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.



(play), (teleplay)

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Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 29 wins & 41 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Rachel "Nanny" Crosby
Ruben Santiago Jr. (as Marcus Franklin)
The Bandleader (as Mos Def)
Bill Simms Jr. ...
Ol'lem Taylor
Bill Crosby (as Terrance Dashon Howard)
Dick Barrymore
Mr. Lucious
Freddie Cobbs
Ulysses Ford
Ruben Santiago Sr.
Laura's Mother


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


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


Drama | Music


PG-13 | See all certifications »


Official Sites:



Release Date:

12 February 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Notes storgis  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$12,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


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 »


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 »


Bertha: Did you see all those negroes shouting "black power, black power"? Hair as nappy as can be!
Rachel "Nanny" Crosby: The black panthers?
Bertha: Yeah. I have all the "black power" they need right in my hot comb.
See more »


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


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 Movie Gem
18 February 2005 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

No blood, no sex (though it oozes passion), no special effects, but just one of those pearls that comes across your movie screen when you're not really looking and grabs your attention.

Great acting, great sets, great music, beautiful storyline. If only there were a lot more movies made like this one!

The sets move us through time and make us feel like we were there.

The acting appears like real life, and elevates us to the level of awareness of "Nanny", to whom no-one is a lost cause, least of all the inhabitants of her own "Halfway" house.

Best of all it's a true story of misfits learning to "fit in". I was somewhat jealous of the good times that everyone appeared to be having in the movie! Could we all spend some time in Nanny's house?

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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