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Malcolm X (1992)

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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
2,538 ( 573)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 18 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Denzel Washington ... Malcolm X
Angela Bassett ... Dr. 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 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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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:

$48,169,908
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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

Sarah Vaughan's surname is misspelled as "Vaughn" on the Apollo Theater's marquee. 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 ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the end of the credits the film is dedicated to Alex Haley, author of the book the movie is based on. There is also a picture of the book and a special note that says: "Read 'The Autobiography of Malcolm X'" See more »

Connections

Referenced in Will & Grace: Steams Like Old Times (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Roll Em Pete
Written by Pete Johnson and Big Joe Turner (as Joe Turner)
Performed by Big Joe Turner
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Brilliant
15 March 2003 | by QueenMakeda84See all my reviews

This film was absolutely brilliant. Spike Lee is a genius. We're studying him in my film class and a lot of his works are controversial, but I think they're necessary. Malcolm X was beautifully acted by Denzel. He took Malcolm's mannerisms and passion into himself and carved this wonderful character. The film traced him from a young kid to his Nat'list days to his death. His beliefs were different, but he never compromised himself. Considering where he came from and the time he grew up in, no one can really yell and scream about why he was the way he was. So many want to glorify King as the only leader of the time, but X was a leader in his own right. His ideas weren't that different from King's. His approach was honest and a response to the times. Denzel shows every emotion in his face that seemed to formulate in his mind. I seriously thought of him as Malcolm. He really had to earn people's respect from the background he came from and I liked that. Nothing was glossed over and no stone left unturned. Malcolm X is a great film and worth the watch!


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