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White Man's Burden (1995)

5.2
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Reviews: 46 user | 18 critic

The story takes place in alternative America where the blacks are members of social elite, and whites are inhabitants of inner city ghettos. Louis Pinnock is a white worker in a chocolate ... See full summary »

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Title: White Man's Burden (1995)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
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Thaddeus Thomas
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Marsha Pinnock
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Megan Thomas
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Stanley
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Donnie Pinnock
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Martin
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Lionel
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Roberta
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Dorothy
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John
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Williams
Tom Nolan ...
Johansson
...
Marcus
...
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Storyline

The story takes place in alternative America where the blacks are members of social elite, and whites are inhabitants of inner city ghettos. Louis Pinnock is a white worker in a chocolate factory, loving husband and father of two children. While delivering a package for black CEO Thaddeus Thomas, he is mistaken for a voyeur and, as a result, loses his job, gets beaten by black cops and his family gets evicted from their home. Desperate Pinnock takes a gun and kidnaps Thomas, demanding justice. Written by Dragan Antulov <dragan.antulov@altbbs.fido.hr>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In a world of right and wrong, justice is seldom black or white. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language and some violence | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

1 December 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

White Man's Burden  »

Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$3,760,515 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Travolta took the role at Quentin Tarantino's urging. See more »

Quotes

[Last lines. Mrs. Pinnock has just refused to accept from Mr. Thomas the money he owed her husband]
Thaddeus Thomas: Why don't you keep it? I can give you some more if you think... if you think it's not enough.
Marsha Pinnock: ...& how much do you think would be enough?
[turns, shuts the door and walks away]
See more »

Soundtracks

Animal
Written by Curt Kirkwood
Performed by Meat Puppets
Courtesy of London Records USA
by arrangement with Polygram Special Markets
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A profound premise and message is a little bit lost in the clutter but I see where it's going
24 August 2007 | by (Ontario, Canada) – See all my reviews

White Man's Burden is the type of film that if written by some stellar world Author and directed by the Hollywood Artistic elite and housed some of the world's finest actors it might have been an Academy Award darling. I don't mean to downplay any of the fine cast or director/writer Desmond Nakano who doesn't really have a lot of experience but I think really did try his best with this low budget production. He has a message that he's really trying to convey with this film and it's undoubtedly a powerful and important message but the question is...what is it? The message on the surface you'd think is that what it would be like for the white race if they were in the position that the black race is in and has been for years? But I honestly don't think that is the message because the film doesn't tip toe around anything. In fact if that is the message and I were a person of African American descent I'd be a little offended because most of the white people (99%) are portrayed in Ghetto's, committing crimes, being beaten, a lower class, sub-intelligent, well meaning group of people but clearly nowhere near the standard of the elite race (in this cast the black race.) I think his message is something different entirely but it's hidden amidst a bit of a muddled story and an unclear premise.

John Travolta is a terrific screen presence. He has had his ups and downs but I think he's a terrific actor and really captures a character and has a great time and the best part is I always find him very down to earth, he's a regular joe and I'd love to meet him some day. His performance, I think, is very good and one of the more powerful in the film as down on his luck white guy Louis Pinnock. Pinnock cares about his family and he's just tired of the way the world is working because he's been busting his butt for years to get on the good side of things. Some suggest that his performs seems to show Pinnock has a lack of intelligence and I don't disagree but I think that might be where the character is supposed to go. I think he lacks book smarts, and maybe he's a little slower hence why he goes to these rash ends to help his family. He's a man at his breaking point and I think he is terrific in the role. Harry Belafonte is terrific as rough around the edges but part of the wealthy elite Thaddeus Thomas. Travolta and Belafonte have good chemistry which is vital for this film. It's not perfect and I think their chemistry and relationship could have been better portrayed but it's done decently. I would have loved to have seen a black actor with a little more experience and talent perform the role (Morgan Freeman perhaps?) The supporting cast are decent enough including Kelly Lynch as Pinnock's wife and Margaret Avery as Thomas' wife. Also in a really good performance is the young Andrew Lawrence (of the Lawrence brothers) as Pinnock's son who really does a terrific job in the birthday shopping scene.

There are some truly powerful scenes in the film including the above shopping scene where young Donnie Pinnock chooses a popular 'Black' Super Hero toy over a less expensive white one. The world they live in is not entirely different from our own with the exception that it would seem as though the white race is a lesser class. I read one review that suggested Nakano's message was that things wouldn't be different for any other race had they had the same situation that black people have had. That message seems to ring true throughout the film. It still is a message about acceptance and understanding a man fighting for what he believes in the only way he knows how. It's an interesting film but just doesn't have the power and the backing that it could have or should have had. Still it's a very interesting watch especially for Travolta fans because I think his performance was very good. The film is an interesting and very different story which is always a good thing. 7.5/10


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Message Boards

Recent Posts
White man is still kinda the hero t_canup
Trying to figure this out from a historical perspective. uniquecliche
The vice versa thing-Ok, but the rest of the movie Sucks!!! vanros
Bats_Breath's Comments are racist franklyn-4
Recycled role by Travolta Kartoon_Wurley
Subtly racist? happyhealey
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