29 user 21 critic

Claudine (1974)

PG | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 1974 (Canada)
In the 1970s Harlem, garbage collector Roop feels intimidated by the idea of dating Claudine who is a single mother of six on welfare.


John Berry


Tina Pine (original screenplay by), Lester Pine (original screenplay by)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Diahann Carroll ... Claudine Price
James Earl Jones ... Rupert 'Roop' Marshall
Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs ... Charles (as Lawrence Hilton-Jacques)
Tamu Blackwell Tamu Blackwell ... Charlene (as Tamu)
David Kruger David Kruger ... Paul
Yvette Curtis Yvette Curtis ... Patrice
Eric Jones Eric Jones ... Francis
Socorro Stephens Socorro Stephens ... Lurlene
Adam Wade ... Owen
C. Harrison Avery C. Harrison Avery ... Minister (as Harrison Avery)
Mordecai Lawner Mordecai Lawner ... Process Server
Elisa Loti Elisa Loti ... Miss Kabak
Roxie Roker ... Mrs. Winston
Jay Van Leer Jay Van Leer ... Bar Woman
Judy Mills Judy Mills ... Bus Woman #1


Claudine tries to provide for her six children in Harlem while on welfare. She has a romance with Roop, a cheerful garbageman she meets while working on the side as a maid. Written by Will Gilbert

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A heart and soul comedy. Can you dig it?


Comedy | Drama | Romance


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Diana Sands was originally cast as the lead, but she died of cancer shortly before shooting began. See more »


When Claudine and her girlfriends are riding the bus at the beginning of the movie, the bus passes the New Marble Hill movie theatre twice. See more »


Charles: [Charles comes down the stoop stairs and sees Claudine sitting there] I knew it all the time. I knew that nigga was gonna walk out on you. I knew that! It's your own damn fault. That's right- don't blame nobody but yourself! You had the six kids!
Claudine: That's right! Six kids- that's right! That's all I got in this world- my children.
Charles: I hate them.
Claudine: Get away from me, Charles!
Charles: I knew I had nothing but I have to share what I ain't got.
Claudine: My son, the black revolutionary. You ain't nothing but a snot-nosed coward. ...
See more »


Featured in Robert Townsend on 'Claudine' (2020) See more »


The Makings of You
Written by Curtis Mayfield
Performed by Gladys Knight & The Pips
See more »

User Reviews

It makes some excellent points as well as misses a few--but the acting is first-rate.
17 December 2013 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

"Claudine" is a unique insight into the life of the average poor urban black family of the early 1970s. And, it has some exceptional acting. So, despite some flaws (which I'll talk about in a bit), the film is well worth your time.

Claudine (Diahann Carroll) is a mother on welfare who works on the sly in order to support her six kids. She works very hard at low-paying jobs and has little time for anything other than her kids and work. However, when she meets a vivacious garbage collector, Roop (James Earl Jones), she is swept off her feet and they immediately start sleeping together (if guns have a three day waiting period, shouldn't there be a similar system for sex?). Soon, however, it goes from casual sex and good times to something serious--and that's when troubles begin. It seems that the welfare system is designed to prevent women from having families--and destroying marriage. What's to become of this couple and the six kids? See the film and find out for yourself.

The acting is the best thing about this film. In addition to Carroll and Jones' great acting, Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs has a very auspicious film debut as Claudine's angry and mixed-up oldest son. The film also has a lot of great insights into the stupidity of the welfare system and what it was like to grown up at that time. However, and I know some folks will think I am a jerk for saying it, but I also couldn't help but feel that some of the problems were CLEARLY caused by the characters. Claudine has six kids she cannot take care of and then jumps into bed with Roop on their first date!! Morality aside, this is insane behavior and shows a nutty unwillingness to accept reality. Despite this dumb mixed message, the film, on balance, is well worth seeing.

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Release Date:

1974 (Canada) See more »

Also Known As:

Claudine See more »


Box Office


$1,100,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)


Color (Movielab)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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