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Lost Boundaries (1949)

 |  Drama  |  2 July 1949 (USA)
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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 ... See full summary »



(additional dialogue) (as Ormonde de Kay) , (additional dialogue), 4 more credits »
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Title: Lost Boundaries (1949)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Beatrice Pearson ...
Susan Douglas Rubes ...
Shelly Carter (as Susan Douglas)
Robert A. Dunn ...
Rev. John Taylor (as Rev. Robert A. Dunn)
Richard Hylton ...
Howard 'Howie' Carter
Grace Coppin ...
Mrs. Mitchell
Carleton Carpenter ...
Seth Arnold ...
Clint Adams
Wendell Holmes ...
Mr. Morris Mitchell
Parker Fennelly ...
Alvin Tupper
Ralph Riggs ...
Loren Tucker
William Greaves ...
Arthur 'Art' Cooper
Ray Saunders ...
Dr. Jesse Pridham (as Rai Saunders)
Leigh Whipper ...
Morton Stevens ...
Dr. Walter Brackett


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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The True Story Of A Family Who Lived A Lie For Twenty Years!




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Release Date:

2 July 1949 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Den osynliga gränsen  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$250,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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 »


Featured in Classified X (1998) See more »


Guess I'm Thru With Love
Music and Lyrics by Albert Johnston Jr.
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User Reviews

Living a Lie
10 May 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Lost Boundaries is based on the true story of a light-skinned black family who passes for white in a small New England town. Director Alfred L. Werker presents the family as perfect and kind, with the father, Scott Carter as a skilled doctor who everyone in the town loves. But if they were to discover that the family were really black, then they would be outcasts. Dr. and Mrs. Carter were both raised white, but they wanted to embrace their culture and stop hiding. However, when Dr. Carter is unable to find a job as a black man, he must again hide his identity. They in turn raise their children as white, and the children have no idea of their true heritage.

The film uses white actors Mel Ferrer and Beatrice Pearson as Dr. and Mrs. Carter. By looking at the choice by today's standards, once might ask why they didn't use actual light-skinned black actors for the roles. However, the audience should realize that the film would not have received funding if they planned to use black actors.

The film definitely tries to be politically correct by portraying the family with no faults. I feel that if they film had humanized the character a little bit more by having them make a mistake or have an enemy, then the audience could better sympathize with their troubles. The director makes the film play like a television movie, with a narrator to tell the details of the family's plight. While the subject matter is groundbreaking, there is nothing notable about the script, acting, or direction. Overall, it is a forgettable film.

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