IMDb > Lackawanna Blues (2005) (TV)
Lackawanna Blues
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Lackawanna Blues (2005) (TV) More at IMDbPro »

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User Rating:
7.9/10   1,989 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Down 6% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers (WGA):
View company contact information for Lackawanna Blues on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
12 February 2005 (USA) See more »
Play it. Sing it. Shout it. Feel it.
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Won Golden Globe. Another 29 wins & 41 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
A Wonderful Ensemble and an Unforgettable Main Character See more (39 total) »


  (in credits order)

S. Epatha Merkerson ... Rachel "Nanny" Crosby

Marcus Carl Franklin ... Ruben Santiago Jr. (as Marcus Franklin)

Yasiin Bey ... The Bandleader (as Mos Def)

Carmen Ejogo ... Alean
Bill Simms Jr. ... Himself

Louis Gossett Jr. ... Ol'lem Taylor

Macy Gray ... Pauline

Terrence Howard ... Bill Crosby (as Terrance Dashon Howard)

Ernie Hudson ... Dick Barrymore

Delroy Lindo ... Mr. Lucious

Rosie Perez ... Bertha

Ruben Santiago-Hudson ... Freddie Cobbs

Liev Schreiber ... Ulysses Ford

Jimmy Smits ... Ruben Santiago Sr.

Patricia Wettig ... Laura's Mother

Charlayne Woodard ... Bill's Woman

Jeffrey Wright ... Mr. Paul
Omar Benjamin ... Ruben, Jr. - toddler

Julie Benz ... Laura
Robert Bradley ... Otis McClanahan

Thomas Jefferson Byrd ... Numb Finger Pete

Kathleen Chalfant ... Mrs. Carmichael

Byanca Godwin ... Bill's Woman

Hill Harper ... Ruben, Jr. (Adult)

Barry Shabaka Henley ... Shakey Winfield

Julanne Chidi Hill ... Jimmy Lee's Woman

Lou Myers ... Ol' Po Carl

Adina Porter ... Ricky

Henry Simmons ... Jesse

Michael Kenneth Williams ... Jimmy

Saul Williams ... Lonnie (War Veteran)
Arista Pemberton ... Fish Fry Guest
Mohammad Parks ... Fish Fry Guest
Michelle Robinson ... Fish Fry Guest
Ken Robertson ... Fish Fry Guest
Paula Brown ... Fish Fry Guest

Ron Kellum ... Fish Fry Guest
Neisha Folkes-LeMelle ... Dancer at Maxie's (as Neisha Folkes)
Stevie Ray Anthony ... Dancer at Maxie's
Carmen M. Chavez ... Dancer at Maxie's (as Carmen Chavez)
Ryan Francois ... Dancer at Maxie's
Aakomon Jones ... Dancer at Maxie's
Autum Perry ... Dancer at Maxie's
Greg Poland ... Dancer at Maxie's
Indira Taylor ... Dancer at Maxie's
Eugene Lee ... Nancy's Birthday Party Guest

Ryan Michelle Bathe ... Nancy's Birthday Party Guest

Tracey Buckner ... Nancy's Birthday Party Guest
Roxanne Mayweather ... Nanny's Birthday Party Guest

Amad Jackson ... Alean's Boyfriend
Bob Tyus ... Fish Sandwich Man
J.B. Williams ... Gambler
Lily Santiago ... Laura's Daughter
Trey Santiago ... Laura's Son
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Delandis ... Performer / Dancer
Etta Baker ... Musician (uncredited)

Blaise Brooks ... Party Guest (uncredited)

Josef Cannon ... Headwaiter (uncredited)
Ike Onuoha ... Dancer at Maxie's (uncredited)
Aimee Palance ... Macy Gray Stand in (uncredited)

Sheldon Robins ... Swing Dancer (uncredited)

Olivia D. Robinson ... Fish Fry Guest (uncredited)
Lisa Ruffin ... Dancer at Maxies (uncredited)

Jana Thompson ... Hotel Receptionist in Toronto (uncredited)

Keith Tilque ... Fish Fry Guest (uncredited)

Directed by
George C. Wolfe 
Writing credits
Ruben Santiago-Hudson (play)

Ruben Santiago-Hudson (teleplay)

Produced by
Halle Berry .... executive producer
Vincent Cirrincione .... executive producer
Nellie Nugiel .... producer (as Nellie Rachel Nugiel)
Ruben Santiago-Hudson .... executive producer
Shelby Stone .... executive producer
Original Music by
Meshell Ndegeocello 
Cinematography by
Ivan Strasburg 
Film Editing by
Brian A. Kates 
Casting by
John Papsidera 
Production Design by
Richard Hoover 
Art Direction by
Karen Steward 
Set Decoration by
Erin Smith 
Costume Design by
Hope Hanafin 
Makeup Department
Petrice Bankhead .... makeup artist: Day Checker
Christopher Burdett .... special makeup designer
Jason Collins .... supervisor: Almost Human, Inc.
Jennifer Davis .... makeup day player
Robert Hall .... special makeup designer
Glen Hanz .... sculptor: Almost Human Inc.
Fay Kelly .... key hair stylist
Debbie Mezera .... office manager: Almost Human Inc
James Ojala .... special makeup effects technician
Denise Pugh-Ruiz .... makeup artist
Charles Gregory Ross .... hair department head
Edna Sheen .... makeup department head
Teresa Vest .... makeup artist: Day Checker
Karen Westerfield .... makeup artist (as Karen J. Westerfield)
'Nikki' LaShandra White .... hair stylist
Victoria Wood .... wig maker
Production Management
Julie Hartley .... production supervisor
John Rota .... studio production
Heidi Vogel .... post-production supervisor
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Kate Marie Boyle .... DGA trainee day player
Maria Mantia .... second assistant director
Barbara M. Ravis .... second assistant director
Drew Ann Rosenberg .... first assistant director
Art Department
Belen Burditte .... construction accountant
Ruth De Paz .... art department assistant
Warren Drummond .... storyboard artist
Jay Durrwachter .... assistant art director
Richard Ewan .... stand-by painter
Curtis Laseter .... construction coordinator
Kristie Moore .... set painter
Michael O'Donnell .... lead man
John Risso .... paint supervisor
Bennet Silver .... on-set dresser
Harlan Spatz .... set buyer
Síla ÓGrádaigh .... art department coordinator
Doug Anderson .... lead plaster foreman (uncredited)
Sound Department
Rick Ash .... sound re-recording mixer
Nerses Gezalyan .... foley mixer
Nerses Gezalyan .... sound mixer
Michael Hertlein .... dialogue editor
Adam Jenkins .... sound re-recording mixer
Kenneth L. Johnson .... sound designer
Tim Kimmel .... dialog editor
Paul Longstaffe .... dialog & adr editor
Anthony M. McCovey .... sound utility
Jon Mete .... supervising sound editor
James Moriana .... foley artist
Ryan Murphy .... sound recordist
Alex Raspa .... adr mixer: New York
Douglas Shamburger .... boom operator
Susumu Tokunow .... sound mixer
Tami Treadwell .... adr recordist
Karen Vassar Triest .... sound editor (as Karen Vassar)
Karen Vassar Triest .... stage editor (as Karen Vassar)
Jeffrey Wilhoit .... foley artist
Visual Effects by
Patrick Clancey .... digital opticals
Travis Dutch .... scanning and recording
Mark Intravartolo .... Inferno artist
Alex Daniels .... stunt coordinator
Camera and Electrical Department
Lucas Bielan .... camera operator: "b" camera
Jack Galper .... electrician
Randy Glass .... gaffer
Bob Greene .... still photographer
Kia Kiso .... additional camera loader (as Kia Dawson)
Abraham Martinez .... film loader
Richard Nasworthy .... rigging key grip
Nino Neuboeck .... Steadicam first assistant camera
Brian T. Pitts .... camera operator: "b" camera
David D. Scott .... video engineer
Casting Department
Chris Gray .... extras casting
Amanda Harding .... casting: New York
Amanda Koblin .... casting: New York
Ron Lunceford .... extras casting assistant
Meghan McLaughlin .... casting assistant
Wendy O'Brien .... casting associate
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Tess Inman .... set costumer
Fran Murphy .... additional costumer
Katie Saunders .... key costumer
Dana R. Woods .... assistant costume designer
Editorial Department
Marisa Clayton .... post-production coordinator: Modern VideoFilm
Meredith Rimmer .... post-production coordinator
Marin Sander-Holzman .... assistant editor
Location Management
Kim Crabb .... key assistant location manager
James Gierman .... location consultant
Marta Tomkiw .... key assistant location manager
Music Department
Ray Espinola Jr. .... associate music supervisor
Evyen Klean .... music supervisor (as Evyen J. Klean)
David Raymond .... music playback
Gary Raymond .... music playback operator: ProTools
Bruce Robb .... music engineer
Bruce Robb .... music producer
Bruce Robb .... musician: Hammond B3 organ
Zachary Throne .... musician: guitar
Nicholas Viterelli .... music editor
Bruce Robb .... music mixer (uncredited)
Transportation Department
Michael W. Broomer .... driver
Other crew
Tamara Allen .... production office coordinator
Coriedus Brown .... production assistant
Scott David Brown .... production assistant (as Scott Brown)
Cory Cate .... production assistant
Tom Chen .... publicist: festival
Sam M. Cobb .... set medic
Guin Dill .... animal trainer
Neisha Folkes-LeMelle .... choreographer: "Maxie's 1966" (as Neisha Folkes)
Ami Francis .... second assistant payroll accountant
Joel Goldes .... dialect coach
Brian James Griffo .... production assistant
Aakomon Jones .... co-choreographer
John V. Knowles .... office production assistant (as John Knowles)
Marion Koh .... production assistant
John L. Long .... production assistant (as John Long)
Sandra McNeil .... head studio teacher
Nefertite Nguvu .... assistant to director
Stephanie A. Purdy .... animal trainer
Karen Roberts .... production accountant
Fatima Robinson .... choreographer: "Maxie's 1966"
Susie Schelling .... medical consultant
Traceigh Scottel .... assistant production office coordinator
Jayne-Ann Tenggren .... script supervisor
Rebecca Thornell .... clearance
Brian Turi .... animal trainer
Ken Twohy .... production assistant
Rayshelle Willis .... first assistant accountant
Kevin Zelman .... set production assistant

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
95 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.78 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Australia:M | Canada:14A (Ontario) | Singapore:M18 | UK:12 (DVD rating) | UK:15 (TV rating) | USA:PG-13

Did You Know?

Based on the autobiographical one-man show by Ruben Santiago-Hudson.See more »
Continuity: 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 »
Movie Connections:
Featured in 2006 Independent Spirit Awards (2006) (TV)See more »
Dark RoadSee more »


How does it end?
See more »
32 out of 35 people found the following review useful.
A Wonderful Ensemble and an Unforgettable Main Character, 12 February 2005
Author: lavatch from Twin Cities, Minnesota

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.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (39 total) »

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