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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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?


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

Dated and imperfect--but in the gaps are good reminders and insights
22 November 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Lost Boundaries (1949)

This affected me more than I would have expected. I mean, the changes in how we see race and "race relations" since 1949 are huge. The acting is really solid, if not searingly intense (which it has room for). And the narrative is complex enough with a few turning points to make it all interesting.

There is a sense as you watch that you're being shown a social issue and that the jury is already in. We know what we are supposed to feel, and we feel it. There is also a sense of something that doesn't happen much any more—the well known trick of "passing," which means being an African-American (usually) who is light skinned enough to "pass" as white. This is no small thing, since it required a social shift and truly living a "white" American's life, including both the advantages and the inner angst of having left behind your own roots.

So it's important stuff, and good stuff. And it was more compelling in its details and acting than you might think, being both socially loaded and a bit low budget. The production standards are high, however, and the results make it worth watching. I frankly did more than confirm what I already knew about the era and race in America. I realigned a little, feeling more than reminded, but also a little educated.

Yes, the approach here is outdated, and it ignores the true range of racism and hatred of the time, even in the supposedly enlightened New England setting here. But it has the truth woven into the stylized telling. If you think you already know all this, give it a look anyway. It's imprtant enough to try.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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