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Bamboozled (2000)

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A frustrated African-American TV writer proposes a blackface minstrel show in protest, but to his chagrin it becomes a hit.

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1 win & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Pierre Delacroix
... Manray / Mantan
... Sloan Hopkins (as Jada Pinkett-Smith)
... Womack / Sleep'n Eat
... Thomas Dunwitty
... Honeycutt
... Junebug
... Dot
... Verna (as Gillian Iliana Waters)
... Orchid Dothan
... Mau Mau: Big Blak Afrika (Julius Hopkins) (as Mos Def)
M.C. Serch ... Mau Mau: 1 / 16th Blak (as MC Serch)
Gano Grills ... Mau Mau: Double Blak
Canibus ... Mau Mau: Mo Blak
DJ Scratch ... Mau Mau: Jo Blak
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Storyline

Dark, biting satire of the television industry, focusing on an Ivy League educated black writer at a major network. Frustrated that his ideas for a "Cosby Show"-esque take on the black family have been rejected by network brass, he devises an outlandish scheme: reviving the minstrel show. This is the hook: Instead of white actors in black face, the show stars black actors in even blacker face. The show becomes an instant smash, but with the success also come repercussions for all involved. Written by N. Cognito <nobody@noplace>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Starring the great negroe actors

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 October 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

It's Showtime  »

Filming Locations:


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Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$190,720, 8 October 2000, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,185,266, 19 November 2000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The names of two characters are based on real performers of the past. "Mantan" came from Mantan Moreland. "Sleep 'n' Eat" was based on Willie Best, who was credited only as "Sleep 'n' Eat" in some early films. See more »

Quotes

Myrna Goldfarb: I happen to have a Master's degree in African-American studies.
Pierre Delacroix: So you fucked a nigger in college.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits for the film roll at the end. See more »

Connections

Features Any Bonds Today? (1942) See more »

Soundtracks

One Night
Written by Allen Gordon and Teron Beal
Performed by Profyle
Courtesy of Motown Records
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User Reviews

 
Lacks True Vision
2 February 2010 | by See all my reviews

Faizon Love in Dinner for Five, July-'02 (On Spike Lee interjecting himself into his own pictures) "...don't do that, it looks stupid, don't cast yourself...the weakest thing can be the biggest blemish." I beg to disagree with actor Faizon Love (of "Friday" fame), the biggest blemish of a Spike Lee film is it's self-righteous preachy endings.

Don't get me wrong — as an American white woman, I've wallowed in buckets of liberal guilt for the past U. S. genocidal policies. But Mr. Lee does not make films for marginally enlightened white folks.

And while almost all of Hollywood's directors offer up a sanitized view of the process of racism, director Spike Lee does not. I can always count on Lee to "tell it like it is", and nowhere is this more evident than in his latest cinematic effort, Bamboozled.

The key word is effort, because Lee is prone to hit us over the head with his point — again and again and again. It's as though he doubts that white America is smart enough to get his message and concerned that black America may have forgotten it while climbing up the assimilation ladder.

And while I may squirm at his intellectual contempt for the audience, and be irritated that he plays his usual double standard, where EVERY white character as a racist stereotype), I'm drawn to the single - minded courage of his view.

Bamboozled grits and grates on every nerve and then does a deft tap-dance on our last one---stretching it for all it's worth. For everyone in this movie becomes a giant-sized stereotype. And it leaves this viewer hoping he did this on purpose, but knowing its just the same old lack of self-control.

And yes — we got the point, Mr. Lee — no thanks to your sledgehammer method of directing, that blacks who play roles to serve a racist stereotype are "the enemy" and deserve only death.

I've seen almost every film that Spike Lee has created --- The Girl's Gotta Have It, Malcolm X, Girl 6, Do The Right Thing, Jungle Fever, etc. Each movie resonates with Lee's caustic and uncompromising world view — and there's nothing wrong with this — every great director keeps making the same movie of their limited viewpoint. Yet Lee is young enough for me to wish that he can cast off the S.O.S. — Same Old Stereotype - and create something truly original.

In a way, Faizon Love is right on target — for while Spike Lee is an Oscar-caliber director, with piercing insight and uncommon talent, he still lacks any objectivity to truly "direct" that vision to it's desired end.

For rather than just making a point that's obvious to all, we'd rather see whats' beyond that one-dimensional image to embrace a more three-dimensional viewing experience. So while America has been Bamboozled by racist stereotyping, Lee is still playing to it.


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