MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 2,070 this week

Shadows (1959)

 -  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 5,499 users  
Reviews: 33 user | 51 critic

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

Director:

Writer:

0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 25 titles
created 28 Feb 2012
 
a list of 21 titles
created 19 Dec 2012
 
a list of 33 titles
created 13 Jan 2013
 
a list of 44 titles
created 12 Feb 2013
 
a list of 45 titles
created 6 months ago
 

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... 

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
Faces I (1968)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 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
Paris, Texas (1984)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A man wanders out of the desert after a four year absence. His brother finds him, and together they return to L.A. to reunite the man with his young son. Soon after, he and the boy set out ... See full summary »

Director: Wim Wenders
Stars: Harry Dean Stanton, Nastassja Kinski, Dean Stockwell
Belle de Jour (1967)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A frigid young housewife decides to spend her midweek afternoons as a prostitute.

Director: Luis Buñuel
Stars: Catherine Deneuve, Jean Sorel, Michel Piccoli
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

After living a life marked by coldness, an aging professor is forced to confront the emptiness of his existence.

Director: Ingmar Bergman
Stars: Victor Sjöström, Bibi Andersson, Ingrid Thulin
Husbands (1970)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 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
La Strada (1954)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A care-free girl is sold to a traveling entertainer, consequently enduring physical and emotional pain along the way.

Director: Federico Fellini
Stars: Anthony Quinn, Giulietta Masina, Richard Basehart
Contempt (1963)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Paul Javal is a writer who is hired to make a script for a new movie about Ulysses more commercial, which is to be directed by Fritz Lang and produced by Jeremy Prokosch. But because he let... See full summary »

Director: Jean-Luc Godard
Stars: Brigitte Bardot, Jack Palance, Michel Piccoli
Winter Light (1963)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A small town priest struggles with his faith.

Director: Ingmar Bergman
Stars: Ingrid Thulin, Gunnar Björnstrand, Gunnel Lindblom
The Silence (1963)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

"The Silence" is about the emotional distance between two sisters. The younger one is still attractive enough to pick up a lover in a strange city. The older one -- even though she is very ... See full summary »

Director: Ingmar Bergman
Stars: Ingrid Thulin, Gunnel Lindblom, Birger Malmsten
Tokyo Story (1953)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

An old couple visit their children and grandchildren in the city; but the children have little time for them.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu
Stars: Chishû Ryû, Chieko Higashiyama, Sô Yamamura
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

On their way to a sailing trip, an aging husband and wife invite along an emphatic young hitchhiker out of sheer patronization.

Director: Roman Polanski
Stars: Leon Niemczyk, Jolanta Umecka, Zygmunt Malanowicz
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

Plot Keywords:

friendship | talent | jazz | 1950s | singer | See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

18 March 1961 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

Shadows  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

During one of his regular acting workshop sessions, John Cassavetes recognized in one particular improvised skit the premise for a potentially good film. Over several years he developed the plot in his workshops, employing many of his young students in his film. See more »

Quotes

Tony: I need the key for 042!
David: You can't get it, Elaine's not in.
Rupert: Where is she?
David: She's dealing with the raccoons, man.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

References Man or Gun (1958) 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).


16 of 32 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:
?