8.0/10
2,032
39 user 6 critic

Lackawanna Blues (2005)

PG-13 | | Drama, Music | TV Movie 12 February 2005
In a story fueled by rhythm and blues, a young boy's life is shaped by love and the stories of a cast of characters in the boarding house where he lives in 1960s Lackawanna, New York.

Director:

Writers:

(play), (teleplay)
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 29 wins & 41 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Women of Brewster Place (TV Series 1989)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Based on the novel by Gloria Naylor, which deals with several strong-willed women who live in a rundown housing project on Brewster Place in an unidentified eastern city; across three ... See full summary »

Stars: Oprah Winfrey, Mary Alice, Olivia Cole
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A drama set in the 1920s, where free-spirited Janie Crawford's search for happiness leads her through several different marriages, challenging the morals of her small town. Based on the novel by Zora Neale Hurston.

Director: Darnell Martin
Stars: Halle Berry, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Mel Winkler
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The story of the troubled life and career of the legendary Jazz singer, Billie Holiday.

Director: Sidney J. Furie
Stars: Diana Ross, Billy Dee Williams, Richard Pryor
She Hate Me (2004)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

Fired from his job for exposing corrupt business practices, a former biotech executive turns to impregnating wealthy lesbians for profit.

Director: Spike Lee
Stars: Anthony Mackie, Kerry Washington, Ellen Barkin
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

This biography of Dorothy Dandridge follows her career through early days on the club circuit with her sister to her turn in movies, including becoming the first black actress to win a Best... See full summary »

Director: Martha Coolidge
Stars: Halle Berry, Brent Spiner, Klaus Maria Brandauer
Queen (TV Mini-Series 1993)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A plantation owner's son falls in love with a slave named Easter and together they have a Mixed race daughter named Queen. As Queen grows up, she faces the struggle of trying to fit into ... See full summary »

Stars: Ann-Margret, Patricia Clarkson, Tim Daly
Eve's Bayou (1997)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The story is set in 1962 Louisiana. The Batiste family is headed by charming doctor Louis. Though he is married to beautiful Roz, he has a weakness for attractive female patients. One night... See full summary »

Director: Kasi Lemmons
Stars: Samuel L. Jackson, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Meagan Good
Sparkle (1976)
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A girl group experiences turmoil after one of their members turns to drugs and another achieves their desired fame all by herself.

Director: Sam O'Steen
Stars: Philip Michael Thomas, Irene Cara, Lonette McKee
Crooklyn (1994)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Spike Lee's vibrant semi-autobiographical portrait of a school teacher, her stubborn jazz musician husband and their five kids living in Brooklyn in 1973.

Director: Spike Lee
Stars: Alfre Woodard, Delroy Lindo, David Patrick Kelly
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Three women each claim to be the widow of 1950s doo-wop singer Frankie Lymon, claiming legal rights to his estate.

Director: Gregory Nava
Stars: Halle Berry, Vivica A. Fox, Lela Rochon
The Wood (1999)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

While dealing with a friend's cold feet on his wedding day, a writer reminisces about his youth with his best friends.

Director: Rick Famuyiwa
Stars: Elayn J. Taylor, Omar Epps, Richard T. Jones
The Brothers (2001)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Four friends begin to question women and relationships when one of them announces impending nuptials.

Director: Gary Hardwick
Stars: Morris Chestnut, Shemar Moore, D.L. Hughley
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Rachel "Nanny" Crosby
...
Ruben Santiago Jr. (as Marcus Franklin)
...
The Bandleader (as Mos Def)
...
Alean
Bill Simms Jr. ...
Himself
...
Ol'lem Taylor
...
Pauline
...
Bill Crosby (as Terrance Dashon Howard)
...
Dick Barrymore
...
Mr. Lucious
...
Bertha
...
Freddie Cobbs
...
Ulysses Ford
...
Ruben Santiago Sr.
...
Laura's Mother
Edit

Storyline

In the 1950s and 1960s, Ruben Santiago-Hudson Jr. lives in a lively boardinghouse in the blue-collar town of Lackawanna, New York, with his father after his parents separate. Run by the motherly Nanny Crosby and her taciturn husband, the boardinghouse residents, including The Bandleader, singer Pauline and cabaret owner Dick Barrymore, teach the young boy about life and art. Written by Jwelch5742

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Play it. Sing it. Shout it. Feel it.

Genres:

Drama | Music

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 February 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Notes storgis  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Ruben Santiago-Hudson insisted his daughter Lily be cast in a cameo as Laura's daughter. But his son Trey, a twin with Lily, wanted to appear in the movie as well, which Ruben accepted. In real life, the character of the abused Laura only had a daughter, not a twin daughter and son. The scene where Laura comes to Nanny's house in the middle of the night with her son and daughter after leaving her abusive husband is accurately re-created word-for-word as Ruben remembered from that night. See more »

Goofs

When Rachel is getting $20 bills pinned on her, there are pinned bills on her right side including her arm, when they return to that scene, the bills are gone. See more »

Quotes

Rachel "Nanny" Crosby: Luck is you gettin' outta Georgia alive.
See more »

Connections

Featured in 12th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Down On Me
Written by Robert Bradley & Mathew J. Ruffino
Performed by Robert Bradley & Macy Gray
Produced by Bruce Robb & Evyen Klean
Recorded, Engineered & Mixed by Bruce Robb at Cherokee Studios
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A slice of life
13 February 2005 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

The main reason for watching this picture is to savor the brilliant performance of S. Ephata Merkerson. Ms. Merkerson dominates this film with her tremendous presence as Nanny, the woman who believes in doing good, no matter to whom, with no strings attached. This actress clearly shows a range that is amazing.

Thanks to director George Wolf for bringing this distinguished cast of some of the best Black Americans actors together. This ensemble group under his tight direction help create the right atmosphere in which the action takes place.

Of course, none of this would have been possible if Ruben Santiago Hudson hadn't written his wonderful play. Working with Mr. Wolf, perhaps the best theater director of this generation, they have opened the play in a way that it evokes that not too distant past where a child lives under the influence of Ms. Crosby, when his own parents are not around to take care of him. Ms. Crosby becomes the adoring mother of little Ruben; in a way, he represents her reward for having lost her own daughter.

Unfortunately, there is no time to develop some of the characters, as the action solely concentrates in enhancing the relationship between Nanny and the young Ruben, played with such charm by the young Marcus Carl Franklin, who is a natural. The only thing that could have been done differently was the voice over narration that is at times intrusive, as it doesn't clarify, or justify what one is seeing. Frankly, just by watching the interaction of the players, is self explanatory.

In the background there is always music. No matter what hard times these people are going through, but Nanny's house is full of laughter and that glorious music that takes us back to that era.

Aside from Ms. Merkerson, other notable performances are given by Terrence Dashon Howard, one of the rising stars of the moment. Mos Def, Jeffrey Wright, Marcy Gray, Louis Gossett Jr.,Delroy Lindo, Rosie Perez, Carmen Ejogo, Jimmy Smits and the rest.

Ms. S. Ephata Merkerson deserves to be seen by a wider audience. In "Lackawanna Blues", she clearly demonstrates she can do anything she wants because of her enormous talent and charisma.


25 of 27 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?