6.8/10
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Get on the Bus (1996)

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2:25 | Trailer

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A disparate group of African-American men travel by bus to Washington, DC for the Million Man March.

Director:

Spike Lee
Reviews
2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Belzer ... Rick
De'aundre Bonds ... Junior, aka 'Smooth'
Andre Braugher ... Flip
Thomas Jefferson Byrd ... Evan Thomas Sr.
Gabriel Casseus ... Jamal
Albert Hall ... Craig
Hill Harper ... Xavier
Harry Lennix ... Randall
Bernie Mac ... Jay
Wendell Pierce ... Wendell
Roger Guenveur Smith ... Gary
Isaiah Washington ... Kyle
Steve White ... Mike
Ossie Davis ... Jeremiah
Charles S. Dutton ... George
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Storyline

Get on the Bus follows several Black men on a cross country bus trip to the Million Man March. On the bus are an eclectic set of characters including a laid off aircraft worker, a former Gang Banger, a Hollywood actor, a cop who is of mixed racial background, and a White bus driver, all make the trek discussing issues surrounding the march, manhood, religion, politics, and race. Written by Robert Drake <robert.drake@index.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

On October 16, 1996, the one year anniversary of the Million Man March, Spike Lee invites you to lift your head, raise your voice, and...get on the bus.

Genres:

Drama | History

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 October 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Auf engstem Raum See more »

Filming Locations:

USA

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,400,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,837,711, 20 October 1996, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$5,731,103, 17 November 1996
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

SDDS | Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the first time that Spike Lee did not appear in a film that he directed. See more »

Goofs

While driving from South Los Angeles to Washington DC, the bus takes the Pasadena Freeway north from downtown LA. This freeway ends in Pasadena and is not the way one would travel across the country. Furthermore, a bus of this size would not be permitted on this freeway. See more »

Quotes

Jeremiah: I think as we prepare to go on this journey; it might be appropriate to have a prayer.
[praying]
Jeremiah: Dear Lord, we ask you to...
Flip: [running onto the bus] Damn, I'm glad ya'll ain't left. I didn't think I was ever goin' to...
George: [angrily] Hey; CP Time, we tryin' to have a prayer here!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Recumbent riders: Carol and Ken Lyon, who just happened to ride through the set on their Cross-Country Ramble from Ventura, CA, to Galveston, TX. See more »

Connections

References Martin (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

Redemption Song
Written by Bob Marley
Published by Fifty-Six Hope Road Music, Ltd. and Odnil Music, Ltd.
Produced by Stevie Wonder
Performed by Stevie Wonder
Stevie Wonder appears courtesy of Motown Records
See more »

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User Reviews

Spike Lee's morality statement on Black America
3 November 2000 | by JawsOfJoshSee all my reviews

Armed with 16mm cameras, a miniscule budget financed independently by 15 different black businessmen, and a wonderful script, Spike shot "Get On The Bus" and released it to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the 1995 Million Man March. Set on a bus bound for Washington D.C., this film examines the problems and opinions of various of black men on racial issues in the 90's.

Family, misogyny, homosexuality, religion, violence, education, and economics are all addressed here as well as other issues. Spike does not only shed light on issues that pertain to black peoples involvement in White America, but the film also attacks color-consciousness among light-skinned and dark-skinned blacks (as he did in "School Daze"). Like "School Daze," this may be the only other Spike Lee film that seems to be aimed directly at Black America, and Spike shows the varying degrees of complexity with his cast of characters. There is a rage-filled actor, a homosexual couple in the midst of separating (one out-and-proud, the other closeted), a sensitive cop, a level-headed family man, a gangbanger turned Sunni Muslim, a naive filmmaker, and a tired, defeated elderly man. There is also an estranged father who sees the March as an opportunity to re-connect with his resentful, bound-for-crime teenage son. His son has been recently convicted of burglary and has been ordered to remain "chained" to his father for 48 hours, the irony of which does not escape the other members on the bus.

Given the film is almost set entirely on a bus, Spike restrains himself in dispensing out his evolving camera and editing styles, using only a brief sequence set in a desert to bleach the screen with a heavy yellow tint. Many Spike Lee regulars are in the film, like Ossie Davis and Isaiah Washington who give sound performances (Davis' "I lost everything" monologue is especially moving). The real notable acting is provided by Andre Braugher as an angry, egocentric actor whose rage is fortunately balanced for him with a healthy dose of articulated intelligence and Roger Guenever Smith as a sensitive, bi-racial cop who works in South Central Los Angeles. Those two really are the stand-outs in this film.

The dialogue is so flowing and casual in this film despite its topic matter, that you could listen to this film instead of watch it! I can't recommend this film enough for fans of Spike Lee or fans of great dialogue. As a Spike Lee worshipper, I rank this film in his top 5. Potent.


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