A young field administrator for the TVA comes to rural Tennessee to oversee the building of a dam on the Tennessee River. He encounters opposition from the local people, in particular a ... See full summary »
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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
John Ford was the original director of the film, but after seeing dailies Darryl F. Zanuck felt Ford wasn't connecting with the material. Zanuck called Elia Kazan in New York and asked him to take over the film. Kazan felt he owed Zanuck for his film career, and agreed to do the movie without even looking at the script. He flew to Los Angeles and started filming the next Monday. See more »
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 »
Cousin Em, what do you mean, gettin' sick like this?
When you're eighty years old, you expect to be sick. Sit down.
Now, now. Naughty, naughty. Eighty years *young* is what we say.
I don't. It's old, and I won't have it minimized. Takes a lot of livin' to get there, and pure, cursed endurance. Eighty years young indeed!
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Outstanding 1949 film with director Elia Kazan matching his 1947 Oscar winner "Gentleman's Agreement." A very belated kudos for Mr. Kazan in tackling social issues, in this case racial prejudice.
What performances are depicted here. Jeanne Crain is the trained nurse who returns to the south and is immediately caught up in its worst form of bigotry. She is the granddaughter of the kind, wisely, illiterate woman who takes in clothing and sacrificed all so that her granddaughter could get ahead. Ethel Waters was so adept in her performance here. She is equally matched by Ethel Barrymore, as a crotchety woman, never forgiven by Pinky for a childhood incident, but ailing now and as a favor to Grandma Waters, Pinky agrees to take care of her.
What a social problem erupts when the Barrymore character dies and it is revealed that she left her property to Pinky. A cousin and a cousin by marriage contest the will in court. Evelyn Varden, as the heavy set, bigoted cousin-in-law is terrific and a scene stealer in every scene she appears.
This is an outstanding film depicting racial inequity and ultimate redemption.
William Lundigan is memorable as the doctor who loved Pinky, but could not marry her. He could not accept her way of life.
The film showed that there was anything but racial harmony in America. Notice the musical theme throughout the film is exactly the same as the music played at the beginning of "Gentleman's Agreement." Am sure that Kazan and 20th Century-Fox had plenty to do with that.
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