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

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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:
Passing For White 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)
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)
Jimmie Horan ... Townsman (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)
Noble "Kid" Chissell ... Minor Role (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)

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


Production CompaniesDistributors

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:
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:
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:
Judge Walker:Your honor, this is a small country town. We've always thought that what happened here was our own private concern. This is no longer true. Just as it is no longer true that our country as a whole can exist entirely to itself. What is done in our courts in cases such as this has become a matter of moment in the eyes of the world. Let us examine our conscience. Let us look into our attitude and our tradition. Let us take care lest it be said of us that here there is neither law nor justice.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.
8 out of 8 people found the following review useful.
Passing For White, 3 February 2010
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York

What was fascinating and groundbreaking in 1949 is now a bit old fashioned when it comes to the film Pinky. Like Guess Who's Coming To Dinner a generation later, 20th Century Fox and director Elia Kazan went as far as they could and not hurt the box office.

Remember after all even with 'message' pictures, people have to come to the theater to see and get the message.

If it were done 20 years later someone like Lena Horne would have been cast in the part of Pinky. It was the kind of role that Lena wanted to do at MGM, but they wouldn't give her, they wouldn't be that bold. Still I can't fault Jeanne Crain's performance which got her an Oscar nomination for Best Actress. She lost the Oscar sweepstakes to Olivia DeHavilland for The Heiress.

Crain as Pinky has come home to her southern town after many years of living in the north and passing for white with her light features. As she puts she started when a train conductor escorted to the white section of a train she was riding on back when she left to go to nursing school. Of course the news that she's done that is shocking to her grandmother Ethel Waters who raised her.

It's also a culture shock to Crain to come home and relearn segregated ways after living in the north. When Sammy Davis, Jr. wrote his autobiography Yes I Can he said he learned about racism for the first time in the army. Working in show business with his dad and uncle where he was a child performer like Michael Jackson was with his brothers he was insulated from the realities of the outside world. Show business was a cocoon for Davis just as passing was for Crain's Pinky character. She has some nasty incidents including one with Nina Mae McKinney who resents what she sees as high toned ways.

Still Crain through her grandmother accepts a position to be a nurse companion to grand dame Ethel Barrymore who owns quite a bit of property. Her family is the local gentry there and Barrymore is dying. When Barrymore dies she leaves her estate, house and land to Crain and that gets her blood relatives led by Norma Varden all bent out of joint and ready to contest the will.

Which sets the film up for a trial similar to the one in To Kill A Mockingbird although this is a civil matter. The result of which you'll have to see the film for.

Besides those already mentioned look for sterling performances by Basil Ruysdael as Crain's attorney, William Lundigan as a white doctor who has fallen for Pinky, and Griff Barnett as a sympathetic doctor.

The two Ethels, Barrymore and Waters, both received Oscar nominations for Best Supporting Actress. And as luck would have it Celeste Holm and Elsa Lanchester were also nominated in that same category for Come To The Stable. So with two double nominees for two pictures, Mercedes McCambridge went right up the middle and won for her performance in All The King's Men. Made easier of course by the fact that Mercedes was also in the Best Picture of 1949.

Pinky is both old fashioned and groundbreaking. We'd never see casting like this again, but at the same time we can applaud the courage and daring it took for 20th Century Fox to make this film and for Jeanne Crain who got her career role out of it.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (37 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Pinky (1949)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
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
Nina Mae McKinney as Pinky hud9150
See more »

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