Down 749 this week

White Man's Burden (1995)

Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 5.2/10 from 3,550 users  
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 »



0Check in

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 29 titles
created 04 Aug 2011
a list of 27 titles
created 03 Jan 2012
a list of 37 titles
created 17 Feb 2012
list image
a list of 23 titles
created 23 Feb 2013
a list of 46 titles
created 5 months ago

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: White Man's Burden (1995)

White Man's Burden (1995) on IMDb 5.2/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of White Man's Burden.
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Mad City (1997)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A disgruntled security guard holds a school trip group hostage, while a news reporter forms a bond with him.

Director: Costa-Gavras
Stars: John Travolta, Dustin Hoffman, Alan Alda
City Hall (1996)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

The accidental shooting of a boy in New York leads to an investigation by the Deputy Mayor, and unexpectedly far-reaching consequences.

Director: Harold Becker
Stars: Al Pacino, John Cusack, Bridget Fonda
Disclosure (1994)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A computer specialist is sued for sexual harassment by a former lover turned boss who initiated the act forcefully, which threatens both his career and his personal life.

Director: Barry Levinson
Stars: Michael Douglas, Demi Moore, Donald Sutherland
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An employee of a one-hour photo lab becomes obsessed with a young suburban family.

Director: Mark Romanek
Stars: Robin Williams, Connie Nielsen, Michael Vartan
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A Manhattan ambulance paramedic, overworked and haunted by visions of his failures, fights to keep a tenuous grip on his clarity.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Patricia Arquette, John Goodman
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A young woman fakes her own death in an attempt to escape her nightmarish marriage, but discovers it is impossible to elude her controlling husband.

Director: Joseph Ruben
Stars: Julia Roberts, Patrick Bergin, Kevin Anderson
The Chamber (1996)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A young man fresh out of law school tries to win a reprieve for his racist grandfather who is on death row.

Director: James Foley
Stars: Chris O'Donnell, Gene Hackman, Faye Dunaway
The Firm (1993)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A young lawyer joins a prestigious law firm only to discover that it has a sinister dark side.

Director: Sydney Pollack
Stars: Tom Cruise, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Gene Hackman
Dead Calm (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A mass-murderer kidnaps and seduces a young woman after leaving her husband to die on the vessel whose crew he's just slaughtered.

Director: Phillip Noyce
Stars: Nicole Kidman, Sam Neill, Billy Zane
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

The story of what happens one day in New York when a young lawyer and a businessman share a small automobile accident on F.D.R. Drive and their mutual road rage escalates into a feud.

Director: Roger Michell
Stars: Ben Affleck, Samuel L. Jackson, Kim Staunton
Fear (1996)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A 16 year old girl takes up with a charming young man who quickly shows his colors when he beats a friend simply for walking with her and then goes totally ballistic after she tries to break up with him.

Director: James Foley
Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Reese Witherspoon, William Petersen
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A wealthy New York investment banking executive hides his alternate psychopathic ego from his co-workers and friends as he escalates deeper into his illogical, gratuitous fantasies.

Director: Mary Harron
Stars: Christian Bale, Justin Theroux, Josh Lucas


Cast overview, first billed only:
Thaddeus Thomas
Marsha Pinnock
Megan Thomas
Donnie Pinnock
Tom Nolan ...


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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


Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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





Release Date:

1 December 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

White Man's Burden  »

Box Office


$7,000,000 (estimated)


$3,760,515 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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


[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 »


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

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

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

2 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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
Discuss White Man's Burden (1995) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: