7.9/10
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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.

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Writers:

(play), (teleplay)
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Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 29 wins & 41 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

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

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 February 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Notes storgis  »

Filming Locations:


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Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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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

During the club scenes during the 1950s, there are a number of 45 rpm singles hanging on the walls. One is a Columbia Records single with the 1970s design and logo. See more »

Quotes

Laura: Nanny, it's Laura.
Rachel "Nanny" Crosby: Laura, what you doing with them babies out here this time of night?
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Connections

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

Soundtracks

Destination Love
Written by Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller
Performed by Yasiin Bey
Produced by Bruce Robb & Evyen Klean
Recorded, Arranged, Engineered & Mixed by Bruce Robb at Cherokee Studios
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User Reviews

A Wonderful Ensemble and an Unforgettable Main Character
12 February 2005 | by See all my reviews

The centerpiece of Lackawanna Blues is the character Rachel "Nanny" Crosby, who runs a boardinghouse and provides unflagging support to a young boy, Ruben, the narrator of the film. Based upon the experiences of writer-actor Ruben Santiago-Hudson, the film lovingly recreates the upstate New York boardinghouse and evokes the cultural climate of a world in transition in the 1960s.

The first half of the film is virtually non-stop music. The second half addresses more completely the various characters in the boardinghouse. Nanny's ability "to take fragments and make them whole" affects everyone within her sphere. An especially vivid scene is when she confronts an abusive husband, telling him firmly, "If you ever touch that child again, we're going to dance!" As delivered by actress S. Epatha Merkerson, that line is so steely and filled with such resolve that the husband with the hair-trigger temper is frozen in his tracks.

From start to finish, Merkerson delivers a commanding presence Her character binds together the disparate lives of the borders in her home. This was a touching, heartfelt film with a wonderful cast. As played by Merkerson, the character of Nanny simply radiates love. This is a film experience that I will remember for a long time to come.


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