UC Berkeley Library

Race in Film

A Natural Born Gambler (1916)

Director: Bert Williams. "Our story centers upon the activities of a Negro fraternal organization, the Independent Order of Calcimine Artists of America. [Inside joke: "calcimine" is whitewash, and yet most of these black actors appear to have darkened their complexions with blackface makeup.] The group meet sin the back of a saloon. Their leader, Brother Scott, is a lawyer who disapproves of gambling-- although, after breaking up a pokergame, he doesn't object to appropriating others' winnings.

A Night in Casablanca (1946)

Directed by Michael Winterbottom & Mat Whitecross. Cast: The Marx Brothers, Charles Drake, Lois Collier, Lisette Verea, Sig Ruman. Its the Nazis vs. the nutsies as The Marx Brothers ferret out Nazi spies in a Casablanca hotel. 85 min. Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

A Patch of Blue (1965)

Directed by Guy Green. Cast: Sidney Poitier, Shelley Winters,Elizabeth Hartman, Wallace Ford. Accidentally blinded as a child,18-year-old Selina D'Arcey falls in love with a gentle and charmingman, Gordon Ralfe, whom she meets in a rare visit to a park. Herracist mother declares that because Gordon is black, theirrelationship cannot continue, forcing Selina to choose between herfamily and her heart. Based on "Be ready with bells and drums" byElizabeth Kata. 105 min.Credits andother information from the Internet Movie Database

A Price Above Rubies (UK / USA, 1998)

Written and directed by Boaz Yakin. Featuring Renee Zellweger, Julianna Margules, Christopher Eccleston. Sonia is a young woman who always did just what was expected: she married the right man, moved to the right neighborhood and had a beautiful baby. And yet, when she discovers an exciting world beyond her tightly knit community, it sparks a growing desire for independence that threatens the security of the life she knows. 119 min. Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

A Raisin in the Sun (1961)

Directed by Daniel Petrie. Performers: Sidney Poitier, ClaudiaMcNeil, Ruby Dee. 1961 film based on the award-winning playabout a struggling black family living on Chicago's South Sideand the impact of an unexpected insurance bequest. Each familymember sees the bequest as the means of realizing dreams and ofescape from grinding frustrations. Based on the play: A raisinin the sun by Lorraine Hansberry. 128 min.

Credits andother information from the Internet Movie Database

A Raisin in the Sun(TV, 2008)

Directed by Kenny Leon. Cast: Sean Combs, Sanaa Lathan, AudraMcDonald, Phylicia Rashad, Justin Martin, Bill Nunn, David Oyelowo,Ron Cephas Jones, Sean Patrick Thomas, John Stamos. AnAfrican-American family living on the South Side of Chicago comesinto a sudden financial windfall, the potential uses of whichdivides them bitterly. Based on the play: A raisin in the sun byLorraine Hansberry. Special features: optional audio commentary byLeon; "Dreams worthwhile : the journey of 'A raisin in the sun'"featurette (23 min.). 131 min.

A Raisin in the Sun</a> (1988)

Directed by Bill Duke. Performers: Scarletta DuPois, DannyGlover, Kimble Joyner, Kim Yancey, Esther Rolle, Lou Ferguson,Joseph C. Phillips, Helen Martin, John Fiedler, Stephen Henderson.A $10,000 insurance benefit creates conflicting dreams within aChicago ghetto family. Son, Walter Lee wants to start his ownbusiness while his mom wishes to spend her days in a little houseof her own. Their love a bond, their warmhearted humor a breath offresh air, their tenative hold on dignity - their lifeline.

A Serious Man (2009)

Directed by Ethan Coen and Joel Coen. Cast: Michael Stuhlbarg, Richard Kind, Fred Melamed, Sari Lennick, Adam Arkin, Amy Landecker, Alan Mandell, Fyvush Finkel, Allen Lewis Rickman, Yelena Shmulenson, Simon Helberg, Katherine Borowitz, Stephen Park. One ordinary man's quest to become a serious man. Physics professor Larry Gopnik can't believe his life: His wife is leaving him for his best friend, his unemployed brother won't move off the couch, someone is threatening his career, his kids are a mystery and his neighbor is tormenting him by sunbathing nude.

A Thief of Time (TV, 2004)

Directed by Chris Eyre. Cast: Wes Studi, Adam Beach, Peter Fonda, Graham Greene, Sheila Tousey. Navajo tribal cops Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee delve into the netherworld of illegal archaeological excavations, purloined pots, and slain pot hunters, set against a backdrop of Navajo witches, spirits, and lore. 95 min. Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

A Time to Kill (1996)

Directed by Joel Schumacher. Cast: Sandra Bullock, Samuel L.Jackson, Matthew McConaughey, Kevin Spacey, Brenda Fricker, OliverPlatt, Charles S. Dutton, Ashley Judd, Patrick McGoohan, DonaldSutherland. A murder trial brings a small Mississippi town's racialtension to the flashpoint. Amid a frenzy of activist marches, Klanterror, media clamor and brutal riots, an unseasoned but idealisticyoung attorney mounts a stirring courtroom battle for justice.Based on the novel by John Grisham. 150 min.