Within Our Gates ()

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Abandoned by her fiancé, an educated black woman with a shocking past dedicates herself to helping a near bankrupt school for impoverished black youths.


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Cast verified as complete

Evelyn Preer ...
Sylvia Landry
Flo Clements ...
Alma Prichard
James D. Ruffin ...
Conrad Drebert - Sylvia's Fiancé
Jack Chenault ...
Larry Prichard - Alma's Stepbrother
William Smith ...
Philip Gentry - A Detective
Charles D. Lucas ...
Dr. V. Vivian
Bernice Ladd ...
Mrs. Geraldine Stratton
Mrs. Evelyn ...
Mrs. Elena Warwick
William Starks ...
Jasper Landry (as William Stark)
Mattie Edwards ...
Jasper's Wife
Ralph Johnson ...
Philip Gridlestone
E.G. Tatum ...
Efram - Gridlestone's Servant
Grant Edwards ...
Emil Landry
Grant Gorman ...
Armand Gridlestone
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Leigh Whipper
Jimmie Cook ...
S.T. Jacks ...
Rev. Wilson Jacobs (uncredited)

Directed by

Oscar Micheaux

Written by

Oscar Micheaux ... (written by)

Produced by

Oscar Micheaux ... producer

Music Department

Philip Carli ... musician: piano score composed and performed by

Other crew

Oscar Micheaux ... presents
Crew verified as complete

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Plot Summary

Southern negro Sylvia Landry visits her cousin Alma in the north, where there is less racial prejudice than in her home town of Piney Woods in the deep south, and is anxiously awaiting her fiancé, Conrad. But Alma has designs on Conrad and tricks Sylvia into a compromising situation when he arrives, and he abandons her. Disheartened, she returns to Piney Woods to help a reverend running a school for young negroes. Sylvia learns that the reverend hasn't the heart to turn away poor students, and unless he can raise $5,000 to supplement the $1.49 per child per year that the state supplies, the school will be closed. She goes up north again to try to raise the money and has little success, but meets kindly negro, Dr. V. Vivian, who helps her regain her stolen purse. When she saves a child from being hit by an auto, she herself is slightly injured. But the owner of the car is philanthropist Mrs. Elena Warwick, who is sympathetic to her quest and promises to donate the $5,000 to the school. Her bigoted southern friend, Mrs. Stratton, tries to talk her out of the donation, and Mrs. Warwick gets so incensed she raises the amount to $50,000. Her job done, Sylvia returns to Piney Woods. But Dr. Vivian has fallen in love with Sylvia and goes to Alma to try to find her. There he learns the shocking details of her past and that of her family. Written by Arthur Hausner

Plot Keywords
Taglines "The Lynching Evil" See more »
Parents Guide Add content advisory for parents »

Additional Details

Also Known As
  • В нашем дворе (Russia)
  • Dentro de Nossas Portas (Brazil)
  • Nos Limites dos Portões (Brazil)
  • Chocolate Kiddies (Sweden)
  • Puertas adentro (Argentina)
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  • 79 min
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Did You Know?

Trivia This is the earliest known surviving film directed by an African-American. See more »
Movie Connections Featured in Midnight Ramble (1994). See more »
Quotes Mrs. Elena Warwick: Since I have decided to give her my assistance, I would be grateful if, as a Southerner yourself, Geraldine, you could point me the best way to do so.
Mrs. Geraldine Stratton: Lumber-jacks and field hands. Let me tell you - it is an error to try and educate them. Besides, they don't want an education. Can't you see that thinking would only give them a headache? Their ambition is to belong to a dozen lodges, consume religion without restraint, and, when they die, go straight up to heaven. Wasting $5,000 on a school is plain silly when you could give $100 to old Ned, the best colored preacher in the world... who will do more to keep Negroes in their place than all your schools put together.
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