6.9/10
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One Mile from Heaven (1937)

Approved | | Drama | 18 August 1937 (USA)
A newspaper woman believes she has a Scoop when she finds a 'Quadroon-Mulatto' woman who is thought by all to be 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
...
Flora Jackson
...
Officer Joe Dudley
...
Sunny (as Joan Carol)
...
Moxie McGrath
John Eldredge ...
Jerry Harrison
...
Johnny
...
Mortimer (Buck) Atlas
...
Peter Brindell
...
Charlie Milford
...
Henry Bangs (as Eddie Anderson)
...
Judge Clarke (as Howard Hickman)
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Storyline

A newspaper woman believes she has a Scoop when she finds a 'Quadroon-Mulatto' woman who is thought by all to be the mother of a 'White' child.

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Plot Keywords:

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

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THE STRANGEST CASE THAT EVER ROCKED A HALL OF JUSTICE! (original poster-all caps) See more »

Genres:

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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