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:
The earliest surviving film from a black director See more (14 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 »
Old Ned:[Old Ned visits his white friends] Y'all knows what I always preach. This is a land for the white man and black folk got ta know their place. Let the white man go to Hell with his politics, wealth, and sins. Give me Jesus! Leave it to me, gen'men, I always preach that the vices and sins of the white folk will end them up in Hell. When the Judgement Day comes, more Negroes than whites will rise up to Heaven. Yessir, white folks is mighty fine!
[he leaves the room]
Old Ned:[now outside, speaking to himself] Again, I've sold my birthright. All for a miserable 'mess of pottage. Negroes and whites - all are equal. As for me, miserable sinner, Hell is my destiny.
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9 out of 18 people found the following review useful.
The earliest surviving film from a black director, 30 August 1999
Author: Jaime N. Christley ( from NAS Whidbey Island, WA

"Within Our Gates" is of enormous historical interest as a remnant of a brief period in the early twenties/late teens when there were (due to segregation laws) films made and distributed specifically by and for African-Americans. In this way, it has most deservedly been chosen for placement in the National Film Registry.

By today's standards the film is as silly, half-baked, and paper-thin as something by a high school playwright. The performances are pretty atrocious, but for the most part they are at home with the style of acting that pervaded films of the silent era.

It dealt with provocative issues of the time, such as overt racism, lynching, and the sorry state of education for the black community. Eighty years later we may have done a bit of shoring up, but no one's foolish enough to say that we're doing any better today. One positive thing that can be said is that a film dealing with these subjects today is encouraged, whereas in 1920 "Within Our Gates" was crushed by disapproving educators, legislators, and spineless distributors.

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A great film, is it on DVD? unsung1974
what do people think of the rape scene nikki-sanni
Link to film Glendinni9
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