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Lackawanna Blues (2005)

PG-13 | | Drama, Music | TV Movie 12 February 2005
In a story fueled by rhythm and blues, a young boy's life is shaped by love and the stories of a cast of characters in the boarding house where he lives in 1960s Lackawanna, New York.

Director:

George C. Wolfe

Writers:

Ruben Santiago-Hudson (play), Ruben Santiago-Hudson (teleplay)
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Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 29 wins & 41 nominations. See more awards »

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Stars: Charles S. Dutton, Ella Joyce, Rocky Carroll
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
S. Epatha Merkerson ... Rachel "Nanny" Crosby
Marcus Carl Franklin ... Ruben Santiago Jr. (as Marcus Franklin)
Yasiin Bey ... The Bandleader (as Mos Def)
Carmen Ejogo ... Alean
Bill Simms Jr. Bill Simms Jr. ... Himself
Louis Gossett Jr. ... Ol'lem Taylor
Macy Gray ... Pauline
Terrence Howard ... Bill Crosby (as Terrance Dashon Howard)
Ernie Hudson ... Dick Barrymore
Delroy Lindo ... Mr. Lucious
Rosie Perez ... Bertha
Ruben Santiago-Hudson ... Freddie Cobbs
Liev Schreiber ... Ulysses Ford
Jimmy Smits ... Ruben Santiago Sr.
Patricia Wettig ... Laura's Mother
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Storyline

In the 1950s and 1960s, Ruben Santiago-Hudson Jr. lives in a lively boardinghouse in the blue-collar town of Lackawanna, New York, with his father after his parents separate. Run by the motherly Nanny Crosby and her taciturn husband, the boardinghouse residents, including The Bandleader, singer Pauline and cabaret owner Dick Barrymore, teach the young boy about life and art. Written by Jwelch5742

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Play it. Sing it. Shout it. Feel it.

Genres:

Drama | Music

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

HBO [United States]

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 February 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Lackawanna Blues See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ruben Santiago-Hudson insisted his daughter Lily be cast in a cameo as Laura's daughter. But his son Trey, a twin with Lily, wanted to appear in the movie as well, which Ruben accepted. In real-life, the character of the abused Laura only had a daughter, not a twin daughter and son. The scene where Laura comes to Nanny's house in the middle of the night with her son and daughter after leaving her abusive husband is accurately re-created word-for-word as Ruben remembered from that night. See more »

Goofs

When Rachel is getting $20 bills pinned on her, there are pinned bills on her right side including her arm, when they return to that scene, the bills are gone. See more »

Quotes

Bertha: Did you see all those negroes shouting "black power, black power"? Hair as nappy as can be!
Rachel "Nanny" Crosby: The black panthers?
Bertha: Yeah. I have all the "black power" they need right in my hot comb.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The 63rd Annual Golden Globe Awards (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

If I Ever Lost You
Performed by Jimmy Scott
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User Reviews

 
Killer performance for S. Epatha Merkerson
14 February 2005 | by rlgoldenSee all my reviews

I always felt that Ms. Merkerson had never gotten a role fitting her skills. Familiar to millions as the Lt. on Law and Order, she has been seen in a number of theatrical releases, always in a supporting role. HBO's Lackawanna Blues changes that and allows this talented actress to shine as Nanny, successful entrepreneur in a world changing from segregation to integration. But the story is really about the colorful array of characters that she and her adopted son meet in a boarding house in Lackawanna, New York, a suburb of Buffalo.

The story could be set in any major African-American community of the 50's and 60's from Atlanta's Sweet Auburn to New York's Harlem. But the segregation-integration angle is only a subtle undercurrent in the colorful lives of the folks at Nanny's boarding house. The story revolves around Nanny's relationships with all kinds of people, played by some of the best actors in the business (I purposely did not say black actors--this ensemble is a stunning array of talent who happen to be black, except for Jimmy Smits, of course) I recommend this film as a fun and colorful look at a bygone day.


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