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Shadows (1958)

PG | | Drama, Romance | 14 October 1960 (UK)
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Cassavetes' jazz-scored improvisational film explores interracial friendships and relationships in Beat-Era (1950s) New York City.

Director:

John Cassavetes

Writer:

John Cassavetes
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Nominated for 3 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ben Carruthers ... Ben
Lelia Goldoni ... Lelia
Hugh Hurd Hugh Hurd ... Hugh
Anthony Ray ... Tony
Dennis Sallas Dennis Sallas ... Dennis
Tom Reese ... Tom (as Tom Allen)
David Pokitillow David Pokitillow ... David
Rupert Crosse Rupert Crosse ... Rupert
David Jones David Jones ... Davey (as Davey Jones)
Pir Marini Pir Marini ... Pir the Piano Player
Victoria Vargas Victoria Vargas ... Vickie
Jack Ackerman Jack Ackerman ... Jack, Director of Dance Studio
Jacqueline Walcott Jacqueline Walcott ... Jacqueline
Cliff Carnell
Jay Crecco Jay Crecco
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Storyline

Benny's a hipster, moving in and out of Manhattan's beat scene, aimless, maybe close to trouble. His sister Lelia, who looks less African-American than White, is vulnerable and about to fall in love. Hugh, their older brother, is a struggling singer whose agent, Rupert, may be the only person with faith in his talent. The story moves back and forth, like jazz, among the three of them and what seems at first to be separate lives. Lelia meets Tony, and lets herself hope this is true love. Then he meets Hugh and prejudice gives Tony an excuse to cut and run. Can family and friendship bring solace for her hurt, purpose for Benny, and belief in Hugh? Is life more than shadows? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 October 1960 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Sombras See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Lion International See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Iconoclastic radio personality Jean Shepherd helped John Cassavetes raise money to make the movie by having Cassavetes on his show as one of his rare guests in February 1957. Shepherd loaned Cassavetes his assistant Ellen Paulos to help with the film. The thankful Cassavetes expressed his thanks in the opening credits of the movie. A title reads: "Presented by Jean Shepherd's Night People." (The Night People were members of what the New York Times in the late 1950s called the "cult" of Shepherd listeners.) Shepherd also appears in a crowd sequence in the film, smoking a cigarette. Paulos also appears in the film. See more »

Quotes

Girl at Party: The trouble with you is, you have a case of self-induced hysteria every time you hear the word 'existentialism'.
See more »

Crazy Credits

"Presented by Jean Shepherd's Night People" See more »

Alternate Versions

Cassavetes screened a finished version of Shadows in 1957 and 1958 that ran 78 minutes. Part of the original negative of this version was used for the 1959 version, which was completely reshot with new actors. In 2002, Prof. Ray Carney of Boston University discovered the only remaining 16mm copy of this earlier version. See more »

Connections

References Appointment in Honduras (1953) See more »

Soundtracks

I Love You Truly
(uncredited)
Written by Carrie Jacobs Bond
Performed by Unknown
See more »

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User Reviews

Like it was made yesterday...and reading recommendations
15 April 2002 | by artistandreaderSee all my reviews

This is a great movie. Like it was made yesterday. Punk, beat in sensibility. About young people struggling on the fringes.

But I am mainly writing to mention that a guy named Ray Carney just wrote an astonishing book about the movie that has incredible behind the scenes details that no one ever knew before. I HIGHLY recommend it.

Cassavetes revealed things to Carney before he died in a Rosebud conversation that he had never told anyone about the film--like the fact that most of it was scripted and not improvised as the final title indicates. The book is titled Shadows and is available in any well stocked store. Carney is also the author of another WONDERFUL book titled Cassavetes on Cassavetes. Carney also has a web site that you should check out with lots of other Cassavetes material. The site is accessible from any search engine--if you type in Cassavetes' name--if you want to read even more behind the scenes stories about how Shadows and the other films were made.


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