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Malcolm X (1992)

Biographical epic of the controversial and influential Black Nationalist leader, from his early life and career as a small-time gangster, to his ministry as a member of the Nation of Islam.

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(book), (book) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 18 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Tommy Hollis ...
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Sidney
Jean-Claude La Marre ...
Benjamin 2X (as Jean LaMarre)
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Pete
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Sammy
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Storyline

Biograpical epic of Malcolm X, the legendary African American leader. Born Malcolm Little, his father (a Garveyite Baptist minister) was killed by the Ku Klux Klan. Malcolm became a gangster, and while in jail discovered the Nation of Islam writings of Elijah Muhammad. He preaches the teachings when let out of jail, but later on goes on a pilgrimage to the city of Mecca, there he converts to the original Islamic religion and becomes a Sunni Muslim and changes his name to El-Hajj Malik Al-Shabazz. He is assassinated on February 21, 1965 and dies a Muslim martyr. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for a scene of violence, and for drugs and some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

18 November 1992 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

X  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$33,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$48,169,908 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(35 mm prints)| (70 mm prints)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Spike Lee encountered difficulty in securing a sufficient budget. Lee told Warner Bros. and the bond company that a budget of over 30 million dollars was necessary; the studio disagreed, and offered a lower amount. Following advice from fellow director Francis Ford Coppola, Lee "got the movie company pregnant," taking it far enough along into actual production to attempt to force the studio to increase the budget. The film, initially budgeted at 28 million dollars, climbed to nearly 33 million dollars. Lee contributed two million dollars of his own three million dollar salary. Completion Bond Company, which assumed financial control in January 1992, refused to approve any more expenditures; in addition, the studio and bond company instructed Lee that the film could be no longer than two hours and fifteen minutes in length; the resulting conflict caused the project to be shut down in post-production. The film was saved by the financial intervention of prominent black Americans, some of whom appear in the film: Bill Cosby, Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Janet Jackson, Prince, and Peggy Cooper Cafritz, founder of the Duke Ellington School of the Arts. Their contributions were made as donations; as Lee noted, "This is not a loan. They are not investing in the film. These are black folks with some money, who came to the rescue of the movie. As a result, this film will be my version. Not the bond company's version, not Warner Brothers'. I will do the film the way it ought to be, and it will be over three hours." The actions of such prominent members of the African American community giving their money helped finish the project as Lee envisioned it. See more »

Goofs

Malcolm watches television news footage of race riots, including the March 1965 attack on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama and the 1967 Newark, New Jersey Riots. Both incidents took place after Malcolm was assassinated in February 1965. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Announcer: In the name of Allah the merciful, all praises due to Allah, Lord of all the worlds. The one God to whom praise is due forever. The one who came to us in the person of Master Fard Muhammad and raised up the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. Amen.
[pause]
Announcer: Asalaam-alaikum!
Crowd: Alaikum-salaam!
Announcer: How do you feel?
Crowd: Good!
Announcer: Who do we want to hear?
Crowd: Malcolm X!
Announcer: Are we gonna bring him on? Yes, we gonna bring him on. Well let us hear from our minister, Minister Malcolm X. Let us bring him on with a round of ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the end of the credits the film is dedicated to Alex Haley, author of the book the movie is based on. There is also a picture of the book and a special note that says: "Read 'The Autobiography of Malcolm X'" See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hangin' with Mr. Cooper: Private School (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

I Cover the Waterfront
Written by Johnny Green and Edward Heyman
Performed by Miki Howard
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Spike Lee's best movie ever
26 October 2005 | by (Portland, Oregon, USA) – See all my reviews

Reaching his apex of greatness, Spike Lee created a perfect biography of the Black Nationalist leader. In the title role, Denzel Washington literally becomes the character. From the opening, when he accurately accuses the white man of all the injustices that the white man has perpetrated, to his conversion to Islam (and rejection of his slave surname), to his eventual assassination, the movie is top-notch in every respect.

Having read Malcolm X's autobiography, I can affirm that the movie followed it very closely. Reading his autobiography will actually help you understand him even further. As will his indication that African-Americans bled for the white man in Korea, Japan, Italy, etc., so why shouldn't they bleed for their freedom at home? Anyway, "Malcolm X" is a perfect movie in every way.


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