IMDb > 4 Little Girls (1997)
4 Little Girls
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4 Little Girls (1997) More at IMDbPro »

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Release Date:
9 July 1997 (USA) See more »
Birmingham, 1963. A single explosion rocked a community and awakened a sleeping nation. See more »
A documentary of the notorious racial terrorist bombing of an African American church during the Civil Rights Movement. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Nominated for Oscar. Another 6 wins & 8 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
moving, informative, and two stories interwoven exceedingly well See more (33 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)
Maxine McNair ... Herself - Mother of Denise McNair
Chris McNair ... Himself - Father of Denise McNair
Helen Pegues ... Herself - Denise's Aunt
Queen Nunn ... Herself - Neighbor of Denise McNair
Arthur Hanes Jr. ... Himself - Defense Attorney for Bob Chambliss
Howell Raines ... Himself - New York Times Editor
Harold McNair ... Himself - Denise's Uncle
Carole C. Smitherman ... Herself - Denise's Childhood Friend (as Carole C. Smitherman Esq.)
Wamo Reed Robertson ... Herself - Carole's Aunt
Dianne Braddock ... Herself - Carole's Sister
Carolyn Lee Brown ... Herself - Carole's Childhood Friend
Alpha Robertson ... Herself - Mother of Carole Robertson
Wyatt Tee Walker ... Himself - Former Executive Director of SCLC
Fred Lee Shuttlesworth ... Himself - Pres. of the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights (also archive footage)
Florence Terrell ... Herself - School Teacher
Gwendolyn White ... Herself - School Teacher
Doris Lockhart ... Herself - Neighbor of Cynthia Wesley
Gerald Colbert ... Himself - Cynthia's Childhood Neighbor
Freeman Hrabowski III ... Himself - Cynthia's Childhood Friend (as Dr. Freeman Hrabowski III)
Shirley Wesley King ... Herself - Cynthia's Sister
Carolyn M. McKinstry ... Herself - Cynthia's Childhood Friend
David J. Vann ... Himself - Former Mayor of Birmingham
Bill Baxley ... Himself - Former Attorney General of Alabama
Albert Boutwell ... Himself - Former Mayor of Birmingham (archive footage)
Andrew Young ... Himself - SCLC (as Rev. Andrew Young)
Taylor Branch ... Himself - Author
Nadean S. Williams ... Herself - Music Teacher
Janie Gaines ... Herself - Addie Mae's Sister
Rhonda Nunn Thomas ... Herself - Denise's Childhood Friend
James Bevel ... Himself - SCLC (also archive footage) (as Rev. James Bevel)
Tommy Wrenn ... Himself - SCLC
George Wallace ... Himself (also archive footage)
Nicholas Katzenbach ... Himself - Former US Attorney General (also archive footage)
Billie Harris ... Herself - Funeral Home Director
Ricky Powell ... Himself - Denise's Childhood Friend
Lillie Brown ... Herself - SCLC

Ossie Davis ... Himself - Actor and Playwright

Mahalia Jackson ... Herself - During March on Washington (archive footage)
Barbara Nunn ... Herself - Denise's Childhood Friend
John Cross ... Himself - Former Pastor of 16th St. Baptist Church (as Rev. John Cross)
Barbara Cross ... Herself - Daughter of Reverend Cross
Morris Marshall ... Himself - 16th Street Baptist Church Member
Junie Collins ... Herself - Addie Mae's Sister
Diane Nash ... Herself - SCLC
Faye Davis ... Herself - Carole's Childhood Friend
Coretta Scott King ... Herself

Walter Cronkite ... Himself - Special Correspondent CBS News

Bill Cosby ... Himself - Educator

Jesse Jackson ... Himself - Founder of the Rainbow Push Coalition (as Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr.)
Reggie White ... Himself - Green Bay Packers (as Rev. Reggie White)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ralph Abernathy ... Himself - with Martin Luther King (archive footage) (uncredited)
David Brinkley ... Himself - Reports on Chambliss Trial (archive footage) (uncredited)
Addie Mae Collins ... Herself (joint funeral) (archive footage) (uncredited)
Eugene 'Bull' Connor ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
James Farmer ... Himself - with Freedom Riders (archive footage) (uncredited)

Martin Luther King ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Spike Lee ... Interviewer (voice) (uncredited)
Denise McNair ... Herself (at family gathering) (archive footage) (uncredited)
Cynthia Wesley ... Herself (joint funeral) (archive footage) (uncredited)

Directed by
Spike Lee 
Produced by
Michele Forman .... associate producer
Jacqueline Glover .... coordinating producer
Spike Lee .... producer
Daphne McWilliams .... line producer
Sheila Nevins .... executive producer
Samuel D. Pollard .... producer (as Sam Pollard)
Original Music by
Terence Blanchard 
Cinematography by
Ellen Kuras 
Film Editing by
Samuel D. Pollard  (as Sam Pollard)
Production Management
Daphne McWilliams .... post-production supervisor
Art Department
Henry DeBardeleben .... swing (as Henry Debardeleben)
Kareem Jamel Johnson .... swing
Sound Department
Tim J. Carroll .... stereo sound engineer: Dolby
Roy Clark .... assistant sound engineer
Eugene Gearty .... sound effects editor
Skip Lievsay .... sound re-recording mixer
Tom Miho .... assistant sound engineer
Rolf Pardula .... additional sound recordist
Glenfield Payne .... supervising sound editor
J.T. Takagi .... sound recordist
Todd Whitelock .... sound recording engineer
Allan Zaleski .... assistant sound editor
Camera and Electrical Department
John Bentham .... second assistant camera
Lamont Crawford .... key grip
Kerwin DeVonish .... second assistant camera (as Kerwin Devonish)
Carl Johnson .... gaffer
David Lee .... still photographer
Susanna Virtanen .... assistant camera
Editorial Department
Colin Cumberbatch .... post-production coordinator
Peter Gonzalez .... associate editor
Noëlle Penraat .... negative cutter (as Noelle Penraat)
Dave Pultz .... color timer (as David Pultz)
Music Department
Paula Bing .... musician: flute
Terence Blanchard .... conductor: score
Terence Blanchard .... musician: trumpet
Terence Blanchard .... score producer
Emile Charlap .... music contractor
Troy Davis .... musician: drums
Lawrence Feldman .... musician: clarinet
Edward Simon .... musician: piano (as Ed Simon)
Alex Steyermark .... music supervisor
Alex Steyermark .... score producer
Blair Tindall .... musician: oboe
Reginald Veal .... musician: bass
Maisie Weissman .... music editor
Other crew
Julie Anderson .... researcher
Randall Balsmeyer .... title designer
Vasco Bjegovich .... production assistant
Aubrey Cummings .... production assistant
Karl Dover .... production assistant
Michael Dykes .... production assistant
James Hartel .... production assistant
Michael Jimenez .... production assistant
John Lathan .... production assistant
Eric Moore .... production assistant
Tjamal Noni .... production assistant (as Tjamal K. Noni)
Audra Polk .... production assistant
Victoria Williams .... production assistant
Jason Lampkin .... staff: 40 Acres (uncredited)
Bob Adelman .... acknowledgment: archival footage, Magnum Photos Inc.
Bruce Davidson .... acknowledgment: archival footage, Magnum Photos Inc.
Elliott Erwitt .... acknowledgment: archival footage, Magnum Photos Inc. (as Elliot Ermitt)
James Karakes .... acknowledgment: archival footage provided by
Steven Kasher .... thanks
Holly Kempner .... thanks
Tom Langston .... acknowledgment: archival footage provided by
Danny Lyon .... acknowledgment: archival footage, Magnum Photos Inc.
Chris McNair .... acknowledgment: archival footage provided by
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
102 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

One of the victims, Denise McNair, was a friend and classmate of future Secretary of State 'Condoleeza Rice'.See more »
Chris McNair:You must understand that a Bull Connor can not exist without the nods of the status quo people. You know, the big boys in any town. He can't exist without them. He may be the person who actually does the talking; but believe me the Bull Connors have the blessings of someone else.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Birth of the Living Dead (2013)See more »
Birmingham SundaySee more »


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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful.
moving, informative, and two stories interwoven exceedingly well, 17 July 2008
Author: MisterWhiplash from United States

Spike Lee's skills as a documentarian are astonishing considering his mixed efforts in dramatic features, which ranges from greatness to failures. With 4 Little Girls and especially When the Levees Broke, Lee takes focus of the subject matter, and expands upon the narrative to make the central story intertwined without losing anything close to worthwhile to know. It goes without saying it honors the memory of those four girls slain in the church in Birmingham, but it also honors the memory for the others who died and fought in the Civl Rights battle of the early 60s (it was a battle by way of perpetration by the likes of "Bull" O'Connell, and the rabid racists like the only man who was convicted in the late 70s of the church bombing).

Lee starts off profiling the girls and their childhoods, their parents and childhood friends recounting their innocence, their energy, being simply kids growing up happy but in the midst of racism all around them. From there Lee branches off- using the "white/colored" segregation of something as minor as a water fountain, to branch off to Birmingham itself, its history, being the focal-point of much of the strife for black people in the south, Dr. King's eventual and crucial involvement, and the white racists. It's staggering information one learns, even if one already thinks they know all there is to know about the civil rights struggle. Just the information on Governor George Wallace (and, surprisingly, seeing Wallace interviewed with his near-gone voice and mind) is enough to raise repeated eyebrows in astonishment.

And then Lee brings it back to the girls again, and that fateful, cursed day that one family member said she saw in a nightmare the night before. The interviews are presented with unabashed compassion for the family members, but not with misplaced sentimentality. The case itself, and how it becomes one of the pivotal pieces that, tragedy besides, leads the civil rights movement even further, has so much power that it's impossible to dramatize it. Lee simply uses music, photographs, and the faces of those who knew these girls, as well as public figures (i.e. Kronkite, Cosby, Jesse Jackson), to accentuate the material. It's skillful storytelling, and told with a story that needs to be told, and revealed to those who may forget the horrors of the American south merely forty-something years ago and more. Simply, one of the director's finest 'joints'.

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A Blight On America mmurphy251
Song playing @ beginning usagi_megami_316
Who are the 43 savages, that gave this movie a 1/10?... shotime
Isnt this movie sad? a_spike_lee_joint
Every American should watch this film rachel-e-smith
I was born that day (9/15/63) KMPINTJ
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