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Native Son (1986)

In 1940s Chicago, a young black man takes a job as a chauffeur to a white family, which takes a turn for the worse when he accidentally kills the teenage daughter of the couple and then tries to cover it up.



, (novel)
2 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mary Dalton
Mrs. Dalton
Mr. Dalton
Willard E. Pugh ...
Walter Rivers ...


Bigger Thomas, an African American who lives in an impoverished neighborhood, is employed by a prosperous white family who live in the suburbs of a major city. The money Bigger makes at his new job will be used to supplement his mother's income. As a chauffeur, he is directed by the father of the family to take Mary, the daughter, to the university. Instead, Mary decides to pick up her Socialist boyfriend, Jan, and to spend the time drinking and partying. Jan and Mary portray a young liberal couple who venture into a black neighborhood with Bigger for the sole purpose of being entertained at Ernie's, a black nightclub. On the way home, Mary becomes inebriated and Bigger must get her to her bedroom without being detected. Mary's mother, who is blind, enters the room and Bigger panics at the thought of being caught with a white woman. He accidentally kills Mary by placing a pillow over her head to keep her quiet. Still frightened, Bigger disposes of the body in the furnace, possibly ... Written by Broncine G. Carter

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Drama | Romance


PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

12 December 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Native Son - Im Namen der Gerechtigkeit  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$2,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$141,863, 28 December 1986, Limited Release

Gross USA:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


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Did You Know?


Bigger Thomas: That white girl, she drank too much. It ain't my fault what happened after that.
See more »


"Jones Come Down (Call Me, Call Me, Call Me)
Written by James Mtume, Diane Silver and Dunn E. Pearson
Performed by Stephanie Mills
See more »

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User Reviews

A reasonable adaptation, could've been better.
7 February 2007 | by See all my reviews

Having been on set a few days I can say the acting overall was very good. A good early dramatic performance by Oprah. (Hint: She get's in a funky blue mood by singing spirituals offstage between takes) And a very impressive performance by Victor Love. Since everybody was working for scale all the names were to be listed and evenly credited.

Question: Who played Oprah's daughter? Diamond Dawn Cook (AKA: AdrienneCook) That's not in the IMDb database.

I was also impressed by the rat wrangler. Who knew so much effort went into that one scene. One rat to skitter across the floor. One to cower in the corner. And one killed, though not really with a frying pan.

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