IMDb > Pinky (1949)
Pinky
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Pinky (1949) More at IMDbPro »

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Pinky -- Trailer for this drama about a light skinned black woman who passes as a white woman

Overview

User Rating:
7.3/10   1,586 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Cid Ricketts Sumner (novel)
Philip Dunne (screenplay) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Pinky on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
November 1949 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
The love story of a girl who passed for white! See more »
Plot:
A light-skinned African American woman falls in love with a white doctor, though he is unaware of her true race. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
A truly Great Film - a woman's film that rivals Peck's "Mockingbird" See more (37 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Jeanne Crain ... Patricia 'Pinky' Johnson

Ethel Barrymore ... Miss Em

Ethel Waters ... Pinky's Granny
William Lundigan ... Dr. Thomas Adams
Basil Ruysdael ... Judge Walker
Kenny Washington ... Dr. Canady

Nina Mae McKinney ... Rozelia
Griff Barnett ... Dr. Joe McGill
Frederick O'Neal ... Jake Walters
Evelyn Varden ... Melba Wooley
Raymond Greenleaf ... Judge Shoreham
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Shelby Bacon ... Boy (uncredited)
Betty Beard ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Rene Beard ... Teejore (uncredited)
Patsy Boniface ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Mildred Boyd ... Nurse (uncredited)
Preston Braxton ... Boy (uncredited)
Margaret Brayton ... Nurse (uncredited)

Paul Brinegar ... Western Union Clerk (uncredited)
Noble 'Kid' Chissel ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Eve Conrad ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Bert Conway ... Loafer (uncredited)
Josette Deegan ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Dick Dickinson ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Bobby Dugan ... Nurse (uncredited)
Everett Glass ... Mr. Jeffers Wooley (uncredited)
William Hansen ... Mr. Goolby (uncredited)
Arthur Hunnicutt ... Police Chief (uncredited)
Jean Inness ... Viola, Saleslady (uncredited)
Wilfred Jackson ... Boy (uncredited)
Frank Jaquet ... Bailiff (uncredited)
Michael Jeffers ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Beverly Ruth Jordan ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Geraldine Jordan ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Pat Kane ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Philip Kieffer ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Read Killgore ... Loafer (uncredited)
Warren Mace ... Intern (uncredited)
Tiger Joe Marsh ... George, Wooleys' Chauffeur (uncredited)

Juanita Moore ... Nurse (uncredited)
Robert Osterloh ... Police Officer (uncredited)
Tonya Overstreet ... Nurse (uncredited)
Ruth Rickaby ... Matron (uncredited)
Dan Riss ... Mr. Stanley, Wooleys' Attorney (uncredited)
Katherine Sparks ... Minor Role (uncredited)
George Spaulding ... Medical Director (uncredited)
Harry Tenbrook ... Townsman (uncredited)
Jim Toney ... Baggage Man (uncredited)
Bess Wade ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Pat Walshe ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Blue Washington ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Jasper Weldon ... Minor Role (uncredited)
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Directed by
Elia Kazan 
John Ford (uncredited)
 
Writing credits
Cid Ricketts Sumner (novel)

Philip Dunne (screenplay) and
Dudley Nichols (screenplay)

Elia Kazan  contributor to screenplay (uncredited)
Jane White  contributor to screenplay (uncredited)

Produced by
Darryl F. Zanuck .... producer
 
Original Music by
Alfred Newman 
 
Cinematography by
Joseph MacDonald (director of photography) (as Joe MacDonald)
 
Film Editing by
Harmon Jones 
 
Art Direction by
J. Russell Spencer 
Lyle R. Wheeler  (as Lyle Wheeler)
 
Set Decoration by
Thomas Little 
Walter M. Scott 
 
Makeup Department
Ben Nye .... makeup artist
Addie Baker .... hair stylist (uncredited)
Frank Prehoda .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Lillian Ugrin .... hair stylist (uncredited)
 
Production Management
Joseph C. Behm .... production manager (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Wingate Smith .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Eugene Grossman .... sound
Roger Heman Sr. .... sound (as Roger Heman)
 
Visual Effects by
Fred Sersen .... special photographic effects
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Frank Corey .... grip (uncredited)
Les Everson .... gaffer (uncredited)
Til Gabani .... camera operator (uncredited)
Anthony Ugrin .... still photographer (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Charles Le Maire .... wardrobe director (as Charles LeMaire)
Sam Benson .... wardrobe supervisor (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Lyman Hallowell .... apprentice editor (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Edward B. Powell .... orchestrator (as Edward Powell)
Alfred Newman .... conductor (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Darryl F. Zanuck .... presenter
Rose Steinberg .... script supervisor (uncredited)
 
Crew believed to be complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
102 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Recording)
Certification:
Argentina:Atp | Finland:S | Sweden:Btl | USA:Approved (certificate #13731)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Ethel Waters, who was nominated for an academy award for her performance in this film, was the second African-American actor in history to be nominated for an Oscar.See more »
Goofs:
Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): 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:
Patricia 'Pinky' Johnson:Miss Em told me to always be myself, not to pretend. You told me that after I marry you, there won't be a Pinky Johnson anymore. How can I be myself if there's no Pinky Johnson anymore?See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Black Shadows on the Silver Screen (1975) (TV)See more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
31 out of 38 people found the following review useful.
A truly Great Film - a woman's film that rivals Peck's "Mockingbird", 11 December 2006
Author: Kara Dahl Russell from United States

We'll know we've "arrived" when people can get past the casting of Jeanne Crain as a woman of color. There ARE mixed race women who are as light as Jeanne Crain, but because of the "one drop rule," in 1949 they were, and often still today are -considered "black." In today's multi-cultural society these women often embrace their heritage, but the issues they face remain sadly the same today in many facets. Example: African Americans who are educated are often told they are "talking white."

There is a reason that "she's passing" became an understood term. Very light skinned women & men in the early part of the 1900s DID try to do what Pinky here does.

I was really encouraged to see the scene with Nina Mae McKinney next to Frederick O'Neal, next to Jeanne Crain, all playing "black folks." THAT is the reality of miscegenation in the South, and that is what people still have trouble with: sometimes race is not just black and white. It is uncomfortable and true. (McKinney is marvelous, and fills every second of her screen time, whether she is removing a pebble from her shoe or coyly playing piano on top of a fence.)

I sadly find this film completely relevant today. These conversations of segregation and intermarriage are STILL going strong. There are African Americans who talk about "white women taking our men" or people of all races saying, "stay with your own race." This is segregationist, this is racist, and it still exists very strongly in all racial communities.

Dorothy Dandridge and Lena Horne- both beautiful & talented - are often mentioned as possible contenders for this role. They simply were NOT light enough to pass for white, it hampered their careers, and they have both acknowledged that. Hollywood in general likes their races obvious, casting is still largely done by type and stereotype, no matter what race – even today it would be hard to find an actress of stature who identifies herself as black, but who can totally pass as white; the market doesn't hire these women.

Type casting is still the norm. Even my dark skinned actress friends have been told they don't "talk black enough" in auditions. Ethel Waters and Ethel Barrimore here, both fine actresses at the top of their game, were both type cast here in roles that they've basically played several times before; it is only the script context that made this special.

Jeanne Crain had enormous courage to portray this role. Not only is she perpetually faulted for being a white woman playing this role, but she risked her career, some people questioned her heritage in a racist age. That is a tribute to the reality and sensitivity she brought to the role, and her acting, which is often maligned because she had reserve. Her "under acting" is actually the preferred style today in TV and film. She was ahead of her time.

Part of why Crain is not liked much today is that she was a 40s type that is not valued today. Restrained, ladylike, mature in mindset, "high minded" - this is what she represented, and these things are not looked for in leading ladies today. What she represents has gone out of fashion; it was going out of fashion even then, and Kazan valued grittier, dirtier types like Brando. Kazan, who initially labeled her an impassive beauty queen, eventually credited her fine work.

This movie is sensitively done in all respects with really great performances top to bottom. It is not glossy or simple, neither race is solely good or solely bad. It is a disservice to have the only DVD commentary done by someone who clearly still does not like the film and doesn't appreciate the complexity of Crain's work here. That a New Yorker thought the court trial didn't look real because people were all fanning themselves shows he has never spent time in the south in a public gathering place.

This film is galling and aggravating, and unfortunately still very real. This is not a fun film, it is a great film, that speaks just as much to attitudes held today as it did then.

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See more (37 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Pinky (1949)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Who Could Play Pinky Today? screenscreams
The boyfriend ran out much too quickly at the end... jwillis5
Will air on TCM on 9/7/2012 michaelhelwick
Am I the only person who found this to be way too niave? IngmarTheBergman
If Pinky was played by a black actress..... speilbrick-1
Miss Em's house blueeyedbear
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