MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 235 this week

Shadows (1959)

PG  |   |  Drama  |  18 March 1961 (Denmark)
7.4
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.4/10 from 6,472 users  
Reviews: 36 user | 59 critic

Cassavetes' jazz-scored improvisational film explores interracial friendships and relationships in Beat-Era (1950s) New York City.

Director:

Writer:

0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

ON DISC

Family Entertainment Guide

Check out IMDb's comprehensive Family Entertainment Guide for recommendations for movies and TV series for every age and every viewing platform.

Visit our Family Entertainment Guide

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 24 titles
created 22 Oct 2011
 
a list of 26 titles
created 03 Feb 2012
 
a list of 30 titles
created 27 Nov 2013
 
a list of 36 titles
created 11 months ago
 
a list of 30 titles
created 8 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Shadows" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Shadows (1959)

Shadows (1959) on IMDb 7.4/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Shadows.

User Polls

Nominated for 3 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Mabel, a wife and mother, is loved by her husband Nick but her madness proves to be a problem in the marriage. The film transpires to a positive role of madness in the family, challenging conventional representations of madness in cinema.

Director: John Cassavetes
Stars: Gena Rowlands, Peter Falk, Fred Draper
Love Streams (1984)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Two closely bound, emotionally wounded siblings reunite after years apart.

Director: John Cassavetes
Stars: Gena Rowlands, John Cassavetes, Diahnne Abbott
Gloria (1980)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

When a young boy's family is killed by the mob, their tough neighbor Gloria becomes his reluctant guardian. In possession of a book that the gangsters want, the pair go on the run in New York.

Director: John Cassavetes
Stars: Gena Rowlands, Buck Henry, Julie Carmen
Big Trouble (1986)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

Insurance agent plots with client to kill her nutty husband.

Director: John Cassavetes
Stars: Peter Falk, Alan Arkin, Beverly D'Angelo
Faces I (1968)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An old married man leaves his wife for a younger woman. Shortly after, his ex-wife also begins a relationship with a younger partner. The film follows their struggles to find love amongst each other.

Director: John Cassavetes
Stars: John Marley, Gena Rowlands, Lynn Carlin
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A proud strip club owner is forced to come to terms with himself as a man, when his gambling addiction gets him in hot water with the mob, who offer him only one alternative.

Director: John Cassavetes
Stars: Ben Gazzara, Timothy Carey, Seymour Cassel
Opening Night (1977)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

An actress suffers an emotional uproar in her personal life after a fan dies trying to see her.

Director: John Cassavetes
Stars: Gena Rowlands, John Cassavetes, Ben Gazzara
Husbands (1970)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A common friend's sudden death brings three men, married with children, to reconsider their lives and ultimately leave together. But mindless enthusiasm for regained freedom will be ... See full summary »

Director: John Cassavetes
Stars: Ben Gazzara, Peter Falk, John Cassavetes
Pickpocket (1959)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Michel is released from jail after serving a sentence for thievery. His mother dies and he resorts to pickpocketing as a means of survival.

Director: Robert Bresson
Stars: Martin LaSalle, Marika Green, Jean Pélégri
Johnny Staccato (TV Series 1959)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Johnny Staccato is a jazz pianist and private detective.

Stars: John Cassavetes, Eduardo Ciannelli, Frank London
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Nick is desperate, holed up in a cheap hotel, suffering from an ulcer and convinced that a local mobster wants him killed. He calls Mikey, his friend since childhood, but when Mikey arrives... See full summary »

Director: Elaine May
Stars: Peter Falk, John Cassavetes, Ned Beatty
A Man Escaped (1956)
Drama | Thriller | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

French Resistance activist Andre Devigny is imprisoned by the Nazis, and devotes his waking hours to planning an elaborate escape. Then, on the same day, he is condemned to death, and given... See full summary »

Director: Robert Bresson
Stars: François Leterrier, Charles Le Clainche, Maurice Beerblock
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ben Carruthers ...
Ben
Lelia Goldoni ...
Hugh Hurd ...
Anthony Ray ...
Dennis Sallas ...
...
Tom (as Tom Allen)
David Pokitillow ...
Rupert Crosse ...
David Jones ...
Davey (as Davey Jones)
Pir Marini ...
Pir the Piano Player
Victoria Vargas ...
Jack Ackerman ...
Jack, Director of Dance Studio
Jacqueline Walcott ...
Cliff Carnell
Jay Crecco
Edit

Storyline

Benny's a hipster, moving in and out of Manhattan's beat scene, aimless, maybe close to trouble. His sister Lelia, who looks less African-American than White, is vulnerable and about to fall in love. Hugh, their older brother, is a struggling singer whose agent, Rupert, may be the only person with faith in his talent. The story moves back and forth, like jazz, among the three of them and what seems at first to be separate lives. Lelia meets Tony, and lets herself hope this is true love. Then he meets Hugh and prejudice gives Tony an excuse to cut and run. Can family and friendship bring solace for her hurt, purpose for Benny, and belief in Hugh? Is life more than shadows? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

18 March 1961 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

Sombras  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The picture's restoration version features the following pre-film statement: "SHADOWS (Cassavetes' release version, 1959) has been restored from the original 16mm negative, a 35mm duplicate negative, and a 35mm positive print. The original elements are in extremely poor condition. This print integrates selected sequences utilizing digital picture restoration tools. An alternate version has been made using soley analog picture restoration methods". See more »

Quotes

Girl at Party: The trouble with you is, you have a case of self-induced hysteria every time you hear the word 'existentialism'.
See more »

Crazy Credits

"Presented by Jean Shepherd's Night People" See more »

Connections

Featured in Hollywood Mavericks (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

Beautiful
Written by Jack Ackerman, Hunt Stevens and Eleanor Winters
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

When Improversation Works
8 November 2000 | by (Boston, MA) – See all my reviews

In 1959, came two films named Breathless and Shadows that would have an impact on World Cinema. The former would begin a new era in French Cinema called the French New Wave. The latter would change the face of Independant movie making. Breathless was made by a man who was in love with the cinema and possessed quite a bit of knowledge about films. Shadows was done by a man whose origins lies in the theatre. Shadows(1959) came about because of John Cassavettes inability to find work as an actor during the 1950's. His anger and frustration due to not finding work led to his first film as a director. Shadows is about a couple of light black skin people who try to pass themselves as white in order to find acceptence. The main actors play themselves in this groundbreaking feature. The best scene of the film is when Lelia brings her boyfriend who is white to her brother's apartment and reveals to him that's she and her family are black. It would have a tremendous effect on future directors like Martin Scorsese and the Coen Brothers. The film's urban grittiness and the theme of guilt seems to be a predecessor to Martin Scorsese's breakthough classic Mean Streets(1973). Shadows(1959) is the grandfather of Dogma95 as well as The Blair Witch Project(1999) and Timecode(2000).


17 of 33 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Spike lee eduardoyoung21
Lelia and Ben are black? lonelybirthday
Which came first? literatelover
The caption at the end? valerianzamel
Does any body know anything about Ben Carruthers? whyofcourse64
real mad chick song jarrodzlatic
Discuss Shadows (1959) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?