Lost Boundaries

Overview

Until the House Un-American Activities Committee horned in, several postwar Hollywood films dealt with touchy "liberal" subject matter. Lost Boundaries stars Mel Ferrer as a light-skinned African-American, whose family is "passing" in an all-white New England community. When the truth comes out, the more bigoted neighbors demand the expulsion of Ferrer and his family. Considered pretty potent stuff in 1949, Lost Boundaries appears fairly conventional today, especially in its reluctance to cast a genuine black ...
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Overview

Until the House Un-American Activities Committee horned in, several postwar Hollywood films dealt with touchy "liberal" subject matter. Lost Boundaries stars Mel Ferrer as a light-skinned African-American, whose family is "passing" in an all-white New England community. When the truth comes out, the more bigoted neighbors demand the expulsion of Ferrer and his family. Considered pretty potent stuff in 1949, Lost Boundaries appears fairly conventional today, especially in its reluctance to cast a genuine black actor in the lead.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Although it has badly dated, particularly in the area of casting, Lost Boundaries is deserving of note as one of the small cycle of "passing for white" films that came along after the second World War. Essentially message picture, these films were an attempt to address the problem of racial division in America and as such hold a special place in film history. The problem with many message pictures is that the message very often takes precedence over dramatic qualities, and this is the case in Boundaries - but to a lesser extent than one might imagine. While the film has its flaws, including presenting a leading couple who are pretty much without flaws, it also has a decently sturdy dramatic screenplay: it's a bit predictable, and ultimately a bit rose-colored, but it nevertheless holds together. Alfred L. Werker's direction is sensitive and effective, and the cast - especially Mel Ferrer and Beatrice Pearson - performs well. Yet modern audiences may still find it a bit hard going because of the fact that white performers were cast to play black people passing for white; in 1949, this was the only way such a film could be made, but modern sensibilities may still find it too jarring to get past.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/23/2009
  • UPC: 883316126349
  • Original Release: 1949
  • Rating:

  • Source: Warner Archives
  • Presentation: B&W / Pan & Scan
  • Time: 1:39:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 45,114

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Beatrice Pearson Marcia Carter
Mel Ferrer Dr. Scott Carter
Richard Hylton Howard Carter
Susan Douglas Shelley Carter
Canada Lee Lt. Thompson
Rev. Robert Dunn Rev. John Taylor
Grace Coppin Mrs. Mitchell
Carleton Carpenter Andy
Seth Arnold Clint Adams
Wendell Holmes Mr. Mitchell
Parker Fennelly Alvin Tupper
William Greaves Arthur Cooper
Leigh Whipper Janitor
Alexander Campbell Mr. Bigelow
Edwin Cooper Baggage Man
Royal Beal Detective Staples
Emory Richardson Dr. Howard
Margaret Barker Nurse Richmond
John Gerstad George Turner
Peter Hobbs
Morton Stevens Dr. Walter Brackett
Technical Credits
Alfred L. Werker Director
Herbert Andrews Art Director
Louis Applebuam Score Composer
Louis de Rochemont Producer
Dave Kummins Editor
Eugene Ling Screenwriter
William J. Miller Cinematographer
Charles Palmer Screenwriter
Jack Shaindlin Musical Direction/Supervision
Virginia Shaler Screenwriter
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