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Malcolm X (1992)

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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.



(book), (book) | 2 more credits »
2,962 ( 131)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 18 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »



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


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:






Release Date:

18 November 1992 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

X  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$33,000,000 (estimated)


$48,169,908 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(35 mm prints)| (70 mm prints)


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Martin Scorsese taught Spike Lee film directing in NYU. Malcolm X has many of the same filmmaking styles as Goodfellas (1990). Both are autobiographical movies with voice over narration and freeze frames sometimes with voice over. The opening of both movies intercut between credits and a scene. There are also flashbacks and various scenes repeated at times. They are also from Warner Bros. with the aspect ratio at 1.85:1. See more »


After his house is firebombed, Malcolm shouts for someone to call 911. The number was not established as an emergency line until 1968, three years after his assassination. See more »


[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.
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

The credits feature many prominent African-American entertainers (Bill Cosby and Janet Jackson among others) wearing X-Caps and using their arms to make the "X" symbol. See more »


Referenced in Will & Grace: Steams Like Old Times (2005) See more »


Stairway to the Stars
Written by Mitchell Parish, Matt Malneck, and Frank Signorelli
Performed by Ella Fitzgerald
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A film that stands the test of time.....
23 April 2004 | by (Durham,North Carolina) – See all my reviews

This was a stirring tribute of a film that to this day still stands the test of time even after its release more than a decade ago. This was in fact a autobiography and educational film which some of the most electrifying performance ever displayed on film,and it is the reason to see why. This was Denzel Washington's finest piece of work and most notably the best of his career in which he should have been nominated for Best Actor Oscar category,instead of his work which he won the Best Actor statue for 2001's "Training Day". Anyway,"Malcolm X",was a brilliant tribute to the controversial black activist,a leader in the struggle for black liberation as well as black pride and one of the most outspoken individuals who had a different side of the civil rights movement where a time when America was at war with itself.

Based on the best-selling autobiography by Malcolm X and Alex Haley,and with spellbinding direction by Spike Lee,it traces the story of Malcolm himself,from his days as a hustler and drug runner and hitting rock bottom during his imprisonment in the 1950's,he became a Black Muslim and then a leader in the Nation Of Islam under the guidance of the honorable Elijah Muhammad. His assassination in 1965 left a legacy of black nationalism,self-determination and racial pride that continues to the day and within a new generation whom for the first time has witnessed a masterpiece of cimematic work. This is marked by strong performances throughout with powerful direction by Spike Lee,cimematopgrapher Ernest Dickerson,and riveting breathtaking performances by Denzel Washington,Angela Bassett,and most notably from Al Freeman,Jr. as Elijah Muhammad. The real centerpiece of the film is from Denzel Washington himself,whose convincing performance in the title role brings this film alive. When this film came out,it only receive one Oscar nomination but however,the film garnered a lot of awards including the NAACP Image Film Award,The New York Film Critics Award for Best Actor,The Los Angeles Times Film Award for Best Director and Best Actor,and MTV Movie Awards for both Denzel Washington and Al Freeman,Jr.--all of this happened in 1992,when the film came out.

As far as the cameos go,this film had a lot of them in one picture including Black Panther Bobby Seale,Reverend Al Sharpton,The Honorable Nelson Mandela,Reverend Jesse Jackson,along with Hollywood walk-ons: Christopher Plummer,Karen Allen,Peter Boyle and Danny Glover,and Whoopi Goldberg.

Brilliant!-Five Stars

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