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The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman (1974)

TV Movie  |  TV-PG  |   |  Drama  |  31 January 1974 (USA)
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Reviews: 28 user | 6 critic

Story of a black woman in the South who was born into slavery in the 1850s and lives to become a part of the civil rights movement in the 1960s.

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Title: The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman (TV Movie 1974)

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Won 9 Primetime Emmys. Another 1 win & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Eric Brown ...
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Master Bryant (as Richard A. Dysart)
Joel Fluellen ...
Will Hare ...
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David Hooks ...
Elinora B. Johnson ...
Warren Kenner ...
Job
Dudley Knight ...
Derrick Mills ...
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Valerie Odell ...
Ticey (as Valeria Odell)
Odetta ...
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Storyline

In February, 1962, as the civil rights movement reaches Bayonne, Louisiana, a New York journalist arrives to interview Jane Pittman, who has just turned 110. She tells him her story dating back to her earliest memories before slavery ended, a long walk toward freedom, marriage to Joe Pittman, her adopted son Ned's work as an educator, helping to raise Jimmy, who returns as a civil rights worker, and her own decision to become involved in contemporary issues. In between the chapters of her life, the present-day struggles of Blacks in Bayonne, urged on by Jimmy, are dramatized. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Drama

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Release Date:

31 January 1974 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Autobiografia di Miss Jane Pittman  »

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Originally shown on US TV with only one commercial break. See more »

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Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Leech Woman (1997) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A tale of incredible Endurance and Resilience.
19 September 2005 | by (Cambridge, MA) – See all my reviews

The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman is a powerful story. Miss Jane's story of the 110 years of her life is incredible. How anyone could survive the horrors that she endured from slavery to freedom to carpetbaggers to even seeing the Civil Rights movement is almost unfathomable. The sad thing is that much never really changes for blacks over the 110 years even though they are free. Discrimination, lynching and the Ku Klux Klan are part of daily life.

Miss Jane never realizes her dream of reaching Ohio (the North). She loses everyone precious to her, her foster mother, Big Laura, her son, her husband, her godson. The only time she was really truly happy was during her brief marriage to Joe Pittman, a cowboy who's killed by an albino 'devil' horse. Yet, one wonders if her actions didn't cause Joe's death. She sharecrops and does what she needs to do to survive. Miss Jane remains a feisty admirable old woman to the end.

The scene at the water fountain where Miss Jane dares the rednecks to try and stop her from drinking from the 'White's Only' fountain is so powerful. The expressions on the actors' faces white and black are so real.

Cicely Tyson does an excellent job playing a 110 year old woman. In fact it's hard to believe that she is not an old woman. This film is far shorter than Roots and in my opinion should be required viewing for all American High School students.


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