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A frustrated African-American TV writer proposes a blackface minstrel show in protest, but to his chagrin it becomes a hit.

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1 win & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Sloan Hopkins (as Jada Pinkett-Smith)
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Dot
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Verna (as Gillian Iliana Waters)
Susan Batson ...
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Mau Mau: Big Blak Afrika (Julius Hopkins) (as Mos Def)
M.C. Serch ...
Mau Mau: 1 / 16th Blak (as MC Serch)
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Canibus ...
DJ Scratch ...
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Storyline

Dark, biting satire of the television industry, focusing on an Ivy-League educated black writer at a major network. Frustrated that his ideas for a "Cosby Show"-esque take on the black family has been rejected by network brass, he devises an outlandish scheme: reviving the minstrel show. The hook: instead of white actors in black face, the show stars black actors in even blacker face. The show becomes an instant smash, but with the success also come repercussions for all involved. Written by N. Cognito <nobody@noplace>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Starring the great negroe actors

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 October 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

It's Showtime  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$190,720 (USA) (6 October 2000)

Gross:

ESP 5,010,100 (Spain) (29 June 2001)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The two award ceremony scenes are parodies of two real award recipients whom Spike Lee has publicly criticized: the first, where DelaCroix is fumbling around and yelling "Show me the money!", is a jab at Cuba Gooding Jr.'s enthusiastic victory speech for winning the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor; the second scene, in which DelaCroix becomes a teary-eyed brown-noser to Matthew Modine, is a shot at Ving Rhames' Golden Globe victory in which he gave teary-eyed kudos to Jack Lemmon. See more »

Quotes

Pierre Delacroix: As I bled to death, as my very life oozed out of me, all I could think of was something the great Negro James Baldwin had written. "People pay for what they do, and still more for what they have allowed themselves to become, and they pay for it, very simply, by the lives they lead."
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Crazy Credits

The producers wish to thank ... New York Production Locals ... See more »

Connections

Features King of the Zombies (1941) See more »

Soundtracks

Burn Hollywood Burn
Written by Ahmir-Khalib Thompson (as Ahmir Thompson), Kenyatta Saunders, Tariq Trotter (as Tarik Trotter),
Chuck D. (as Carlton Ridenour) and Zack De La Rocha
Performed by The Roots, Chuck D. (as Chuck D) and Zack De La Rocha
The Roots appear Courtesy of MCA Records
Chuck D appears Courtesy of Slam Jamz Records
Zack De La Rocha appears Courtesy of Sony Music Entertainment
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User Reviews

 
Lee's best film...
22 July 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is Lee's best film. It isn't heavy handed despite the explosive topic. In fact I would argue that the images in this film are less offensive then some of the depiction of African-American life seen on MTV or BET. Less heavy handed then some of the vulgar depiction of my community that is allowed to be foisted on my community as entertainment. The modern minstrels show can be seen any night of the week on America's cable music networks. Which is more embarrassing Lil'John, 50 cent or Mantan? Which has had a bigger impact on the daily lives of African-American children, images of Step- N-Fetch it or Lil'John? Which are the stereotypes that are used to justify racial profiling in the larger public of the country in 2006, Gangstas or minstrels performers? It is a film about the power and responsibility of black America to control the images that define it.

I think Lee for the first time in a long time had a story he actually wanted to tell. The script was solid if not great. As usual Spike had a tough time with his female characters. The women in his films tend to be two dimensional. All good or all bad. It wasn't a perfect film but I think it will be remembered as one of Spike's most interesting.


16 of 20 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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