IMDb > Within Our Gates (1920)

Within Our Gates (1920) More at IMDbPro »


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Oscar Micheaux (written by)
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Release Date:
12 January 1920 (USA) See more »
Abandoned by her fiancé, an educated negro woman with a shocking past dedicates herself to helping a near bankrupt school for impoverished negro youths. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
1 win See more »
User Reviews:
An Amazing Take on African-Americans in 1919 See more (13 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)
Evelyn Preer ... Sylvia Landry
Flo Clements ... Alma Prichard
James D. Ruffin ... Conrad Drebert - Sylvia's Fiancé
Jack Chenault ... Larry Prichard - Alma's Stepbrother
William Smith ... Philip Gentry - A Detective
Charles D. Lucas ... Dr. V. Vivian
Bernice Ladd ... Mrs. Geraldine Stratton
Mrs. Evelyn ... Mrs. Elena Warwick
William Stark ... Jasper Landry
Mattie Edwards ... Jasper's Wife
Ralph Johnson ... Philip Gridlestone
E.G. Tatum ... Efram - Gridlestone's Servant
Grant Edwards ... Emil Landry
Grant Gorman ... Armand Gridlestone
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Leigh Whipper
Jimmie Cook ... (uncredited)
S.T. Jacks ... Reverend Wilson Jacobs (uncredited)

Directed by
Oscar Micheaux 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Oscar Micheaux  written by

Produced by
Oscar Micheaux .... producer
Music Department
Philip Carli .... musician: piano score composed and performed by
Other crew
Oscar Micheaux .... presents
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
79 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

The film has been repeatedly censored over the years. In its first outing, the rape and lynching scenes were heavily edited as they were deemed too provocative after the 1919 Chicago race riots.See more »
Mrs. Elena Warwick:Since I have decided to give her my assistance, I would be grateful if, as a Southerner yourself, Geraldine, you could point me the best way to do so.
Mrs. Geraldine Stratton:Lumber-jacks and field hands. Let me tell you - it is an error to try and educate them. Besides, they don't want an education. Can't you see that thinking would only give them a headache? Their ambition is to belong to a dozen lodges, consume religion without restraint, and, when they die, go straight up to heaven. Wasting $5,000 on a school is plain silly when you could give $100 to old Ned, the best colored preacher in the world...
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5 out of 9 people found the following review useful.
An Amazing Take on African-Americans in 1919, 6 May 2008
Author: JohnHowardReid

The best word to describe this film is "amateurish". While it does have a central focus, the muddled, confused and confusing plot proceeds in fits and starts. Characters drop in and out of the narrative seemingly at random and sometimes change outlook right in the middle of a scene.

Worse still, the film has been edited with a proverbial meat-ax. Odd bits and pieces of irrelevant action are often spliced without rhyme or reason into the movie, further adding to the viewer's difficulties in following the plot.

Despite all obstacles, however, individual scenes do succeed. The lynch sequence exerts a terrible power because—whether by design or accident—it looks like an actual newsreel event.

Acting too is mighty variable. Evelyn Preer does good work as the unsettled heroine, Bernice Ladd makes a forceful bigot, and there are two outstanding actors among the ranks of obvious amateurs in the support cast: E.G. Tatum and the uncredited Old Ned.

Which brings me to the most amazing aspect of Micheaux' vision. "Within Our Gates" is a cry for justice, but no apologia. In fact it often seems to go out of its way to present a surprisingly warts and all take on African-Americans. The two men just mentioned, for instance, enact self-seeking traitors (and do so brilliantly). The little spiv, Jack Chenault, is a despicable criminal, and even the second female lead seems somewhat unsympathetic (especially in the film's original uncensored version which has unfortunately been lost).

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A great film, is it on DVD? unsung1974
what do people think of the rape scene nikki-sanni
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