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The Human Stain (2003)

6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 22,966 users   Metascore: 57/100
Reviews: 210 user | 121 critic | 39 from Metacritic.com

When a disgraced former college professor has a romance with a mysterious younger woman haunted by her dark twisted past, he is forced to confront a shocking secret about his own life that he has kept secret for 50 years.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Lizan Mitchell ...
Ernestine
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Phyllis Newman ...
Iris Silk
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Psychologist
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Young Iris
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Storyline

The Human Stain is the story of Coleman Silk (Hopkins), a classics professor with a terrible secret that is about to shatter his life in a small New England town. When his affair with a young troubled janitor (Kidman) is uncovered, the secret Silk had harbored for over fifty years from his wife, his children and colleague, writer Nathan Zuckerman, fast explodes in a conflagration of devastating consequences. It is Zuckerman who stumbles upon Silk's secret and sets out to reconstruct the unknown biography of this eminent, upright man, esteemed as an educator for nearly all his life, and to understand how this ingeniously contrived life came unraveled. Written by lakeshoreentertainment.com

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

How far would you go to escape the past?


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and sexuality/nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

29 October 2003 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Culpa Humana  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$113,634 (Japan) (18 June 2004)

Gross:

$705,018 (Japan) (9 July 2004)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Wentworth Miller, the casting agent did not believe that he was part-African American like the character Coleman Silk. Miller also told the casting agent about an incident at Princeton University. While he was a student there, he published an editorial cartoon in the campus newspaper that was misconstrued as a racial slur against Professor Cornel West. Silk has a similar situation in the film. Miller faxed family pictures and articles about the controversy to prove his story. West later attended the film's premiere and made up with Miller. See more »

Goofs

When Coleman is looking in the dictionary for the definition of the word "Spooks" he turns to nearly the beginning of the book that couldn't possibly be the letter "S" See more »

Quotes

Mrs. Silk: Coleman, you think like a prisoner. You're white as snow, and you think like a slave.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Nicole Kidman: An American Cinematheque Tribute (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Day Dream
(1939)
Written by Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn
Performed by Marian McPartland
Courtesy of Concord Records, Inc.
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User Reviews

 
Almost Great
16 November 2003 | by (Long Beach, CA) – See all my reviews

I almost did not see this because of the poor reviews (only 38% on Rotten Tomatoes) but I'm glad I ignored the reviews and saw it any way. While far from perfect, it is still one of the better films of the year.

This is a film that aims high, which makes it's imperfections stand out all that much more. While the critics have documented all that is wrong with this film, it is still a powerful story with great acting and cinematography. For me, more cinematic style would have been what this film needed to take it from being a good film to being a great film.

A strong 8/10 rating.


42 of 57 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

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How can the professor be white while his 2 parents are black? Kyrios_Chalakatevakis
A film about race and class, dominated by rich white actors SaDaTay
Critics should be eating Crow SidneySassy
Zuckerman's past dbogosian-1
I have a question or two :) gorkee
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