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:
...
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

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?
See more »

Connections

Featured in 2006 Independent Spirit Awards (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

High Heel Sneakers
Written by Tommy Tucker (as Robert Higginbotham)
Performed by Tommy Tucker
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Killer performance for S. Epatha Merkerson
14 February 2005 | by (Woodstock, GA) – See all my reviews

I always felt that Ms. Merkerson had never gotten a role fitting her skills. Familiar to millions as the Lt. on Law and Order, she has been seen in a number of theatrical releases, always in a supporting role. HBO's Lackawanna Blues changes that and allows this talented actress to shine as Nanny, successful entrepreneur in a world changing from segregation to integration. But the story is really about the colorful array of characters that she and her adopted son meet in a boarding house in Lackawanna, New York, a suburb of Buffalo.

The story could be set in any major African-American community of the 50's and 60's from Atlanta's Sweet Auburn to New York's Harlem. But the segregation-integration angle is only a subtle undercurrent in the colorful lives of the folks at Nanny's boarding house. The story revolves around Nanny's relationships with all kinds of people, played by some of the best actors in the business (I purposely did not say black actors--this ensemble is a stunning array of talent who happen to be black, except for Jimmy Smits, of course) I recommend this film as a fun and colorful look at a bygone day.


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