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Lost Boundaries (1949)

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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Cast overview, first billed only:
Shelly Carter (as Susan Douglas)
Robert A. Dunn ...
Rev. John Taylor (as Rev. Robert A. Dunn)
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! See more »




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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?


Based on the lives of Albert and Thyra Johnston, who lived in New Hampshire in the 1930s and '40s. See more »


Referenced in That's Black Entertainment (1990) See more »


I Wouldn't Mind
Music and Lyrics by Carleton Carpenter
See more »

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User Reviews

Interesting film about prejudice in the north
19 May 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Lost Boundaries" is a 1949 film, based on the true story of a black family that passed for white in New Hampshire. The stars are Mel Ferrer, Beatrice Pearson, Richard Hylton, and Carleton Carpenter. Ferrer plays a black doctor, Scott Carter, who looks white. He wants to live as a black man, and his future wife (Pearson) who comes from a family that has always "passed" has agreed to live as a black as well. But after they marry and there's a baby on the way, and still no job, Scott decides to take a position in a white hospital. Eventually he becomes the town doctor. Before you know it, 20 years have passed, and he and his wife have never even told their children that they have black blood. This leads to complications.

Released the same year as "Pinky," "Lost Boundaries" is a very good movie about deep-seated prejudice that occurred in the north and not in its usual place, the south. Its essential problem is that it doesn't employ any black actors to play the Carters. "Pinky," a superior film, was criticized for the same reason, except that without Jeanne Crain, "Pinky" would not have been made. "Lost Boundaries" has no stars.

It is curious that the issue of "passing" seems to have piqued Hollywood's interest in the late '40s, and one wonders if World War II had something to do with it, with people venturing out of their neighborhoods and meeting others from different social positions and walks of life, all with the same goal of fighting the Axis. However, when Lena Horne went to entertain the troops in World War II, the black soldiers were behind the prisoners of war in the audience. You really wonder what was going through anyone's minds. Certainly not liberty and justice for all.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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