7.4/10
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Shadows (1958)

PG | | Drama, Romance | 14 October 1960 (UK)
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3:10 | Clip

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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

Film critic Leonard Maltin describes this film as being "a watershed in the birth of American independent cinema". 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 Paris Holiday (1958) See more »

Soundtracks

Beautiful
Written by Jack Ackerman, Hunt Stevens and Eleanor Winters
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Well-done early independent film by Cassavetes...
26 August 2001 | by dwpollarSee all my reviews

1st watched 8/26/2001 - 8 out of 10 (Dir-John Cassavetes): Well-done early independent film by Cassavetes introduced a style that was much different than what Hollywood shows it's audience. This movie also introduced some very taboo subjects, especially the actual racism that probably was prevalent all over the country but was not displayed by the mostly white controlled filmmakers of the time. About the only black actors that had much respect at this time were the ones that acted and displayed personality like whites(aka. Sidney Poitier). Besides this, the idea of ending a film without truly concluding the relationships that began leaves many moviegoers dumbfounded but actually makes the viewers realize that life is like this(it goes on...). I prefer this kind of an ending because it makes you think more about the characters and what may happen next and the conclusions are not just laid out for you. The movie follows the lives of people(particulary a couple of people who have a brief relationship and happen to be opposite skin colors) then we watch what happens when the white man realizes what he's done. This is done very well and makes the movie very special. The acting is supposedly done improvisationally which makes the movie even more amazing. I guess you can say I liked this movie, if you can't tell. If you can find it check out this classic early independent film.


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