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Band of Angels (1957)

 -  Drama | History | Romance  -  3 August 1957 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 1,113 users  
Reviews: 42 user | 9 critic

Mantha Starr grows up as a privileged southern Belle in the ante-bellum South but after her father dies broke, her world is destroyed when she discovers her mother was black.



(novel), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Title: Band of Angels (1957)

Band of Angels (1957) on IMDb 6.7/10

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Cast overview:
Hamish Bond
Amantha Starr
Lt. Ethan Sears
Rex Reason ...
Capt. Seth Parton (Union officer)
Charles de Marigny
Torin Thatcher ...
Capt. Canavan
Miss Idell
Mr. Calloway
Russell Evans ...
Jimmee (Bond's steward)
Carolle Drake ...
Michele (Bond's housekeeper)
Mr. Stuart (plantation owner)
Tommie Moore ...
Dollie (Bond's house servant)


Living in Kentucky prior to the Civil War, Amantha Starr is a privileged young woman. Her widower father, a wealthy plantation owner, dotes on her and he sends her to the best schools. When he dies suddenly however, Amantha's world is turned upside down. She learns that her father had been living on borrowed money and that her mother was actually a slave and her father's mistress. The plantation is to be sold to pay off her father's debts and as the daughter of slave, Amantha is also to be sold as property. She is bought by a Louisiana plantation owner, Hamish Bond and over time she grows to love him until she learns he was a slave-trader. She tries again to become part of white society but realizes that her future lies elsewhere. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


You're no blue blood any more, honey. The master bought you...and now he's waitin'!


Drama | History | Romance


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Release Date:

3 August 1957 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Band of Angels  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The film proved to be a complete failure on release, both critically and commercially. Clark Gable was annoyed by the comparisons with Gone with the Wind (1939) and instructed his agent, "If it doesn't suit an old geezer with false teeth, forget about it." He also decided to part company with Raoul Walsh, previously one of his favorite directors. See more »


Amantha Starr: [Wakes up in bed, stretches] Mr. Hamish Bond can't keep me here! I'm leaving the moment his back is turned.
Michele: [Offers a tray of food] The Master said those low-down men didn't bother to feed you. You must be very hungry.
Amantha Starr: [Frowns] I'll leave... as soon as I've had the chance to rest and recover my strength.
[Picke up a knife and fork and begins to eat]
See more »


Featured in Biography: Yvonne DeCarlo: Gilded Lily (2000) See more »


band of Angels
Music by Max Steiner
Lyrics by Carl Sigman
Sung by chorus over main titles
See more »

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User Reviews

Some facts....some fictions!
6 April 2011 | by (Michigan) – See all my reviews

This movie is something else I must say. I just don't know how to take it. I guess the thing that upset me the most was this movie was another example of Hollywood being racist, while telling a story about racism, their displaying racism. First thing that upset me was they cast a white actress to the part of a mixed black person, Hollywood did this often in movies about mixed race people (Pinky, Lost Boundaries, Imitation of Life, Show Boat), they always would cast white actors and actress and try to make them look ethnic, instead of hiring light-skinned black actress and actors to play the part, it would bring an authenticity to the role if a real black played the part. For this particular movie, Band of Angels, Hilda Simms (famous for playing Anna Lucasta on Broadway) who was a beautiful, talented, light-skinned black woman, would have been perfect as Manty, but as some reviewers have said, a true black and a white kissing and being in love on screen was taboo and something the world wasn't ready to see yet, but it was okay to see a "pretend black girl played by a white" and a white man in love, how much sense does that make??? Manty once lived as a white privileged girl, so when she finds out she's "black," she can't accept her blackness or the black side, and throughout the movie she's still acts like a white girl, detached in many ways. Yvonne De Carlo, doesn't even play the tragic mulatto well, she seems very cold, especially when she's on the black side. Its because she has no experience as a black, she can't bring that experience to the role, so she seems very detached and going through the motions in some parts of the movie. She couldn't bring the suffering and hardships of being black like a real black actress could.

This movie showed some truth about slavery, many white slave masters were sleeping with black women and having black mistresses. Where do you think all these different tones of black people come from? Many blacks have white ancestry, but most whites won't admit they have black relations. Many slave masters would keep their mixed race children a secret from their white families. President Thomas Jefferson has black descendants, from the children he had with his black slave mistress, but most white descendants of Thomas Jefferson haven't been as welcomed to them. I saw a common theme in this movie it seems the men couldn't wait to sleep with or rape the light-skinned Manty, proving that during slavery, many light-skinned black women were used as sex slaves back then, but yet still slaves.

Another thing about this movie is the "one drop of black blood" rule. This was something made up by whites to keep mixed race people out of their race. Whites wanted to keep their race pure, so even if a mixed race person looked more white, that drop of black kept them from being white. They didn't have a choice to choose to be black or white. White people were in denial of their black-white relations and gung-ho about not accepting mixed race ones, and that's still true to this day. Our President Obama is of mixed race, but people call him black. Also back then there was a rule that if your mother was a slave, you had to be a slave. That was one way slave owners could keep more slaves from being free. Quite a few black men were able to buy their freedom, but most black women couldn't afford their freedom and plus if a slave was of mixed race, she still had to be a slave, even if her father was a white man, if her mother was black she still had to be a slave.

There's some discrepancies in this film, I doubt in real life back then a Manty could just be crossing the color line back and forth, being black then being white. If you were lucky enough to pass and get away with it, you ran away somewhere no one knew you. If you were known as black, people would keep an eye on you so you wouldn't pass. Manty had more freedoms then a black girl would be given in true life back then, and she had more freedoms then even white woman would ever be given, so I doubt Manty would just be all over the place like she was in this film. Slave masters back then who were having affairs with blacks, didn't carry on so openly as this movie suggest. I doubt in real life Manty and Clark Gable would ride out into the sunset and live happily ever after.

I could understand the bitterness of Rau-Ru, Clark Gable's character buy slaves and supposedly treat them nice, to make up for being apart of the slave trade, but yet his slaves are still slaves, not free to go and come as they please. I wonder how many white slave owners back then thought they could make up for buying slaves by being nice.

Michele, played by model Carrole Drake, is a pretty house slave, who once was the mistress of Clark Gable, but when Manty was brought in, Michele had to move over, but she still loves him. It supposedly was taboo for a black and white romance, but anyone could see Michele and Clark Gable had something going on between them, without kissing. Carrole never did any other films, and that's ashame, she was wonderful in this part.

Tommie Moore was marvelous as the spunky, naughty, sassy Dolly, she was a wonderful black actress who people don't even know. She was a great actress, but like many black actress and actors it was hard to find work and get recognition. Juanita Moore, famous for Imitation of Life, was wonderful in her small part.

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