7.7/10
86,594
196 user 78 critic

Malcolm X (1992)

Trailer
2:46 | Trailer
Biographical epic of the controversial and influential Black Nationalist leader, from his early life and career as a small-time gangster, to his ministry as a member of the Nation of Islam.

Director:

Spike Lee

Writers:

Alex Haley (book), Malcolm X (book) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
537 ( 972)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 19 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Denzel Washington ... Malcolm X
Angela Bassett ... Betty Shabazz
Albert Hall ... Baines
Al Freeman Jr. ... Elijah Muhammad
Delroy Lindo ... West Indian Archie
Spike Lee ... Shorty
Theresa Randle ... Laura
Kate Vernon ... Sophia
Lonette McKee ... Louise Little
Tommy Hollis ... Earl Little
James McDaniel ... Brother Earl
Ernest Thomas ... Sidney
Jean-Claude La Marre Jean-Claude La Marre ... Benjamin 2X (as Jean LaMarre)
O.L. Duke ... Pete
Larry McCoy Larry McCoy ... Sammy
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Storyline

Biograpical epic of Malcolm X, the legendary African American leader. Born Malcolm Little, his father (a Garveyite Baptist minister) was killed by the Ku Klux Klan. Malcolm became a gangster, and while in jail discovered the Nation of Islam writings of Elijah Muhammad. He preaches the teachings when let out of jail, but later on goes on a pilgrimage to the city of Mecca, there he converts to the original Islamic religion and becomes a Sunni Muslim and changes his name to El-Hajj Malik Al-Shabazz. He is assassinated on February 21, 1965 and dies a Muslim martyr. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for a scene of violence, and for drugs and some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Soon after Spike Lee was announced as director and before its release, this film received criticism by black nationalists and members of the United Front to Preserve the Legacy of Malcolm X, headed by poet and playwright Amiri Baraka, who were worried about how Lee would portray Malcolm X. One protest in Harlem drew over two hundred people. Some based their opinion on dislike of Lee's previous films; others were concerned that he would focus on Malcolm X's life before he converted to Islam. Baraka bluntly accused Spike Lee of being a "Buppie", stating, "We will not let Malcolm X's life be trashed to make middle-class Negroes sleep easier," compelling others to write the director and warn him "not to mess up Malcolm's life". Including Lee himself, some noted the irony that many of the arguments they made against him mirrored those made against Norman Jewison. See more »

Goofs

Malcolm watches television news footage of race riots, including the March 1965 attack on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama and the 1967 Newark, New Jersey Riots. Both incidents took place after Malcolm was assassinated in February 1965. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Announcer: In the name of Allah the merciful, all praises due to Allah, Lord of all the worlds. The one God to whom praise is due forever. The one who came to us in the person of Master Fard Muhammad and raised up the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. Amen.
[pause]
Announcer: Asalaam-alaikum!
Crowd: Alaikum-salaam!
Announcer: How do you feel?
Crowd: Good!
Announcer: Who do we want to hear?
Crowd: Malcolm X!
Announcer: Are we gonna bring him on? Yes, we gonna bring him on. Well let us hear from our minister, Minister Malcolm X. Let us bring him on with a round of applause!
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Crazy Credits

One of the few films that actually lists every member of the studio orchestra that recorded the soundtrack. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Critic: A Pig Boy and His Dog (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

The Jitters
Written by Tab Smith
Used by permission of WB Music Corp.
Performed by Count Basie
Courtesy of Columbia Records
By arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
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User Reviews

The Denzel Washington Show.
3 July 2002 | by tfrizzellSee all my reviews

A stunning performance by Denzel Washington (Oscar-nominated) carries this film literally into cinematic excellence. He stars as the titled character, the controversial Black Nationalist Leader who is easily one of the most interesting people who lived during the 20th Century. Spike Lee's uncompromising direction focuses on X's life. From his very early childhood to his violent death, the audience is given lots and lots information on the character as the film runs about 195 minutes. A good supporting cast helps, but this is Washington's show from the very start. His performance is very dominant and this is easily one of the best jobs that was never honored with an Academy Award. Brilliant biopic. 5 stars out of 5.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA | Japan

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 November 1992 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

X See more »

Filming Locations:

USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$33,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$9,871,125, 22 November 1992

Gross USA:

$48,169,910

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$48,169,910
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo (35 mm prints)| 70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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