Based on the novel by Warren Miller, THE COOL WORLD was produced by Frederick Wiseman and directed by Shirley Clarke.
This film is an electrifying revelation of the American problem: the desperate meaning of segregation that will not easily be erased even if every civil rights battle is won for the next ten years…
THE COOL WORLD… is a hauntingly bitter, savagely realistic yet not unpoetic look at a world you don’t know. You won’t be entertained by the film but you will be rewarded if you don’t scare easily. Director Shirley Clarke… has, in every sense, authored a work of art… judged as a documentary study of the world’s foremost metropolitan jungle… ‘THE COOL WORLD’ is an unqualified success.
–Mike McGrady, Newsday
THE COOL WORLD is a loud, long and powerful cry of outrage at the world society has created for Harlem youngsters and at the human condition in the slum ghetto…
–Judith Crist, The New York Herald Tribune