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Nothing But a Man
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- The cast and crew 40 years later
- Short film: "Portrait of Abbey"
- Extensive liner notes with original stills from the film
- Cast and crew biographies
Top Customer Reviews
Long before Scorsese made "Mean Streets" and "Raging Bull," Michael Roemer had made this great film. No other film dramatizes so profoundly the plight of a man whose basic human pride will not be compromised under any circumstances.
Ivan Dixon as Duff gives one of the greatest performances in the history of cinema and Abbey Lincoln as Josie, the preacher's daughter he tries to settle down with, is just about perfect in control of nuance. These characters are extraordinary "ordinary" people, truly heroic; yet the tragedy that stalks them may or may not be hopeless at this time in history, due to an apparent shift in black consciousness, a general "fed-up-with-it-all" attitude that needs men like Duff to inspire itself.
The entire cast is uniformly excellent and there are too many brilliant scenes to mention here. The film seems cut directly from the fabric of real life in a semi-documentary Rossellini-like style. "Little Fugitive" and "Medium Cool" are the only other pre-70s American films I've seen that feel this real and authentic.
In terms of the subtlety with which racial politics and power relations are exposed through simple gestures and concrete acts rather than rhetoric and melodrama, Martin Ritt's "Sounder" and Paul Schrader's "Blue Collar" are the only films I've seen that come close. Charles Burnett's low-budget independent masterpiece "Killer of Sheep," also comes to mind.Read more ›
I end up watching this film about once a decade (I've seen it three times). On both occasions as I anticipated watching it again I've thought it's not going to be as good as I remember it being. I've been wrong both times, rediscovering the film's force and seeing even more layers of subtlety as I watched it through the filter of my added experience. I can't recommend this film highly enough.
This film examines a lot of issues in between all this, but I will spare all that for the viewer. You really have to see it. Lots of good atmospheric touches that makes the Southern urban ghetto scenery authentic, as well as the R&B and Gospel soundtrack. Look for Esther Rolle (Florida Evans from "Good Times") as an extra in a church scene.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Awesome, classic film that resonates today. Love seeing the veterans Ivan Dixon, Abbey Lincoln, and others.Published 4 months ago by liz
Back to the past, but nevertheless rewarding to the present, what a performance to all of the actors and actresses.Published 5 months ago by ANITA JONES
Great movie with universal topics. I saw this movie when I was 15(a while ago). As valid today as it was then.Published 8 months ago by Lyle S.
The dignity of man -- for himself and others! Ivan Dixon is thoroughly believable and honest in his portrayal of a southern black working on a railroad
section gang. Read more
This would in my opinion be an essential movie for African-American viewing. It is a social study in self worth in an unfavorable environment.Published 11 months ago by R. Bland