7.3/10
220
7 user 2 critic

Classified X (1998)

A history of the racially stereotyped portrayal of African Americans in cinema.

Director:

Mark Daniels
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1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Melvin Van Peebles ... Self / Narrator
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Margaret Barker Margaret Barker ... Self (archive footage)
Joanna Barnes ... Self (archive footage)
Ethel Barrymore ... Self (archive footage)
Harry Belafonte ... Self (archive footage)
Ingrid Bergman ... Self (archive footage)
David Brian ... Self (archive footage)
Lloyd Bridges ... Self (archive footage)
Steve Brodie ... Self (archive footage)
Charles Bronson ... Self (archive footage)
Jim Brown ... Self (archive footage)
James Burke ... Self (archive footage)
Jeff Corey ... Self (archive footage)
Lou Costello ... Self (archive footage)
Jeanne Crain ... Self (archive footage)
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Storyline

A history of the racially stereotyped portrayal of African Americans in cinema.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Explore the representation of African Americans in the history of American cinema through the eyes of Melvin Van Peebles.

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Connections

References The Navigator (1924) See more »

User Reviews

 
the all-white jury should be wary of rating this X
18 September 2014 | by lee_eisenbergSee all my reviews

Melvin Van Peebles came to moviegoers' attention when he released "Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song", in which he played a hustler who has to go on the lam after killing some cops who were attacking a Black Panther. The movie was widely seen as the first frank look at what African-Americans wanted to say about their experiences, as opposed to what would make whites comfortable. Van Peebles released the movie with the tagline RATED X BY AN ALL-WHITE JURY.

With "Classified X" Van Peebles takes a look at the portrayals of African-Americans in movies since the birth of cinema. Lest you think that the racist depictions started with "The Birth of a Nation", Van Peebles includes scenes from Thomas Edison's movies which use blacks as the incompetent comic relief. From the portrayals of savages in loin cloths to modern movies in which blacks raise the consciousness of a white hero, Van Peebles has ample criticism of the depictions.

It's important to understand that this is part of US history. Van Peebles notes that the white power structure basically convinced blacks that these depictions were OK. I would've liked to hear Van Peebles's opinion of movies like "Buck and the Preacher". He noted that theaters now siphon off money from movies like "Malcolm X". I would like to see an update to see what Van Peebles's opinion of movies since 1998 that have focused on race relations, although I can guess what he would say about some movies. In the end, I recommend this one.


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Details

Country:

UK | France | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 March 2007 (Argentina) See more »

Also Known As:

Melvin Van Peebles' Classified X See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$65, 18 October 1998

Gross USA:

$65
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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