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Pinky (1949)

Approved | | Drama | November 1949 (USA)
A light-skinned African American woman falls in love with a white doctor, though he is unaware of her true race.

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Kenny Washington ...
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Frederick O'Neal ...
Evelyn Varden ...
Raymond Greenleaf ...
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Storyline

Pinky, a light skinned black woman, returns to her grandmother's house in the South after graduating from a Northern nursing school. Pinky tells her grandmother that she has been "passing" for white while at school in the North. In addition, Pinky has fallen in love with a young white doctor, Dr. Thomas Adams, who knows nothing about her black heritage. Pinky says that she will return to the North, but Granny Johnson convinces her to stay and treat an ailing white woman, Miss Em. Meanwhile, Dr. Canady, a black physician from another part of the state, visits Pinky and asks her to train some African American students, but she declines. Pinky nurses Miss Em but is resentful because she seems to feel that she is doing the same thing her grandmother did. Pinky and Miss Em slowly develop a mutual respect for one another. Mrs. Em leaves Pinky her property when she dies, but relatives of the deceased woman contest the new will in court. To raise money for the court fees, Pinky washes clothes... Written by Broncine G. Carter

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The love story of a girl who passed for white! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

November 1949 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Lo que la carne hereda  »

Box Office

Gross:

$4,200,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Lena Horne initially campaigned to play the title role in this movie (she was light enough to photograph "white"), but in the end, the movie studio felt white American audiences would feel more comfortable with a white actress, especially since love scenes with a white actor were involved. See more »

Goofs

When actress Nina May Mckinney's character gets slapped on the left side of her face by the white officer, Nina mistakenly rubs the right side of her face. See more »

Quotes

Miss Em: I'm not gonna lie flat until I'm laid out. Be soon enough now.
Dr. Joe McGill: Might as well let her have her own way.
Miss Em: That's all I ever wanted: to have my own way.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Two Bob Mermaid (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

Love and Pride Conquer Prejudice
21 October 2003 | by (Brooklyn, New York) – See all my reviews

I've just seen this film for the 3rd time although I'm sure I hadn't seen it for at least 10 years. I had forgotten the depth and intensity of the prejudice displayed in the film. It is taking nothing away from Jeanne Craine's sensitive and beautiful performance to say that the star of the film is Ethel Waters - she is simply a magnificent presence throughout. It is one of those performances where every fibre of being is transmitted thru to the viewer - you cannot help but feel that the character is one of the strongest and bravest women ever shown on screen. Considering the shocking 1950's world of Amos and Andy and the in-every-sense-white-bread fiction world of Hollywood - Father Knows Best, The Donna Reed Show, etc - it is startling to see how movies so transcended the comfort-food level of TV and challenged audiences. This movie belongs, I believe, in the highest echelon of social commentary films - such as To Kill a Mockingbird, Gentlemen's Agreement. Absolute must see!!!


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