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The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman (1974)

TV-PG | | Drama | TV Movie 31 January 1974
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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(screenplay), (novel)
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Won 9 Primetime Emmys. Another 2 wins & 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

Beginning during the racial turmoil of 1960s Louisiana, 110-year-old ex-slave Jane Pittman grants an interview to a persistent journalist and relates the remarkable story of her life. Orphaned early, she toils on a plantation until a chance meeting with a white Union soldier named Brown changes her outlook. Jane's emancipation marks only the beginning of an arduous and heartbreaking odyssey, framed by the horrors of slavery and the justice of the civil rights movement. Written by Jwelch5742

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Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

31 January 1974 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Autobiografia di Miss Jane Pittman  »

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Aspect Ratio:

4:3
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During the wide shot of the plantation scene, you can see a station wagon driving in the back. See more »

Quotes

Ned Age 42: I want my children to be black and proud of it.
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Connections

Referenced in Queer as Folk: Big Fucking Mouth (2003) 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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