Made in 1956 by Castle Films, this movie "The Fabulous Harlem Globetrotters" was originally released as a silent for the home market. We haven't been able to confirm it, but we believe this film includes Clarence Wilson, George "Meadowlark" Lemon, Charlie Hoxie, Roman Turmon, Andy Johnson, Woodrow "Woody" Sauldsberry, Carl Green, Leon Hillard, Willie Gardner, and others. The famed Washington Generals are also shown in the exhibition match that occurs about halfway through the film.
The Harlem Globetrotters are an exhibition basketball team that combines athleticism, theater, and comedy. Over the years they have played more than 26,000 exhibition games in 122 countries and territories. The team's signature song is Brother Bones's whistled version of "Sweet Georgia Brown". Their mascot is an anthropomorphized globe named Globie. The team plays over 450 live events worldwide each year. The team is currently owned by Herschend Family Entertainment. The executive offices for the team are located in suburban Atlanta.
The Globetrotters originated in the south side of Chicago, Illinois, in the 1920s, where all the original players were raised. The Globetrotters began as the Savoy Big Five, one of the premier attractions of the Savoy Ballroom opened in November 1927, a basketball team of African-American players that played exhibitions before dances. In 1928, several players left the team in a dispute. That autumn, several of the players, led by Tommy Brookins, formed a team called the "Globe Trotters" and toured Southern Illinois that spring. Abe Saperstein became involved with the team as its manager and promoter. By 1929, Saperstein was touring Illinois and Iowa with his basketball team called the "New York Harlem Globe Trotters". Saperstein selected Harlem, New York, New York, as their home city since Harlem was considered the center of African-American culture at the time and an out-of-town team name would give the team more of a mystique. In fact, the Globetrotters did not play in Harlem until 1968, four decades after the team's formation.
In 1950, Harlem Globetrotter Chuck Cooper became the first black player to be drafted in the NBA by Boston and teammate Nat "Sweetwater" Clifton became the first African-American player to sign an NBA contract when the New York Knicks purchased his contract from the Globetrotters. The Globetrotters' acts often feature incredible coordination and skillful handling of one or more basketballs, such as passing or juggling balls between players, balancing or spinning balls on their fingertips, and making unusual difficult shots.
This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD. For more information visit http://www.PeriscopeFilm.com