UC Berkeley Library

African Americans in Film

This Rebel Breed (1960)

Directed by Richard L. Bare. Cast: Rita Moreno, Mark Damon,Gerald Mohr, Jay Novello, Eugenio Martin. Black, Anglo andHispanic high-school gangs duke it out in this story about twoundercover cops who infiltrate the gangs to stop narcoticstrafficking. The undercover cop Frank is of mixed blackAmerican and Mexican parentage, which means no gang is going toeasily accept him while his partner Don is an Anglo cop. WhenLola's boyfriend is killed in a gang fight she starts to fallfor Frank.

To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)

Directed by Robert Mulligan. Cast: Gregory Peck, Brock Peters,Mary Badham. A small-town Southern lawyer loses friends andsocial position when he defends a black man unjustly accused ofrape, but gains the esteem of his motherless children. 116 min.;
Credits andother information from the Internet Movie Database
Awards & HonorsNational FilmRegistry Selection
See also:

To Sir, With Love (1966)

Directed by James Clavell. Cast: Sidney Poitier. A noviceteacher faces a class of rowdy, undisciplined working-classpunks in this classic film that reflected some of the problemsand fears of teens in the 60's. 105 min.
Credits andother information from the Internet Movie Database
Reviews and articles:
Kelley, Samuel L. The evolution ofcharacter portrayals in the films of SidneyPoitier, 1950-1978 (NEWS: MICROFICHE.6030.Unit98)

To Sleep with Anger (1990)

Directed by Charles Burnett. Cast: Danny Glover, Paul Butler,Mary Alice, Carl Lumbly, Vonetta McGee, Richard Brooks, Sheryl LeeRalph. A visitor from the Deep South brings superstition into adivided black household in central Los Angeles. More than adomestic drama about the effect of storyteller/trickster Glover,its a story of cultural differences between parents and children,and how there should be no place for those who cause violence andstrife. 102 min. ; Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

Torch Song (1953)

Directed by Charles Walters. Cast: Joan Crawford, MichaelWilding, Gig Young, Marjorie Rambeau. Feaures a musical number withJoan Crawford in blackface! 89 min. Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

Tougher than Leather (1988)

Directed by Rick Rubin. Cast: Run-DMC, Richard Edson, JennyLumet, Raymond White, Lois Ayers ; special appearances by theBeastie Boys, Slick Rick, Junkyard Band. After a frienddiscovers a money-laundering scheme and is murdered, the bandmembers take the law into their own hands and avenge theirfriend's death. 89 min.
Credits andother information from the Internet Movie Database

Trading Places (1983)

Directed by John Landis. Cast: Dan Aykroyd, Eddie Murphy, RalphBellamy, Don Ameche, Denholm Elliott, Jamie Lee Curtis. Therich Duke Brothers wager on whether a born loser like Billy RayValentine, a hustler from the ghetto, can become as successfulas Winthorpe, a wealthy investment executive, if put in theproper environment--and would a prig like Winthorpe turn to alife of crime if he were to lose it all. 116 min.
Credits andother information from the Internet Movie Database

Tropic Thunder (2008)

Directed by Ben Stiller. Cast: Ben Stiller, Robert Downey, Jr.,Jack Black, Steve Coogan, Nick Nolte, Danny McBride, Brandon T.Jackson, Jay Baruchel. While filming an action movie in the jungle,death and hilarity ensue as the lead actors believe the murderousheroin-producing gang they encounter is a part of the script. Aspoof on action/adventure films. In the movie, Robert Downey, Jr.plays an Oscar-winning actor named Kirk Lazarus whose character inthe war movie being made was written as black. So Lazarus decidesto play the character as written. 107 min.

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