7.9/10
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39 user 6 critic

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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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

Show more on IMDbPro »

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

Based on the autobiographical one-man show by Ruben Santiago-Hudson. See more »

Goofs

During the club scenes during the 1950s, there are a number of 45 rpm singles hanging on the walls. One is a Columbia Records single with the 1970s design and logo. See more »

Quotes

Jesse: Ms. Rachel, I come for my family.
Rachel "Nanny" Crosby: Sit down, boy. You hungry?
Jesse: I don't need to sit down, Ms. Rachel. Just tell Laura I said to come home.
Rachel "Nanny" Crosby: I got a fresh pot of neck-bones back here and some...
Jesse: [yelling] WHERE'S SHE AT?
Rachel "Nanny" Crosby: Wherever she at, you gonna have to go through me to get to her. Now, go on, knock me down. Go on. If that's the onliest way you know how to do things. Knock Nanny down, 'cause I can handle it.
Jesse: I ain't got no beef with you, Ms. Rachel. But with all due respect, you all up in between ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Featured in 2006 Independent Spirit Awards (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Destination Love
Written by Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller
Performed by Yasiin Bey
Produced by Bruce Robb & Evyen Klean
Recorded, Arranged, Engineered & Mixed by Bruce Robb at Cherokee Studios
See more »

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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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