In 1940s Chicago, a young black man takes a job as a chauffeur to a white family, which takes a turn for the worse when he accidentally kills the teenage daughter of the couple and then tries to cover it up.

Director:

Jerrold Freedman

Writers:

Richard Wesley, Richard Wright (novel)
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2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Victor Love ... Bigger Thomas
Matt Dillon ... Jan
Elizabeth McGovern ... Mary Dalton
Geraldine Page ... Peggy
Oprah Winfrey ... Mrs. Thomas
Akosua Busia ... Bessie
Carroll Baker ... Mrs. Dalton
John McMartin ... Mr. Dalton
Art Evans ... Doc
John Karlen ... Max
Willard E. Pugh ... Gus
David Rasche ... Buckley
Ving Rhames ... Jack
Walter Rivers Walter Rivers ... G.H.
Shavar Ross ... Buddy
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Storyline

Bigger Thomas, an African American who lives in an impoverished neighborhood, is employed by a prosperous white family who live in the suburbs of a major city. The money Bigger makes at his new job will be used to supplement his mother's income. As a chauffeur, he is directed by the father of the family to take Mary, the daughter, to the university. Instead, Mary decides to pick up her Socialist boyfriend, Jan, and to spend the time drinking and partying. Jan and Mary portray a young liberal couple who venture into a black neighborhood with Bigger for the sole purpose of being entertained at Ernie's, a black nightclub. On the way home, Mary becomes inebriated and Bigger must get her to her bedroom without being detected. Mary's mother, who is blind, enters the room and Bigger panics at the thought of being caught with a white woman. He accidentally kills Mary by placing a pillow over her head to keep her quiet. Still frightened, Bigger disposes of the body in the furnace, possibly ... Written by Broncine G. Carter

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

However, this movie has been released officially on VHS, it has yet to have an official DVD or Blu-ray release. See more »

Quotes

Gus: Ain't no use hiding it. That Bigger Thomas, he bad. Just bad!
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Soundtracks

"Jones Come Down (Call Me, Call Me, Call Me)
Written by James Mtume, Diane Silver and Dunn E. Pearson
Performed by Stephanie Mills
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User Reviews

 
A reasonable adaptation, could've been better.
7 February 2007 | by goldendavis25See all my reviews

Having been on set a few days I can say the acting overall was very good. A good early dramatic performance by Oprah. (Hint: She get's in a funky blue mood by singing spirituals offstage between takes) And a very impressive performance by Victor Love. Since everybody was working for scale all the names were to be listed and evenly credited.

Question: Who played Oprah's daughter? Diamond Dawn Cook (AKA: AdrienneCook) That's not in the IMDb database.

I was also impressed by the rat wrangler. Who knew so much effort went into that one scene. One rat to skitter across the floor. One to cower in the corner. And one killed, though not really with a frying pan.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 December 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Native Son See more »

Filming Locations:

Chicago, Illinois, USA

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$1,301,121

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,301,121
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color
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