Malcolm X

Malcolm X

4.3 6

Cast: Denzel Washington, Angela Bassett, Al Freeman Jr.


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Spike Lee's epic biopic of Malcolm X gets a superb two-disc special edition release from Warner Bros. that offers a handful of appealing extras. A full-length commentary featuring Lee, cinematographer Ernest Dickerson, editor Barry Alexander Brown, and costume designer Ruth Carter (who earned an Oscar nomination for her work in the film) touches upon seeminglySee more details below


Spike Lee's epic biopic of Malcolm X gets a superb two-disc special edition release from Warner Bros. that offers a handful of appealing extras. A full-length commentary featuring Lee, cinematographer Ernest Dickerson, editor Barry Alexander Brown, and costume designer Ruth Carter (who earned an Oscar nomination for her work in the film) touches upon seemingly every conceivable aspect of the film's somewhat troubled production. Especially entertaining are Lee's stories about fighting with the bond company once they had taken control of the filming. There are a handful of deleted scenes introduced by the director. A second disc offers a 1972 documentary about Malcolm X that offers a healthy amount of footage of the man. This film was nominated for an Oscar for Best Documentary, and it offers the viewer the chance to appreciate how Denzel Washington fully captured the man in his performance. The transfer is presented in a widescreen image that preserves the original aspect ratio. Lee's film offers an English soundtrack mixed in Dolby Digital 5.1, and a French soundtrack recorded in Dolby Surround Stereo. The documentary's soundtrack has been recorded in Dolby Digital Mono. This disc offers a first-rate presentation of what is arguably Spike Lee's best film.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Gregory Baird
Spike Lee asserted his preeminence among black filmmakers by virtually insisting that he direct Malcolm X, a Warner Bros. project that Lee wrested away from white director Norman Jewison. Based on Malcolm X's autobiography (as told to Alex Haley), Malcolm X stars Denzel Washington as the eponymous freedom fighter, and through an exceedingly deft use of flashbacks, it tells the whole story of the man's life. We see his salad days as a street hustler, his imprisonment for burglary, his conversion to Islam, his work as a disciple of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad (Al Freeman Jr.), and finally his assassination in 1965. Washington is extraordinary in the lead, effortlessly reproducing the charisma that served Malcolm X so well, whether in the service of crime or politics. A superb supporting cast includes Angela Bassett as Malcolm X's wife, Betty Shabazz, and Lee himself as one of Malcolm X's early partners in crime. Beautifully photographed by Lee's longtime cinematographer Ernest Dickerson, Malcolm X has an evocative period ambience and an epic sweep. Lee pulls precious few punches here, bringing the great man's frequently confrontational politics directly to the screen. The result is a film that angered many, touched many more, and is perhaps the most important film ever made about the black experience in America.
All Movie Guide - Mark Deming
Malcolm X is an epic in the truest sense, conveying the life and times of one of the most remarkable men of his era and making clear why he continues to matter. The screenplay (credited to Spike Lee and Arnold Perl) telescopes a tremendous amount of information into 3 hours and 25 minutes without seeming either overstuffed or excessively detailed. Lee's potent and eloquent visual style is used to superb effect, with the invaluable assistance of cinematographer Ernest Dickerson and production designer Wynn P. Thomas. While Lee's sympathies are easy to detect, the film presents Malcolm as a three-dimensional human being whose message was powerful and necessary but often flawed. As the story spans the four decades of Malcolm's life, Denzel Washington captures with equal conviction and accuracy the sullen teenager, the hardened criminal, the fiery activist, and the mature martyr. Terence Blanchard's score, combined with a stack of vintage music from Big Joe Turner and Louis Jordan to Ray Charles and Sam Cooke, is the perfect emotional match for this material. Never afraid to present controversial opinions or take chances, Malcolm X is also a deeply moving biopic that puts a human face on an often misunderstood man.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Warner Home Video
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Ten additional scenes with introductions by director Spike Lee; commentary by Lee, Ernest Dickerson, Barry Alexander Brown, and Ruth Carter; Academy Award-nominated, feature-length documentary Malcolm X (1972); "By Any Means Necessary: The Making of Malcolm X" documentary.

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Denzel Washington Malcolm X
Spike Lee Shorty
Angela Bassett Betty Shabazz
Al Freeman Elijah Muhammad
Delroy Lindo West Indian Archie
Albert Hall Baines
Theresa Randle Laura
Kate Vernon Sophia
Lonette McKee Louise Little
Tommy Hollis Earl Little
Bobby Seale 1st Speaker
Al Sharpton 2nd Speaker
Christopher Plummer Chaplain Gill
Karen Allen Miss Dunne
Peter Boyle Captain Green
William Kunstler Judge
Ossie Davis Eulogy Performer
Miki Howard Billie Holiday
Marlaine Bass Hilda-Age 8
Mary Alice Smith School Teacher
Robert Jason Elijah Muhammad's FOI
James MacDonald Lieutenant
Giancarlo Esposito Thomas Hayer
Ralph Cooper Radio Announcer
Brendan Kelly Guard Cone
Teresa Yvon Farley Young Hooker
Richard Gordon Elijah Muhammad's FOI
Matthew Harris Malcolm-Age 5
Leonard Parker Jason
Zakee Howze young Malcolm
Javon Jackson Tenor Saxophone Player
Oran "Juice" Jones Hustler
Jean-Claude LaMarre Benjamin 2X
Pee Wee Love Speedy
Richard Owens Trombone Player
TaiNesha Scott Elijah Muhammad's Granddaughter
Ed Herlihy Joe Louis Announcer
Bill Goldberg "John"
David Thomas Wilfred-Age 8
Ali Abdul Wahbah Malcolm's FOI
James McDaniel Brother Earl
Ernest Thomas Sidney
O.L. Duke Pete
Larry McCoy Sammy
Maurice Sneed Cadillac
Debi Mazar Peg
Phyllis Stickney Honey
Scot Anthony Robinson Daniel
James E. Gaines Cholly
Joe Seneca Toomer
La Tanya Richardson Lorraine
Wendell Pierce Ben Thomas
Vincent D'Onofrio Bill Newman
William Fichtner Cop at Harlem Station
Michael Imperioli Reporter at Fire Bombing
Michael Guess William X
John Sayles FBI Agent
Leland Gantt Wilbur Kinley
George Rafferty Harrington
Richard Schiff JFK Reporter
Craig Wasson TV Host
Danielle Fletcher Attalah
Frances Foster Woman Outside Audubon Ballroom
Gerica Cox Eva Marie
Sharon Washington Augusta
Leonard Thomas Leon Davis
Roger Guenveur Smith Rudy
John Ottavino Blades
Graham Brown Dr. Payson
John Reidy Simmons
Lauren Padick Lisha
Aleta Mitchell Sister Robin
Robinson Frank Adu Chuck
Ashanti Student in Harlem Classroom (uncredited)
Curt Williams Mr. Cooper
Randy Means Governor Connally
Monty Ross MC-Roseland
Jessica Givens Attalah
Reggie Montgomery Dick Jones
David Patrick Kelly Mr. Ostrowski
Lawrence James Tully
George Guidall Mrs. Holway
Shirley Stoler Mrs. Swerlin
George Lee Miles Preacher
Raye Dowell Sister Evelyn Williams
Veronica Webb Sister Lucille Rosary
Abdul Salaam El Razaac Fox
Keith Randolph Smith Brother Gene
Kyle Smith Roderick
Showman Uneke Hustler at Grand Central Station
Lennis Washington Mrs. Johnson
Steve White Brother Johnson
Jodie Farber Jackie Kennedy
Nelson Mandela Soweto Teacher
Darnell Smith Elijah Muhammad's Grandson
John Griesemer Guard Wilkins
Columbia DuBose Nellie Connally
Larry Attile Guard Baines
Beatrice Winde Elderly Woman

Technical Credits
Spike Lee Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Terence Blanchard Score Composer
Barry Alexander Brown Editor
Ruth E. Carter Costumes/Costume Designer
Ernest R. Dickerson Cinematographer
Ted Glass Set Decoration/Design
Preston Holmes Producer
Chuck Jeffreys Stunts
Jon Kilik Co-producer
Sander Lee Asst. Director,Producer
Arnold Perl Screenwriter
Monty Ross Co-producer
Wynn P. Thomas Production Designer
Tom Warren Art Director
Marvin Worth Producer

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Scene Index

Side #1 -- Scenes 1-28
1. American Nightmare [2:45]
2. Boston: Shorty Treatment [4:22]
3. Early Years [2:54]
4. Dancing Delirium [3:25]
5. Laura and Sophia [4:43]
6. Cops and Robbers [1:22]
7. Sophia's Story [1:56]
8. Save it for Mr. Right [4:31]
9. Riding Rails; Joe Louis [3:40]
10. West Indian Archie [5:25]
11. New Clothes and Lifestyle [4:33]
12. Familiar Face, Unfamiliar Numbers [5:43]
13. Under the Gun [2:27]
14. "I'm a Man" [1:57]
15. "I Was an Animal" [6:00]
16. The Jig Is Up [:49]
17. Little's Number [3:42]
18. Meeting Baines [4:37]
19. Black and White [3:12]
20. Behindhte Words [6:05]
21. Vision of Elijah Muhammad [3:24]
22. Color of Jesus [5:36]
23. Meeting Elijah [2:05]
24. The Preacher [1:54]
25. Reunions [3:26]
26. Our Women [5:06]
27. One Woman: Betty [4:41]
28. Turnout for Brother Johnson [2:41]
Side #2 -- Scenes 29-52
1. Strange Fruit [1:58]
2. Scared of Revolution Montage [3:43]
3. I Charge the White Man [1:59]
4. Early Recollections [3:16]
5. Religion and God [7:22]
6. Crime and Poverty [2:08]
7. Muhammad Ali [1:31]
8. Self-Hate to Confidence [1:22]
9. To Extremes [5:20]
10. American Nightmare [3:49]
11. President Kennedy [4:18]
12. Rift With Elijah [2:02]
13. Pilgrim's Journey [4:32]
14. Pilgrim's Return [3:25]
15. The Price; Negro Types [5:26]
16. Guerrilla Action [3:41]
17. Death Threats [3:25]
18. Terror at Home [5:42]
19. Looking to Africa [3:31]
20. Words of Warning [2:37]
21. Assassination [4:13]
22. Who Killed Him? [6:01]
23. Our Manhood [5:45]
24. End Credits [2:33]
29. Potential Young Warrior [2:28]
30. Pure Vessel [2:27]
31. With Me Even When Away [2:55]
32. Black Intelligence [5:51]
33. Media Glare [4:08]
34. Harvard; Coming Explosion [6:30]
35. Possibility of Betrayal [7:30]
36. Baines' Warning [2:16]
37. Shattered Faith [2:34]
38. JFK Killed [3:36]
39. Marked for Death [:10]
40. Pilgrimage to Mecca [2:59]
41. Pyramids; Letter Home [3:32]
42. Return Home [6:28]
43. Death Threats; Firebombing [3:18]
44. Assassins [4:14]
45. "Peace Be Unto You" [:43]
46. Death Watch [1:25]
47. February 21, 1965 [4:30]
48. Budubon Ballroom Backstage [3:08]
49. Assassinated [3:50]
50. Ossie Davis' Eulogy [4:00]
51. "I Am Malcolm X" [3:20]
52. End Credits [1:22]

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