IMDb > Once Upon a Time... When We Were Colored (1995)
Once Upon a Time... When We Were Colored
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Once Upon a Time... When We Were Colored (1995) More at IMDbPro »

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Writers (WGA):
Clifton L. Taulbert (book)
Paul W. Cooper (screenplay)
Release Date:
26 January 1996 (USA) See more »
A narrator tells the story of his childhood years in a tightly knit Afro-American community in the deep south under racial segregation. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
2 wins & 2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Upon a time See more (7 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Al Freeman Jr. ... Poppa

Phylicia Rashad ... Ma Ponk

Leon ... Uncle Melvin

Paula Kelly ... Ma Pearl

Salli Richardson-Whitfield ... Miss Alice (as Salli Richardson)

Anna Maria Horsford ... Miss Annie

Bernie Casey ... Mr. Walter

Isaac Hayes ... Preacher Hurn

Ray J ... Cliff (12 Yrs.) (as Willis Norwood Jr.)

Karen Malina White ... Mary

Damon Hines ... Cliff at 16
Iona Morris ... Nila Fontaine

Phill Lewis ... Sammy (19 Yrs.) / Narrator

Taj Mahal ... Mr. Will

Polly Bergen ... Miss Maybry

Richard Roundtree ... Cleve
Braxton Brown III ... Sammy (7 Yrs.)

Frank Hoyt Taylor ... Straw Boss (as Frank Taylor)
Montrel Johnson ... Cliff (Newborn)
Deionyos Llerena ... Cliff (2 Months)

Ben Epps ... Moss Jones
Tyrone Hicks ... Willie Jones

Charles Earl Taylor Jr. ... Cliff (5 Yrs.) (as Charles Earl 'Spud' Taylor Jr.)
Winston Hemingway ... Moses Taulbert

Sean Bridgers ... Mr. Bob
Edward Allen ... Colored Man in KKK Crowd
Don Tilley ... Klansman #1
George Hasenstaab ... Klansman #2

Deji LaRay ... Clarence / School Bully (as Deji Olasimbo)
Angelo Pope ... Henry / School Bully

Brandon Crawford ... Sammy (12 Yrs.)

Daphne Reid ... Miss Maxey (as Daphne Maxwell Reid)
Ralph Wilcox ... Cooter Man
Beatrice Bush ... Lurlean
David MacIntyre ... Juke Joint Patron #1 (as Dave McIntyre)
Tyhm Kennedy ... Juke Joint Patron #2
Darren Beatty ... Juke Joint Patron #2

David S. Lomax ... Juke Joint Fighter (as David Lomax)
Carter Gaston ... Cousin Bobby (12 Yrs.)
Stan Kelly ... Road Manager
Ashanti Nailah Blaize ... Louise (as Ashanti Blaize)
Mark Britt ... Hoochie-coochie show barker
Rick Warner ... Dr. Duke
Darren Law ... Stanley / Field Worker
David Lenthall ... Mr. Barnes
Ken Sprunt ... A & D Business Man (as Kenneth Sprunt Jr.)
Sherita Starks ... Hattie Mae

Crystal R. Fox ... Miss Doll (as Crystal Fox)

Joe Inscoe ... Mr. Stein

Nate Bynum ... Bill Crocket
Wayne Dehart ... Brother Stanley
Schree Tina Lewis ... Lillie Short (as Schree 'Tina' Lewis)
Bobby Graham ... Field Worker #2
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Jay Ellis ... Extra (uncredited)
Tom Eubanks ... Juke joint patron (uncredited)

Neil Ross ... (uncredited)

Directed by
Tim Reid 
Writing credits
Clifton L. Taulbert (book)

Paul W. Cooper (screenplay)

Produced by
Michael Bennett .... producer
Freddye Chapman .... co-producer
Butch Lewis .... executive producer
Paulette Millichap .... co-producer
Tim Reid .... producer
Clifton L. Taulbert .... co-producer
Original Music by
Paul Buckmaster 
Lionel Cole 
Steve Tyrell 
Cinematography by
John Simmons 
Film Editing by
David Pincus 
Casting by
Jaki Brown  (as Jaki Brown-Karmman)
Production Design by
Michael Paul Clausen 
Art Direction by
Geoffrey S. Grimsman 
Set Decoration by
Kristen McGary 
Costume Design by
Winnie D. Brown 
Makeup Department
Sterfon Demings .... hair designer (as Sterfon Demmings)
Sandra S. Orsolyak .... additional makeup artist
Wynona Price .... key makeup artist
Production Management
Michael Tinger .... post-production supervisor
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Rip Murray .... first assistant director
Daphne Reid .... second unit director
Art Department
Scott A. Lawson .... set dresser
Alton McClellan .... charge scenic
Rick Mobbs .... illustrator
Rick Mobbs .... scenic artist
David Russell .... storyboard artist
Larry Sauls .... set dresser
Roger Scruggs .... carpenter
Chris Crowder .... carpenter (uncredited)
Sound Department
Michael A. Patillo .... sound mixer
Special Effects by
Greg Hull .... special effects
Dean Mumford .... stunt coordinator
Camera and Electrical Department
Adam Alphin .... second assistant camera
G. Smokey Campbell .... Assistant Chief Lighting Technician
Darryl Cowherd .... gaffer
Chip Hackler .... assistant camera
Gregg 'Deadair' Norton .... company grip
Woogie Thomas .... key grip
Robbie Thompson .... camera production assistant
Casting Department
Craig Fincannon .... casting: North Carolina
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Cynthia Flowers .... key costumer
Location Management
Aaron Fiore .... location assistant
Jim Herring .... location manager (as James Herring)
E. Michael Hewett .... location scout (uncredited)
Music Department
Lionel Cole .... music editor
Grant Conway .... additional music engineer
Robert F. Mann .... composer: additional music
Michael C. Ross .... music mixer
Michael C. Ross .... music recordist
Steve Tyrell .... music producer
Transportation Department
Edwin Bowden Jr. .... driver
Other crew
Ira Friedlander .... production accountant
Eleanor Hemingway .... production manager
Arthurenee Henderson .... production accounts
Gregory Hubbard .... choreographer
Connie Kunz .... first assistant accountant
Eleanor Nichols .... production manager
Frederic Perrin .... caterer
Karen Sanquist .... post-production accountant
Andrea Smith .... choreographer
Sherri G. Sneed .... production coordinator
Caleb Womble .... office production assistant
Rhonda Marie Alston .... dancer (uncredited)

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Rated PG for thematic elements including mild violence, language, and sensuality
115 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

7 years prior to this film, Bernie Casey (Mr. Walter) And Isaac Hayes (Preacher Hurn) acted together in the Keenen Ivory Wayans comedy, "I'm Gonna Git You Sucka."See more »
narrator:Everyone clung to the idea that if you worked hard, you get a piece of the American dream.See more »
Maybe TomorrowSee more »


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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful.
Upon a time, 29 March 2009
Author: wordsmith_57 from United States

I kept waiting for the bad moments to happen, as so often they do in these reminiscent movies of growing up in the south, yet no real drama occurred. These were moments pieced together, and if that was the intent--it worked. True, a child's reflection of childhood would be pieces of memory chained loosely together, impressions of events, people, and times. However, when the movie ended I thought, "That's it?" There were fine performances; however, the plot seemed to soft-step around the real issues, such as the Jim Crow laws, segregated schooling, subservient wages, and escaping to the north to avoid the subjugation. We got breadth, when depth might have made a much more interesting plot line.

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