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Rosewood (1997) More at IMDbPro »

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Rosewood -- In 1923, a prosperous black town in Florida was burned to the ground, its people hunted and murdered, all because a white woman falsely claimed that a black man sexually assaulted her.
Rosewood -- A dramatization of a 1923 horrific racist lynch mob attack on an African American community.


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7.2/10   6,115 votes »
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Writer (WGA):
Gregory Poirier (written by)
View company contact information for Rosewood on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
21 February 1997 (USA) See more »
In 1923, a black town in Florida was burned to the ground, its people murdered because of a lie. Some escaped and survived because of the courage and compassion of a few extraordinary people. This film is for them.
A dramatization of a 1923 horrific racist lynch mob attack on an African American community. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
3 wins & 10 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
A long and brutal picture See more (61 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Jon Voight ... John Wright

Ving Rhames ... Mann

Don Cheadle ... Sylvester Carrier

Bruce McGill ... Duke Purdy

Loren Dean ... James Taylor

Esther Rolle ... Aunt Sarah

Elise Neal ... Beulah (Scrappie)

Robert Patrick ... Lover

Michael Rooker ... Sheriff Walker

Catherine Kellner ... Fanny Taylor

Akosua Busia ... Jewel
Paul Benjamin ... James Carrier

Kevin Jackson ... Sam Carter

Mark Boone Junior ... Poly

Muse Watson ... Henry Andrews
Badja Djola ... John Bradley

Kathryn Meisle ... Mary Wright

Jaimz Woolvett ... Deputy Earl
James Edward Coleman II ... Arnett
Tristan Hook ... Emmett Purdy
Benea Ousley ... Philomena
Isabell O'Connor ... Emma (as Isabell Monk)

Bridgid Coulter ... Gertrude
Gabie Chavis ... Minnie

Vanessa Baden ... Lee Ruth
Marcus Barrington ... Denny
Matthew Davison ... Timothy

Brett Rice ... William Bryce

Ric Reitz ... John Bryce

Ken Sagoes ... Big Baby
Phil Moore ... Aaron Carrier
Lowell Fenner ... Judge Johnson
Andrew 'J.R.' Tarver ... Preacher
Harold G. Crawford ... Clevus

Marc Macaulay ... Bobby
Clarence Thomas ... Lemuel
Blaine Farmer ... Michael Wright
Valerie Herald ... Woman #1

Susan Gallagher ... Woman #2
Steven Tyler ... Little Ronnie
Danny Hanemann ... White Brother
Eldrid Foye ... Blackman
Michael Galloway ... Cracker #2

Macon McCalman ... Gov. Hardee
Tom Schuster ... Kid's Redneck Dad
Peggy Sheffield ... Mrs. Ellis Walker
Steve Raulerson ... Sheriff of Bronson
Henry Laurence ... Man #2
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Jeff Greer ... Cracker (uncredited)

Micah May ... Jimmy J. (uncredited)

Matt Mitchell ... Man at Baptism (uncredited)

Katie Seeley ... Young Girl at Baptism (uncredited)
Wesley Smith ... Jason Coombs (uncredited)

Michael Wayne Thomas ... Rosewood Townsman (uncredited)

Todd Thompson ... Cracker (uncredited)
Kokoa Woodget Aubert ... Rosewood Townsperson (uncredited)

Directed by
John Singleton 
Writing credits
Gregory Poirier (written by)

Produced by
Tracy Barone .... executive producer
Penelope L. Foster .... co-producer
Russ Kavanaugh .... associate producer
Jon Peters .... producer
Peter Ramsey .... associate producer
Original Music by
John Williams 
Cinematography by
Johnny E. Jensen (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Bruce Cannon 
Casting by
Marion Dougherty 
Production Design by
Paul Sylbert 
Art Direction by
Chris Gorak 
Set Decoration by
Daniel Loren May  (as Dan May)
Costume Design by
Ruth E. Carter 
Makeup Department
Verne Caruso .... key hair stylist
Ken Diaz .... makeup artist
Alvechia Ewing .... makeup artist
Lee Grimes .... key makeup artist: second unit
Ted Long .... hair stylist
Kathe Swanson .... key hair stylist: second unit (as Kathy Swanson)
Linda Boykin-Williams .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Production Management
Dwight Williams .... unit production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Jerry Ballew .... first assistant director
Kurt Kulhanek .... second second assistant director
Scott Metcalfe .... key second assistant director
David Norton .... first assistant director: second unit
Glenn Randall Jr. .... second unit director
Todd Turner .... second assistant director
Kevin Williams .... second assistant director: second unit
Art Department
Daniel B. Clancy .... leadman (as Dan Clancy)
Harold Collins .... construction coordinator
Jeanette D'Ambrosio-Sylbert .... assistant: Mr. Sylbert
Peter Damien .... propmaker foreman
Mark Garner .... set designer
Dervon 'Von' Herron .... assistant property master
Dervon 'Von' Herron .... property master: second unit
Jimmy Herron .... property master
Elizabeth Meyerson .... art department researcher
Roderick Nunnally .... scenic artist (as Rod Nunnally)
Brad F. Ringhausen .... stand-by painter
Robert Wheeler .... select set dressing
John Balling .... scenic artist (uncredited)
Pedro Barquin .... stand-by greens (uncredited)
Joan Bernier .... scenic artist (uncredited)
Craig Burcker .... painter (uncredited)
Don Dalstra .... carpenter (uncredited)
Jerry Eller .... scenic painter (uncredited)
William F. Gambill .... scenic artist (uncredited)
Paul J. Hendricks .... prop maker (uncredited)
Jimmie Herron Jr. .... property master (uncredited)
Bret Kane .... art department production assistant (uncredited)
Lee Lazarow .... assistant property master (uncredited)
Jeffrey Mars .... set painter (uncredited)
Jeff 'J.Mac' McDonald .... props (uncredited)
William D. McLane .... carpenter (uncredited)
Tim Steinouer .... on-set dresser (uncredited)
Joseph E. Stone .... key armourer (uncredited)
Joseph E. Stone .... props (uncredited)
Andrew White .... scenic artist (uncredited)
Sound Department
Chad Algarin .... additional sound
Willy Allen .... adr editor
Bobbi Banks .... supervising adr editor
Kevin Bartnof .... foley artist
David Behle .... additional sound
Veda Campbell .... sound mixer
Carl Carden .... sound mixer: second unit
Dana Carufel .... cable person
Timothy A. Cleveland .... sound effects editor
Edmond J. Coblentz Jr. .... digital assistant sound editor (as Edmond Coblentz)
Damon Cohoon .... digital assistant sound editor
Clayton Collins .... foley editor
Paul J. Diller .... sound effects editor
Terry Fiyalko .... dialogue editor (as Terri Fiyalko)
Christopher Flick .... foley editor
Karyn Foster .... dialogue editor
Barbara Gandolfo-Frady .... assistant adr editor
Baylis Glascock .... sound effects editor
Jessica Goodwin .... digital assistant sound editor
Eric Gotthelf .... foley mixer
Greg Hedgepath .... supervising sound editor (as Gregory Hedgepath)
Sonya Henry .... adr editor
Michael Herbick .... sound re-recording mixer
Eric Cameron Hosmer .... sound effects editor (as Eric C. Hosmer)
Jack Keller .... additional sound
Catt LeBaigue .... dialogue editor
Patricio A. Libenson .... supervising foley editor (as Patricio Libenson)
Robert J. Litt .... sound re-recording mixer
Jovan Meteyor .... assistant adr editor
George Nemzer .... sound effects editor
Michael A. Patillo .... boom operator (as Michael Patillo)
Craig T. Rosevear .... sound effects editor
Catherine Rowe .... foley artist
Janelle Showalter .... first assistant sound editor
Marsha Sorce .... additional sound
Fred Stafford .... adr editor
Lauren Stephens .... dialogue editor (as Lauren J. Stephens)
Darleen Stoker .... foley editor
Elliot Tyson .... sound re-recording mixer
Bob Bass .... adr mixer: Florida (uncredited)
Scott Blynder .... playback (uncredited)
Dana LeBlanc Frankley .... assistant sound editor (uncredited)
Troy Porter .... adr mixer (uncredited)
Deron Street .... assistant dialogue editor (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Michael Arbogast .... special effects coordinator (as Michael N. Arbogast)
Bob Cooper .... special effects
Joe Digaetano .... special effects coordinator (as Joey Digaetano)
Tom Ferda .... special effects
Walter Garrett .... special effects
Thomas Kittle .... special effects foreman (as Tom Kittle)
Geoffrey C. Martin .... special effects
Bruce E. Merlin .... special effects (as Bruce Merlin)
David K. Nami .... special effects (as David Nami)
Richard E. Perry .... special effects (as Rick Perry)
Gary Pilkinton .... special effects
Patrick Tantalo .... special effects (as Pat Tantalo)
Kathleen Tonkin .... special effects
Tim Tonkin .... special effects
Durk Tyndall .... special effects
Russell Tyrrell .... special effects
Robert Vazquez .... special effects (as Bob Vazquez)
Michael Wilmot .... special effects
James Harris .... special effects technician: second unit (uncredited)
Visual Effects by
Jesse Silver .... visual effects supervisor
Lindy DeQuattro .... digital artist (uncredited)
Rob House .... digital compositor (uncredited)
David Taritero .... visual effects producer (uncredited)
Kevin Willmering .... digital composite supervisor: Warner Digital (uncredited)
Tom Akos .... stunts
Grady Allen Bishop .... stunts (as Grady A. Bishop)
Eric Chambers .... stunts
Mike Christopher .... stunts (as Michael Christopher)
James M. Churchman .... stunts
Cindy Crowe-Solis .... stunts
Joe Digaetano .... stunts (as Joey DiGaetano)
Steve Filmore .... stunts (as Steve Fillmore)
Bill Freeman .... stunts
Bryan Friday .... stunts
Tony Delano Haltiwanger .... stunts
Steve Hart .... stunts
Dervon 'Von' Herron .... stunts (as Dervon Herron)
Philip Hoelcher .... stunts (as Phil Hoelcher)
Meneil Huggar .... stunts
C.L. Johnson .... stunts
Mike Kirton .... stunts
Larry A. Lee .... stunts
Bryan Lynch .... stunts
Artie Malesci .... stunts
Keifus Mathews .... stunts
Derrick L. McMillon .... stunts (as Derrick McMillon)
Keith Meriweather .... stunts
Johnny L. Neal .... stunts
Norb Phillips .... stunts
Glenn Randall Jr. .... stunt coordinator
Peter Rosado .... stunts
Rossi .... stunts
William Scharpf .... stunts (as Bill Scharpf)
Isaac C. Singleton Jr. .... stunts
Reggie Stanley .... stunts (as Reggie Mann Stanley)
Alan Stearn .... stunts
Todd Rogers Terry .... stunts
T.M. Turkey .... stunts
Jim Vickers .... stunts
Garfield Wedderburn .... stunts (as Garfield Washington)
Tyrone C. Wiggins .... stunts
John Zimmerman .... stunts (as John M. Zimmerman)
Tommie Turvey .... stunts (uncredited)
Jim Vickers .... co-stunt coordinator (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Jerry Bertolami .... best boy grip
Bill Byers .... video assist operator
Frank Byers .... director of photography: second unit
Andy Clapp .... chief lighting technician: second unit
Gary Dagg .... key grip
Don Duffield III .... second assistant camera (as Don Duffield Jr.)
Chris Fisher .... first assistant camera: "b" camera (as Christopher M. Fisher)
W.D. Hill .... electrician
Jimmy E. Jensen .... first assistant camera "a" camera
Joe Kelly .... best boy grip
Bob E. Krattiger .... chief lighting technician (as Robert E. Krattiger)
Richard Lacy .... first assistant camera: "b" camera, second unit
Michael Logan .... rigging key grip (as Mike Logan)
Jeff Mart .... Steadicam operator: second unit
John McGowan .... first assistant camera: second unit
Michael McGowan .... camera operator: "b" camera, second unit
Mike McGowan .... second assistant camera: second unit (as Mike McGowan Jr.)
Frank Miller .... camera operator: "b" camera
Tommy Miller .... dolly grip
LeRoy Patton .... camera operator: "b" camera
Eli Reed .... still photographer
Barry Ryan .... key grip: second unit
P. Scott Sakamoto .... Steadicam operator
P. Scott Sakamoto .... camera operator
Scott Stuart .... assistant chief lighting technician
Scott Blynder .... video tape operator (uncredited)
Stephen Campbell .... camera operator (uncredited)
Mark Duncan .... second assistant camera: second unit (uncredited)
Bruce Hazen .... rigging electrician (uncredited)
Jordan Klein Jr. .... director of photography: second unit (uncredited)
Jack Nealy .... electrician (uncredited)
Ken Palladino .... electrician (uncredited)
Greg Patterson .... set lighting (uncredited)
Michael J. Walsh .... electrician (uncredited)
Casting Department
Douglas Wright .... casting associate
Lori Wyman .... casting: Florida (as Lori S. Wyman)
Mark Mullen .... casting: Florida (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Julia S. Bubis .... set costumer
Deborah Myles Davis .... costume supervisor
Ellen Falguiere .... set costumer
Debrae Little .... costume supervisor
Barnaby Smith .... set costumer (as Barnaby P. Smith Jr.)
Editorial Department
Margaret Guinee .... associate film editor
David Raymond .... second assistant film editor
Angela Robinson .... first assistant film editor (as Angela Terry Robinson)
Brandon K. Hogan .... post-production (uncredited)
David Orr .... color timer (uncredited)
Location Management
John Garrett .... location manager
Alan Levi .... location manager: second unit
Stuart Smith .... assistant location manager
Music Department
Kelly Mahan-Jaramillo .... assistant music editor (as Kelly Mahan Jaramillo)
Lise Richardson .... music editor
Dennis S. Sands .... music scoring mixer (as Dennis Sands)
Kenneth Wannberg .... music editor (as Ken Wannberg)
Tom Boyd .... musician: oboe soloist (uncredited)
George Doering .... musician (uncredited)
Tommy Morgan .... musician: harmonica (uncredited)
James Thatcher .... musician: French horn (uncredited)
Transportation Department
E.W. 'Sonny' Adkins .... transportation co-captain (as Sonny Adkins)
Larry Craig .... transportation captain: second unit
James L. Lee .... transportation captain
Myra L. Wilmont .... transportation coordinator (as Myra Wilmot)
David Neil Enfinger .... driver (uncredited)
Danny Mortenson .... transportation captain (uncredited)
Jan Overson .... driver: honeywagon (uncredited)
Ron Parsell .... driver (uncredited)
Other crew
Amy A. Blanc .... script supervisor: second unit (as Amy Blanc-Lacy)
Steve Bonin .... craft service
Jeffrey Britt .... set assistant (as Jeffrey L. Britt)
Cassandra Butcher .... unit publicist
Brenda Crenshaw .... teacher
Liba Daniels .... assistant: John Singleton
Dennis Deveaugh .... animal coordinator
Dennis Deveaugh .... boss wrangler
Lisa DiQuollo .... staff assistant
Neisha Folkes-LeMelle .... choreographer (as Neisha Folkes)
Charissa Forth Kane .... set assistant (as Charissa Forth)
Edward Geiger .... staff assistant
Sabrina Gray .... staff assistant
Danny Green .... set assistant
Noelle Green .... assistant production secretary (as Noelle Chapin)
Joe Januszewski .... assistant: Penelope Foster
Shauna L. Kroen .... production accountant
Patrick Mahoney .... craft service
Brian Manis .... executive assistant: Tracy Barone
Michael Marks .... staff assistant
Toussaint Maxwell .... set assistant
Susan McNamara .... production coordinator
Cathy McNaughton .... wrangler
Sarah Pagliaro .... set assistant
Don Primi .... train coordinator
Kim Pucci .... executive assistant: Jon Peters
Sioux Richards .... script supervisor
Marc Sardy .... teacher
Alesandra Saunders .... house mover
George Saunders .... house mover
Allen Ulrich .... wrangler
Vivian Welch .... first aid
Paul Williams .... staff assistant
Sandra L. Yeary .... assistant accountant
Josué D. Aguilar .... set production assistant (uncredited)
Dana Lyn Baron .... additional adr voice (uncredited)
Kelly Burek .... accounts clerk (uncredited)
Jeff Coopwood .... adr voice (uncredited)
Bill Daly .... post-production accountant manager (uncredited)
Eric Michael Halderman .... lead stand-in (uncredited)
Susan Hegarty .... dialect consultant (uncredited)
Micah May .... set production assistant (uncredited)
Micah May .... stand-in (uncredited)
RuDee Sade .... adr artist (uncredited)
Brian Sofsky .... assistant: Glenn Randall (uncredited)
Michael Wayne Thomas .... lead stand-in (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated R for violence and some sexuality
140 min
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Australia:MA15+ (TV rating) | Canada:14A (British Columbia) | Canada:R (Manitoba) | Canada:AA (Ontario) | Canada:13+ (Quebec) | Iceland:16 | Philippines:R-18 | Portugal:M/12 (video premiere) | South Korea:15 | Spain:18 | UK:18 | USA:R (certificate #35022)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Michael Rooker had previously been in Mississippi Burning (1988), another movie about racism in the South.See more »
Audio/visual unsynchronized: When Mann asks Sylvester Carrier how he got out of the house, Sylvester's replies, "They carried me..." The audio does not match up with Sylvester's mouth.See more »
[first lines]
Aunt Sarah:Good mornin', Sylvester.
Sylvester Carrier:Mornin', mama.
Aunt Sarah:Good mornin', Gertie.
Gertrude:Good mornin', Mama Sarah.
Aunt Sarah:Don't run with them eggs, Arnett!
See more »
Happy Birthday To YouSee more »


Is this movie based on a true story?
See more »
3 out of 3 people found the following review useful.
A long and brutal picture, 9 August 2012
Author: Steve Pulaski from United States

John Singleton's Rosewood documents the tragedy of the Rosewood Massacre in piercingly raw detail, showing us how a prosperous Florida town fell to shambles from one woman's lie, spawning over a hundred murders and massive calamity on the survivor's shoulders for years to come. This event occurred in 1923, but is usually left unprinted in history textbooks and shoved to the side as if it had never occurred. Just a few weeks ago, a gunman opened fire on patrons in a movie theater, killing twelve and wounding fifty eight. That story was the most talked about thing for the entire week and still sneaks its way into the top story.

Rosewood isn't written with anger, hostility, or a burdening grudge. It is written with its mind firmly centered on history and examination rather than shameful exploitation. The town of Rosewood was populated mainly by blacks who are also operating most of it, with the notable exception of the white grocery store owner, Mr. Wright (Jon Voight). About 1/3 of the town is white, and most have a great disdain for the blacks, which as we know by now wasn't atypical.

The film centers mainly on Mann (Ving Rhames), a World War I veteran who travels aimlessly on a horse in search of land that he is willing to pay good money for. When he shows up at a town auction and becomes one of the highest bidders, he does nothing but generate sneers and racist remarks from the patrons. Mann is, for the most part, impassive towards the criticism. One of his friends that he grows closer to over time is Don Cheadle's Sylvester, who happens to be one of the strongest character actors of this or any other decade.

The hostility towards blacks skyrockets when the mentally unstable woman, Fanny Taylor (Catherine Kellner) is triggered into a screaming frenzy repeatedly saying a black man beat her, but did not rape her. The reality is, Fanny is a victim to the abuse of her lover, who consistently throws her around and leaves her bruised and battered. Regardless, there is simply no justification for this kind of impulsiveness.

And thus, the bell begins to ring louder and for longer and the towers slowly begin to fall; the town becomes even more racially divided than before, violence breaks out in the streets, houses are burned, neighbors become enemies, and secrets holding important, valuable information are kept until it's too late. A white sheriff (Michael Rooker) has an understanding of the events that occurred with Fanny Taylor, begins to piece together that the story of the evil black man beating the white woman is a myth, but is unfortunately silent about the event until violence overwhelms the once humble town. Even Mann grows aware of the impending violence and unsafe nature of this town, and fears because of his "new" status that he will fall victim to murder.

The film touches on some other topics not usually explored in a period piece, such as how the idea of racism is spread through explicit teachings from father to son. One father teaches his son how to make a noose, and continuously reminds him that the blacks are the enemies in which the whites must take action against. This even involves the father taking the son along on trips where they go hunting, and I don't mean for animals.

Writer Gregory Poirier illustrates this story on a large, limitless canvas for John Singleton to direct with a looming challenge. There is an unusually broad amount of talent here and a plethora of characters and situations to document, and Poirier is careful never to spend too much time on one specific situation, but takes the time to balance the events out evenly. It wasn't long before this that Singleton constructed Boyz N The Hood, a film detailing the tribulations of growing up on the wrong side of the street. That appears on my list of most captivating dramas for its poignant dialog and incredible performances. Rosewood is in an entirely different league; a film that features many different scenes, all highly detailed and illustrated intricately, that is strung together by an easily understandable story.

Speaking in terms of aesthetics, the costume and set design here is lavish and meticulous. From the sets of the stores, to the simplicity of the roads, the people, the clothing, and the shops, everything is portrayed in such a refreshingly different light that it becomes indescribably powerful. The care and attention here is not only commendable, but award worthy.

Yet sadly, Rosewood, like the actual event, is a long forgotten wave in the ocean of cinema and the world. The film's hefty budget, for which I assumed was mainly used on costumes, set structures, and actors, proved unable to be recouped and went on to become a commercial failure, only seen by those brave enough to endure its tragedy with an open mind and a hungering for knowledge. This is not a movie that many will be able to digest easy. It's a long and brutal picture. But one that is masterfully done in almost every respect and one that should brew a healthy, informative conversation soon afterwards.

Starring: Jon Voight, Ving Rhames, Don Cheadle, Bruce McGill, Loren Dean, Esther Rolle, Elise Neal, and Michael Rooker. Directed by: John Singleton.

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Rosewood (1997)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
If this had 'nazis' instead of racist americans and . . . kdy_9
Black People of Rosewood = No Weapons?/No Self-Defense? blindtruth2010
I just visitied Rosewood this weekend Candicet102298
Who was the dead woman? thesexygerman
Search for the possible mass grave(s) xxseadragonxx
Was Jewel killed? summerdream
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