34 user 28 critic

Nothing But a Man (1964)

Not Rated | | Drama, Romance | 19 September 1964 (USA)
A black man and his school-teacher wife face discriminatory challenges in 1960s America.


Michael Roemer


Michael Roemer, Robert M. Young (as Robert Young)
4 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Ivan Dixon ... Duff Anderson
Abbey Lincoln ... Josie
Julius Harris ... Will Anderson
Gloria Foster ... Lee
Martin Priest Martin Priest ... Mill Worker
Leonard Parker Leonard Parker ... Frankie
Yaphet Kotto ... Jocko
Stanley Greene Stanley Greene ... Rev. Dawson
Helen Lounck Helen Lounck ... Effie Simms
Helene Arrindell Helene Arrindell ... Doris
Walter Wilson Walter Wilson ... Car Owner
Milton Williams Milton Williams ... Pop
Mel Stewart ... Riddick (as Melvin Stewart)
Marshal Tompkin Marshal Tompkin ... Revivalist (as Rev. Marshal Tompkin)
Alfred Puryear Alfred Puryear ... Barney


Born in Birmingham, Duff Anderson, the father of a male toddler, who lives with a nanny, re-locates to a small town to work on the railroad. He meets with and is attracted to Josie much to the chagrin of her preacher father. The marriage does take place nevertheless, both re-locate to live in their own house and he gets a job in a mill. He decides not to bring his son to live with them. Challenges arise when the Mill Foreman finds out that Duff is attempting to unionize the workers, forcing Duff to quit, and look for work elsewhere. Unable to reconcile himself to working on a daily wage of $2.50 picking cotton nor even as a waiter, he gets a job at a garage. He is enraged at a customer for belittling him and Josie, and is let go. Unemployed, unable to support his wife and son, he gets abusive and leaves - perhaps never to return. Written by rAjOo (gunwanti@hotmail.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Nothing But a Man has the violence, passion, tenderness of a Negro man and a girl in a smoldering southern town!


Drama | Romance


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Being made in 1964, the currency and coins were different than today. During the early pool hall scene, Ivan can be seen holding an older version of a $1 bill. The back is same as today, but then the front had a digit "1" instead of today's seal indicating where it was printed. Also, when he tabs out and gets his change (change for a dollar for a bar tab is funny in its own rights compared to today), you can tell by the sound that his coins are silver, as was common in 1964. See more »


Background songs from the summer of 1963 contrast with wall calendars from winter of 1962/63. See more »


Duff Anderson: It's just that, seems to me us colored folks do a whole lot of church-going, it's the white folks that need it real bad.
See more »


You Beat Me To The Punch
Written by Smokey Robinson and Ronald White
Performed by Mary Wells
See more »

User Reviews

One of the greatest films about African-Americans ever made. ***Spoilers***
26 May 2000 | by QStrumSee all my reviews

This film is probably one of the top five greatest films about African-Americans ever made. I picked up the film at blockbuster and gave it a chance, seeing that the film was rated as one of the best black films ever made. Me wanting to be the judge of this, I took the film home, watched it, became overwhelmed with intrigue, and was emotionally moved by the subtle ending. This film reminds me of the problem that heavily exists in the black community today. Ivan Dixon's performance wasn't over done, making his portrayal of Duff one of the most memorable I had ever seen. The writing was extraordinary, hitting viewers with one fabulous scene after another. The film never dragged and I was equally impressed with the actress who played the preacher's daughter. The writers were able to make me empathize with all the characters, and Duff was written with a certain complexity seen in few other films about African-Americans. The cinematography caught my attention as well with almost every frame featuring enormous composition. The thing that most gratified me about the film is the fact that it is about redemption, showing our main character making certain sacrifices to live a normal and moral life in the end. It shows hope in a world that tends to be hopeless most of the time. And when Duff comes back to his wife and holds her in his arms, which symbolizes his regrets and his self-redemption, I felt like going out and embrace all my sisters who are left to care for their children by themselves. I gave this film a 10 and out of a grade from A+ to a F, I give it an A+. I strongly recommend this film, especially to other African-American filmmakers who plan on sugarcoating the black experience in America. This film told the truth and didn't hold back with fears of stereotyping. I said it once and I'll say it again, "Nothing But a Man" is one of the greatest black films ever made in the world...

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Release Date:

19 September 1964 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Nothing But a Man See more »

Filming Locations:

Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA See more »


Box Office


$160,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,466, 11 November 2012

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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