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Malcolm X

Malcolm X

4.3 6

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


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Spike Lee's comprehensive film biography of the slain civil rights leader Malcolm X is much more than the depiction of a great man's life. It is a film that shows, through the powerful story of one man, a person's ability to reinvent himself and change his life. It is fueled by a towering, charismatic performance by


Spike Lee's comprehensive film biography of the slain civil rights leader Malcolm X is much more than the depiction of a great man's life. It is a film that shows, through the powerful story of one man, a person's ability to reinvent himself and change his life. It is fueled by a towering, charismatic performance by Denzel Washington as Malcolm X (Washington had previously played Malcolm in the early 1980s in an off-Broadway play, When the Chickens Come Home To Roost). The film breaks Malcolm X's life down into three acts. The first deals with the troubled childhood of Malcolm Little, whose father is murdered by the Ku Klux Klan and whose mother is institutionalized for insanity. Malcolm grows up and gets a job as a Pullman porter, calling himself Detroit Red. Getting involved with Harlem gangster West Indian Archie (Delroy Lindo), Malcolm finds himself in prison. The second section follows his life in prison, where a fellow inmate, Baines (Albert Hall), introduces him to the teachings of the Nation of Islam. The third section follows Malcolm's religious conversion as a messianic disciple of the Honorable Elijah Mohammed (Al Freeman Jr.). During this fervent immersion into the Nation of Islam, he becomes an incendiary speaker for the movement and marries Betty Shabazz (Angela Bassett). Malcolm X preaches a doctrine of hate against the white man, but a pilgrimage to Mecca softens his beliefs and he endeavors to break free of the strict dogma of the Nation of Islam, with tragic results.

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.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Warner Home Video
Region Code:
[Full Frame, Wide Screen]
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]

Special Features

Closed Caption; ; Commentary by Spike Lee, Ernest Dickerson, Barry Alexander Brown and Ruth Carter; ; New Documentary: By Any Means Necessary: The Making of Malcolm X; ; 10 Additional Scenes, Including Introduction by Spike Lee; Theatrical Trailer

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

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Malcolm X
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. Behind the 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]


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Malcolm X 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Have not received item yet, ordered 2 weeks ago. Extremely slow delivery!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This 2 Disc Special Edition is just what I've been waiting for. This is one of Denzel Washingtons best performances and one of the most culturally significant films of the 1990's. The 2nd disc is packed with extras including the original Malcolm X Documentary from the 70's and various behind the scenes featurettes and extras including commentary and interviews with everyone except Denzel Washington (Sadly). This is definitly a Special Edition worth buying even if you already have the original dvd.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Words cannot describe how good this movie really is, and how well it was done. Great movie, it educated me about a man that was rarely understood. Denzel Washington really outdid himself with this movie.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Great movie about a horrible era in American history. Washington is freaking superb in his role as one of America's great leaders and heroes: Mr. X
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago