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Cast

Cast overview:
Sam Lucas ...
Walter Hitchcock ...
George Shelby
Hattie Delaro ...
Mrs. Shelby
Master Abernathy ...
George Shelby Jr
Teresa Michelena ...
Eliza
...
George Harris
...
Haley
...
Garfield Thompson ...
St. Clair
...
Boots Wall ...
Topsy
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Release Date:

10 August 1914 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Chata wuja Toma  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sam Lucas in the title role is generally considered the first black actor in a leading role in a feature film. See more »

Connections

Version of Uncle Tom's Cabin (1987) See more »

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User Reviews

first black leads in films
8 April 2017 | by (France) – See all my reviews

This is the first time a back American actor played the part of Uncle Tom on screen (Lucas, an enormously important figure in African American theatre and film, also played the part on stage) but it is not the first time a black actor had played the lead in a film.

Black actors, including vaudevillians John and Mattie Edwards and Joseph Outen, had already starred in Sigmund Lubin's Coloured Comedies (see my review of Rastus Among the Zulus). While these films may not be terribly politically correct, they gave important opportunities to black performers and were very popular, especially in the South, presumably because of the sheer pleasure for African American cinema-goers to see black stars on the screen.

Lucas was also one of an all-black troupe who appeared in the sadly unfinished 1913 Biograph film Lime Kiln Field Day (pretty much a feature) starring black Ziegfield Follies star Bert Williams who would go on to star in further Biograph shorts in 1916.

One aspect to note in this version of the Stowe novel is the way the words of the foreword - "This is the story of an exotic race, whose ancestors, born beneath a tropic sun, were brought to the New World by heartless traders, and sold into slavery" - are unpleasantly twisted in Griffith's prefatory titles to Birth of a Nation. Griffith also re-created the "cabin" for his racist film.


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