6.8/10
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17 user 9 critic

Black Like Me (1964)

Approved | | Drama | 20 May 1964 (USA)
Based on the true story of a white reporter who, at the height of the civil-rights movement, temporarily darkened his skin to experience the realities of a black man's life in the segregated South.

Director:

Carl Lerner

Writers:

John Howard Griffin (book), Carl Lerner (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Whitmore ... John Finley Horton
Sorrell Booke ... Dr. Jackson
Roscoe Lee Browne ... Christopher
Al Freeman Jr. ... Thomas Newcomb
Will Geer ... Truckdriver
Robert Gerringer ... Ed Saunders
Clifton James ... Eli Carr
John Marriott ... Hodges
Thelma Oliver Thelma Oliver ... Georgie
Lenka Peterson ... Lucy Horton (as Lenka Petersen)
P. Jay Sidney P. Jay Sidney ... Frank Newcomb (as P.J. Sidney)
Billie Allen Billie Allen ... Vertell
Alan Bergmann ... Charles Maynard
Stanley Brock ... Salesman
Heywood Hale Broun
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Storyline

Black Like Me is the true account of John Griffin's experiences of passing as a black man. John Horton takes treatments to darken his skin and leaves his home in Texas to travel throughout the South. At one stop, Horton encounters a black shoeshine man, Burt Wilson, who befriends him and shows him how to "act right" to fit more easily into the African American culture. Through Wilson, Horton learns the art of shining shoes. Most of his encounters with whites are quite degrading and disturb him. As a hitchhiker, John meets several white men who refer to black men and women in disparaging ways that anger him. Throughout the movie, John is harassed and persecuted by whites without reason. In one of his many stops throughout the South, John finds himself on a park bench sitting by a white woman. A white man walks by and says, "You'd better find another place to sit." Although he had a college degree, menial jobs were all that he could find. John meets Frank Newcomb whose son Tom is ... Written by Broncine G. Carter

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It's All True...Every Living Moment! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Latin

Release Date:

20 May 1964 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

No Man Walks Alone See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$273,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

The Hilltop Company See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Final film of Ralph Dunn. See more »

Goofs

John finds the 'Black and Tan' magazine at a newsstand. The salesman looks right into the camera and clearly has nothing in his mouth. In the very next shot, the magazine salesman is reading and has a cigar in his mouth. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hearts Afire: Fat Like Me (1994) See more »

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User Reviews

Last Commenter
14 November 2006 | by loudwhispers81See all my reviews

For you people who don't know. This movie is based on a book by John Howard Griffin. In real life he dressed like a black man in 1959 and went about in Mississippi for five or six weeks. During this time he also went as himself a white-man, in order to compare certain scenarios. He was treated differently as a black man because that is how the white people decided to treat him. Not because he told them to, not because he did anything wrong. That's just how he was treated. The movie just happens to show what his experiences were. For all the people who believe racism doesn't exist just because they aren't racist (or at least said anything racist out loud) you aren't living in reality or at least America. True it isn't as blatant now as it was then it is real. So if you don't like this movie fine. But don't let your ignorance of how the world (or at least America)works be your reason for not liking this movie.


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