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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:
...
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
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Storyline

Based on the true story of Ruben Santiago Jr. and his relationship with his guardian Rachel Crosby, set in 1950's and 1960's Lackawanna, New York. After the separation of his parents, young Ruben "Junior" Santiago, a part-black, part-Hispanic child, is sent to live in a small-scale boarding house run by the kind-hearted Rachel "Nanny" Crosby and her younger husband Bill. Ruben then grows up witnessing the world of soul and blues music and grows to know the various characters that Nanny takes into her household to help out, from disturbed Ol'lem Taylor; one-armed handyman Mr. Lucious; hairdresser Bertha; war veteran Lonnie; ex-convict Mr. Paul; butch cleaner Ricky and many others. Written by Anonymous

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:


Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Based on the autobiographical one-man show by Ruben Santiago-Hudson. 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

Laura: I'm just so tired of this, Nanny. I can't... I can't
[she starts to cry]
Rachel "Nanny" Crosby: I know. Nanny got you. Go on. Go on, let it out. It's gonna be all right.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The 63rd Annual Golden Globe Awards (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

One Dime Blues
Written and Performed by Etta Baker
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.


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