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Black & White (1999)

Black and White (original title)
R | | Crime, Drama, Music | 5 April 2000 (USA)
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A group of white high school teens become involved with Harlem's black hip-hop crowd.

Director:

James Toback

Writer:

James Toback

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Scott Caan ... Scotty
Robert Downey Jr. ... Terry Donager
Stacy Edwards ... Sheila King
Allan Houston ... Dean Carter
Gaby Hoffmann ... Raven
Kidada Jones ... Jesse
Jared Leto ... Casey
Marla Maples ... Muffy
Joe Pantoliano ... Bill King
Bijou Phillips ... Charlie
Oliver 'Power' Grant ... Rich Bower (as Power)
Raekwon Raekwon ... Cigar
Claudia Schiffer ... Greta
William Lee Scott ... Will King
Brooke Shields ... Sam Donager
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Storyline

Set in New York City, Black and White features several losely related stories centering on a pair of documentary filmmakers, Sam and her husband Terry, in following a group of caucasian teens, Raven, Charlie, Will, Marty, Wren and others who try to fit in with Harlem's black hip-hop crowd who include gangster rapper Rich Bower and his music partner Cigar in landing a recording gig, as well as college basketball player Dean who is conflicted on taking a fall on a game for shady gambler Mark Clear who has hidden agenda for Dean and Rich. Written by <pataygs@voicenet.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

What happens when you mix it up? See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexuality, graphic language, some violence and drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 April 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Black & White See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,212,535, 9 April 2000, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$5,241,315, 30 April 2000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Robert Downey, Jr. was offered the part of playing the husband to Brooke Shields' character, he decided he wanted to play the character as a gay man, who hits on every guy he met in the film. He became a bit nervous when he found out one of those men would be Mike Tyson, but James Toback told him to stick to his original plan. See more »

Goofs

Dean is described repeatedly as a "star point guard." Actually, like the actor (a star basketball player in real life), Dean is a shooting guard who sometimes also plays small forward. See more »

Quotes

Kim: Sometimes you just don't wanna be what your race is supposed to be.
See more »

Alternate Versions

U.S. version was cut from its original NC-17 rating to be re-rated R. See more »


Soundtracks

Kid Encyclopedia
Performed by Rhyme Recka
See more »

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User Reviews

Toback's best movie since FINGERS
8 April 2000 | by nunculusSee all my reviews

It's the one Tobackonists have been waiting for since the thrill of his debut movie FINGERS--a movie with the soar and rush of obsession that also has the sanity and craft of a grown man. This movie about the uneasy millennium-era relationship of black and white people in America is not, as many people have said, a work of moony White Negroism. It resembles one of Godard's mid-sixties essay-movies like MASCULINE FEMININE or TWO OR THREE THINGS I KNOW ABOUT HER, but with race substituted for sexual politics, and with a heavy dose of pornography and melodramatic pulp. Toback keeps cranking up the heat as the cast--a conceptual-art demonstration of stunt casting--leaves the audience openmouthed.

Bijou Phillips is a wonder as the wigga-talkin' Upper East Side chiclet who proclaims, "I wanna be black--I'm a kid in America." Ben Stiller, as a tormented dirty cop, gives the performance of his life in a high-speed monologue of self-analysis that's like a speed freak's channeling the essence of Robert Downey, Jr. The great man himself appears here as well, as a gay artist who comes on to Mike Tyson (playing himself) at a party. The scene of violence that ensues should have James Toback clinking a glass in celebration in the mirror: he managed to top the Jim Brown/Tisa Farrow head-smashing sequence in FINGERS. Brooke Shields is an amazement as a fervent, sincere documentarian with dredlocks--she's like a deadpan version of the Geraldine Chaplin character in NASHVILLE, and Shields astonishes.

Toback wants to cram everything into this bird's eye view of race--sexual fantasies, money machinations, the class strata of New York City. That none of the scenes is a dud, that the movie is beautifully shot and edited, that nothing feels merely "excessive," is a testament to the passion behind the camera. BLACK AND WHITE is a miracle to this viewer: it renewed my excitement and faith in movies at a moment when I felt it falling down.


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