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

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

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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
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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 »

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Release Date:

18 March 1961 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

Sombras  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Gena Rowlands: Uncredited, as a woman in a nightclub audience. 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'.
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Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in I Call First (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Beautiful
Written by Jack Ackerman, Hunt Stevens and Eleanor Winters
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User Reviews

Like it was made yesterday...and reading recommendations
15 April 2002 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

This is a great movie. Like it was made yesterday. Punk, beat in sensibility. About young people struggling on the fringes.

But I am mainly writing to mention that a guy named Ray Carney just wrote an astonishing book about the movie that has incredible behind the scenes details that no one ever knew before. I HIGHLY recommend it.

Cassavetes revealed things to Carney before he died in a Rosebud conversation that he had never told anyone about the film--like the fact that most of it was scripted and not improvised as the final title indicates. The book is titled Shadows and is available in any well stocked store. Carney is also the author of another WONDERFUL book titled Cassavetes on Cassavetes. Carney also has a web site that you should check out with lots of other Cassavetes material. The site is accessible from any search engine--if you type in Cassavetes' name--if you want to read even more behind the scenes stories about how Shadows and the other films were made.


18 of 29 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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