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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.

Director:

Spike Lee

Writer:

Spike Lee
1 win & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Damon Wayans ... Pierre Delacroix
Savion Glover ... Manray / Mantan
Jada Pinkett Smith ... Sloan Hopkins (as Jada Pinkett-Smith)
Tommy Davidson ... Womack / Sleep'n Eat
Michael Rapaport ... Thomas Dunwitty
Thomas Jefferson Byrd ... Honeycutt
Paul Mooney ... Junebug
Sarah Jones ... Dot
Gillian White ... Verna (as Gillian Iliana Waters)
Susan Batson ... Orchid Dothan
Yasiin Bey ... Mau Mau: Big Blak Afrika (Julius Hopkins) (as Mos Def)
M.C. Serch M.C. Serch ... Mau Mau: 1 / 16th Blak (as MC Serch)
Gano Grills Gano Grills ... Mau Mau: Double Blak
Canibus Canibus ... Mau Mau: Mo Blak
DJ Scratch 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 October 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

It's Showtime See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

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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

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Most of this film was shot only on digital (Mini DV) camcorders, the kind you can buy at any electronics store. While this sacrificed quality, it allowed them to shoot with 15 cameras at a time, and it also allowed Spike Lee to get all the footage he needed shot within the film's modest budget. The only scenes shot on film were the "Mantan: The New Millennium Minstrel Show" sequences, which were shot on 16mm film. See more »

Quotes

Pierre Delacroix: As I bled to death, as my very life oozed out of me, all I could think of was something the great Negro James Baldwin had written. "People pay for what they do, and still more for what they have allowed themselves to become, and they pay for it, very simply, by the lives they lead."
See more »

Crazy Credits

The credits roll over several "coon" collectable items that are wound-up. See more »

Connections

References Star Trek (1966) See more »

Soundtracks

Burn Hollywood Burn
Written by Ahmir-Khalib Thompson (as Ahmir Thompson), Kenyatta Saunders, Tariq Trotter (as Tarik Trotter),
Chuck D (as Carlton Ridenour) and Zack De La Rocha
Performed by The Roots, Chuck D (as Chuck D) and Zack De La Rocha
The Roots appear Courtesy of MCA Records
Chuck D appears Courtesy of Slam Jamz Records
Zack De La Rocha appears Courtesy of Sony Music Entertainment
See more »

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User Reviews

This masterpiece left me speechless
11 October 2000 | by tweetybiSee all my reviews

I was lucky enough to see the Philadelphia premiere of this movie at the U. of Penn, with Spike Lee in attendance, and I left the theatre feeling almost speechless. I've seen most of Lee's films and have mixed emotions and reviews of each of them; however, this film is truly a MASTERPIECE of filmmaking. Without giving away the many-layered plot, which must be experienced to be appreciated, the subject is a touchy one --- controversial and poignant, embarrassing and humiliating, enlightening and insightful. Mainstream white audiences ( of which I am a part ) may find the subject to be uncomfortable --- obviously one of Lee's goals here --- and all audiences will find certain parts of the movie to be terrifying. Besides the storyline, the acting is wonderful across the board, and Daman Wayans deserves an Academy Award for his over-the-top role. Spike Lee's "Bamboozled" should go down in history as one of the most important films about race vs. social status and the misconceptions and stereotypes that surround them, as well as being a magnificent movie about popular culture and the almighty dollar. It is alternatingly hysterical, contemplative, witty and violent, and I left the theatre in tears, totally speechless. Unfortunately, this will probably be a short-lived film in your local cineplex, but hopefully it will gain enough serious attention to win the accolades it deserves, as well as open some closed eyes and minds.


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