduating from high school. When a fateful mistake swaps their permanent records — and thereby identities — they decide to take advantage. Duncan will raise Blade’s grades, and Blade will show Duncan how to be cool. However, they both start to realize that their new lives aren’t what they expected. (IMdB)
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Four Harlem friends — Bishop (Tupac Shakur), Q (Omar Epps), Steel (Jermaine Hopkins) and Raheem (Khalil Kain) — dabble in petty crime, but they decide to go big by knocking off a convenience store. Bishop, the magnetic leader of the group, has the gun. But Q has different aspirations. He wants to be a DJ and happens to have a gig the night of the robbery. Unfortunately for him, Bishop isn’t willing to take no for answer in a game where everything’s for keeps. (IMdB)
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Malcolm X 1992
A tribute to the controversial black activist and leader of the struggle for black liberation. He hit bottom during his imprisonment in the ’50s, he became a Black Muslim and then a leader in the Nation of Islam. His assassination in 1965 left a legacy of self-determination and racial pride.
Watch one of my favorite Black films of the 90s on Amazon
Mo’ Money 1992
After petty criminal Johnny (Damon Wayans) falls for the lovely Amber (Stacey Dash), he decides to stop breaking the law and gets a gig at his crush’s workplace in order to get closer to her, thus proving that he’s a stand-up guy. Soon, he learns that going straight doesn’t pay very well, so he decides to nab a company credit card and show off his newfound wealth to Amber. Unfortunately, a blackmailer catches Johnny and forces him to commit a crime that is far from small. (IMdB)
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South Central 1992
During a 10-year sentence for murdering the leader of a rival South Central Los Angeles gang, Bobby Johnson (Glenn Plummer) finds religion and rehabilitation with the help of Muslim inmate Ali. Upon his release, Bobby returns home to find that his young son, Jimmie (Christian Coleman), has joined the Deuces, his old crew. Tensions rise as Bobby struggles to convince Jimmie to leave the gang that was his only family during the painful years his absent father spent behind bars. (IMdB)
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White Men Can’t Jump 1992
Billy Hoyle (Woody Harrelson) is a white basketball hustler who banks on black players underestimating his skills on the court. When he pulls one over on Sidney Deane (Wesley Snipes), his victim sees a lucrative opportunity, and they become partners in the con game, plying their trade across the courts of Los Angeles. Meanwhile, Billy has to keep one step ahead of mobsters, to whom he owes money, while staying on the good side of his “Jeopardy!”-obsessed, motormouth wife (Rosie Perez). (IMdB)