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 »
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Popularity
2,991 ( 187)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 19 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »

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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

The scene where Malcolm X delivers his final speech in the Audubon Ballroom opens with young teens doing a line dance. The song that they are dancing to is "Shotgun" by Junior Walker and the All-Stars. This presages Malcolm X's murder by one of the assassins, who uses a sawed-off shotgun. See more »

Goofs

The revolver used by Malcolm in the Russian Roulette scene is a Smith & Wesson Model 36. According to the movie's time line this takes place in 1946. This revolver was not introduced until 1950. 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

The credits feature many prominent African-American entertainers (Bill Cosby and Janet Jackson among others) wearing X-Caps and using their arms to make the "X" symbol. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Onion Film Standard: 12 Years a Slave (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

We Shall Overcome
Written by Zilphia Horton, Guy Carawan, Frank Hamilton and Pete Seeger
Used by permission of Ludlow Music, Inc.
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User Reviews

 
The Truth seeker
3 August 2005 | by safwanrulezSee all my reviews

I think the major success of Alex Haley with this movie is that he tells the story of a dynamic person known as 'Malcolm X' with such a skill that no man from any part of any society get his feelings hurt. I think it is a commendable effort from Alex Haley, Spike Lee and Danzel Washington that they made a hero out of Malcolm X. I think he deserved it because he was the man who was not after money or popularity......he changed his statements, his way of life , even his faith as he knew that those were true. The theme of the movie is very clear that Malcolm X was not a hardliner rather he was always open for truth. Secondly, it also emphasized though in the end that negotiations and reforms is a better way than the violence. But yet it also gave the message that the ruling races reap the violence which they breed themselves; sometimes in the hegemony of their power or sometimes due the wrong interpretation of their religious verdicts. I think it was right to hit at the ' Black organization known as nation of Islam' and Elijah Muhammad. Muslim community is itself greatly indebted to this movie because Elijah Muhammad's teaching were very far from Islam. The real Islam practiced worldwide does not believe in the continuance of prophet-hood after Muhammad (P.B.U.H)and the Black supremacy by Elijah Muhammad was a ridiculous idea as Islam does not believe in Nationalism. Any Muslim anywhere in the world whether black or white are equal in Islam's teachings. It was great to see the scenes of pilgrimage to Makkah ....... these were not unnecessary ......because they helped us to understand the sudden change in the teachings of Malcolm X. Denzel's acting is really superb and also that of Al Freeman Jr. I think this movie is an invaluable resource for the people who want to take an insight into the Malcolm X's life.


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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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