This story is a true account of the lives of Scott and Marsha Carter. Having graduated from medical school, Scott Carter, a fair-skinned African American, marries Marsha Mitchell and moves ... See full summary »
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This story is a true account of the lives of Scott and Marsha Carter. Having graduated from medical school, Scott Carter, a fair-skinned African American, marries Marsha Mitchell and moves to Georgia. When he arrives at the black clinic in Georgia, he discovers that the job must inconveniently go to a Southerner. Discussions between two nurses at this clinic suggest that Scott's light skin may have some bearing on the decision not to hire him. Defeated but not conquered, Scott returns to Massachusetts to live with his in-laws until he can get employment. He tries unsuccessfully to obtain employment as an African American. Because Marsha is pregnant, Scott decides to take a job at Portsmouth Hospital, but he reluctantly does so as a white man. While there, he manages to save the life of Dr. Bracket, who encourages him to take a postion in Keenham, New Hampshire. Scott decides to continue "passing" for white. In Keenham, Dr. Scott Carter proves to be quite a success for the town. For ... Written by
Broncine G. Carter
Dr. Carter is shown traveling by U.S. Coast Guard boat from Portsmouth N.H. to the Isle of Shoals, about 6 nautical miles from the city harbor. However, when the boat arrives to its destination it is actually the Cape Neddick Lighthouse station (a.k.a. the Nubble) just off the coast from York, ME. The house the doctor is shown entering is the lighthouse keeper's residence. See more »
The topic of racial boundaries is explored in fine detail in this story about a light-skinned doctor and his family who all pass for white in a New England town. All points of view and opinions are represented. What makes this such a remarkable film is that it was made in 1949, hardly a year of profound social change in America when it came to the color line. This makes the movie that much more daring. A much better look at the topic of passing than either Pinkie or the second version of Imitation of Life (the first was quite extraordinary, and far superior). There are some really wonderful scenes including one at the town dance when the doctor's son brings home a dark-skinned black friend. The levels of acceptance and non-acceptance of the young black man are nuanced and played out beautifully.
The film suffers a tiny bit from hokey dialogue and mild melodrama, but that is more a result of the year it was made.
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