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2 user 1 critic

One Mile from Heaven (1937)

Approved | | Drama | 18 August 1937 (USA)
A newspaper woman believes she has a scoop when she finds a black woman who is the mother of a white child.

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(based on a story by) (as Judge Ben Lindsey), (story) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Lucy 'Tex' Warren
...
Barbara Harrison
...
Jim Tabor
Fredi Washington ...
Flora Jackson
Joan Carroll ...
Sunny
Ralf Harolde ...
Moxie McGrath
John Eldredge ...
Jerry Harrison
Paul McVey ...
Johnny
...
Mortimer (Buck) Atlas
Russell Hopton ...
Peter Brindell
...
Charlie Milford
...
Henry Bangs
Howard C. Hickman ...
Judge Clarke
...
Officer Joe Dudley
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Storyline

A newspaper woman believes she has a scoop when she finds a black woman who is the mother of a white child.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

mother | welfare | wealth | verdict | trial | See All (30) »

Taglines:

One newspaper woman alone knew the secret of the year's biggest news scoop...and the happiness of three people depended on her silence! (original poster) See more »

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Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

18 August 1937 (USA)  »

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1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

 
A Rare Meeting of Cultures in 1930s Hollywood
5 September 2013 | by (Sydney, Australia) – See all my reviews

Claire Trevor plays 'Tex', a go-getting girl reporter. Tricked into chasing a fake story on the wrong side of town, she stumbles onto a more interesting tale: a local black woman (Fredi Washington) who claims that her white daughter (Joan Carroll) is her real daughter.

As Tex attempts to scoop her bumbling colleagues on the story, she finds herself confronting issues of journalistic integrity as she befriends the woman and her policeman beau, played (and occasionally tap-danced) by Bill 'Bojangles' Robinson. Blackmailers and a wealthy couple (Sally Blane and John Eldredge) become involved before the truth is revealed.

Performances are excellent under veteran Allan Dwan's expert hand, but Fredi Washington is the clear standout, giving an intensely moving and dignified performance, assisted greatly by a touching chemistry with her on screen daughter. The promise she shows here makes it all the sadder that this was the final role of Fredi's brief screen career.

Watching films of the 1930s and 40s, you are often struck by the way that black characters are just figures in the background, barely human

  • servants, boot-blacks, often the butt of crude comic relief. When


Claire Trevor first finds herself in the black neighborhood, we see black people as human beings, going about their business.

Though the film's rather disappointing ending is rooted in the attitudes of its time, this early scene alone, along with the heartbreaking Fredi Washington, make 'One Mile From Heaven' an important film that deserves to be more widely seen.


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