65 user 39 critic

Rosewood (1997)

0:31 | Trailer
A dramatization of a 1923 horrific racist lynch mob attack on an African-American community.


John Singleton


Gregory Poirier
3 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Jon Voight ... John Wright
Ving Rhames ... Mann
Don Cheadle ... Sylvester Carrier
Bruce McGill ... Duke Purdy
Loren Dean ... James Taylor
Esther Rolle ... Aunt Sarah
Elise Neal ... Beulah (Scrappie)
Robert Patrick ... Lover
Michael Rooker ... Sheriff Walker
Catherine Kellner ... Fanny Taylor
Akosua Busia ... Jewel
Paul Benjamin ... James Carrier
Kevin Jackson ... Sam Carter
Mark Boone Junior ... Poly
Muse Watson ... Henry Andrews


Ving Rhames stars as Mann, a drifter caught in Rosewood, a town filled with racial prejudice. He ends up aiding the surviving African-Americans escape the town, with the help of a humble store owner played by Jon Voight. Written by Phil Curtolo <curt@epix.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


In 1923, a black town in Florida was burned to the ground, its people murdered because of a lie. Some escaped and survived because of the courage and compassion of a few extraordinary people. This film is for them.


Action | Drama | History

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Though most of the film is based on true events, the film's main character, Mann, is mostly fiction creation. He is likely based on a report in the Chicago Defender a week after the massacre, claiming that a soldier named Ted Cole appeared and fought against the lynch mobs. The claim was never repeated, nor verified. See more »


When Mann asks Sylvester Carrier how he got out of the house, Sylvester's replies, "They carried me..." The audio does not match up with Sylvester's mouth. See more »


[first lines]
Gertrude: G'mornin'.
Aunt Sarah: Good mornin', Sylvester.
Sylvester Carrier: Mornin', mama.
Aunt Sarah: Good mornin', Gertie.
Gertrude: Good mornin', Mama Sarah.
Aunt Sarah: Don't run with them eggs, Arnett!
See more »


Referenced in 3000 Miles to Graceland (2001) See more »


The Town Burns
Written and Produced by John Williams
Performed by Shirley Caesar
Courtesy of Word Records
See more »

User Reviews

Though historical accuracy has been called into question this is, nevertheless, a recounting of events that must not be forgotten.
29 July 2000 | by bayou52See all my reviews

Anyone viewing John Singleton's account of the horrendous events that took place in Rosewood, Florida in the 1920's will be unable to escape powerful emotions, regardless of their attitudes on racial issues. Historical accounts of this atrocity are sketchy--likely due, in part, to efforts made to cover up the crimes--with estimates of the body count running from single to double digits. Singleton's presentation clearly assumes a worst case scenario. Further, some of the characters are highly stereotypical. Seizing one of America's many historical disgraces he produces an explosive story of racial oppression, bigotry and ignorance and leaves no stone unturned in putting the viewer through emotional cataclysm. I was exhausted when it was over. Regardless, having said that, I must say to John Singleton, "Bravo!" The film was a winner. I say this in the face of previous comments because it doesn't matter whether it was stereotypical, exaggerated or purposely provocative. Whether the body count was 1 or 100, the horrifying, inescapable fact is that it happened, and it is unlikely that anyone watching this powerful re-telling will soon forget it...and that's the point. Like the Holocost (which some now dare say didn't even happen at all) these events and others like them must never be forgotten. I dust this movie off and pop it into the VCR at least once a year, along with "Schindler's List" to make sure my rusting, aging brain remains ever aware of the darkest as well as the brightest aspects of the human creature.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Release Date:

21 February 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Rosewood See more »

Filming Locations:

Florida, USA See more »


Box Office


$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,154,075, 23 February 1997

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

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