A Better-Than Black List

by LaurenceBranagh | created - 06 Feb 2018 | updated - 06 Feb 2018 | Public

by Armond White

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1. The Birth of a Nation (1915)

TV-PG | 195 min | Drama, History, War

The Stoneman family finds its friendship with the Camerons affected by the Civil War, both fighting in opposite armies. The development of the war in their lives plays through to Lincoln's assassination and the birth of the Ku Klux Klan.

Director: D.W. Griffith | Stars: Lillian Gish, Mae Marsh, Henry B. Walthall, Miriam Cooper

Votes: 21,164 | Gross: $10.00M

2. American Experience (1988– )
Episode: Ida B. Wells: A Passion for Justice (1989)

TV-PG | Documentary, Biography, History

The work of a notable civil rights crusader in the late 19th and early 20th century.

Director: William Greaves

Votes: 6

3. Hallelujah (1929)

Passed | 109 min | Drama, Musical

A sharecropper decides to become a preacher after falling for a vamp from the city.

Director: King Vidor | Stars: Daniel L. Haynes, Nina Mae McKinney, William Fountaine, Harry Gray

Votes: 1,476

4. Way Down South (1939)

Passed | 61 min | Action, Music

In the pre-Civil War South, a plantation owner dies and leaves all his possessions, including his slaves, to his young son. While the deceased treated his slaves decently, his corrupt ... See full summary »

Directors: Leslie Goodwins, Bernard Vorhaus | Stars: Bobby Breen, Alan Mowbray, Ralph Morgan, Steffi Duna

Votes: 178

5. Cabin in the Sky (1943)

Passed | 98 min | Fantasy, Musical

A compulsive gambler dies during a shooting, but he'll receive a second chance to reform himself and to make up with his worried wife.

Directors: Vincente Minnelli, Busby Berkeley | Stars: Ethel Waters, Eddie 'Rochester' Anderson, Lena Horne, Louis Armstrong

Votes: 2,602

6. Sign 'o' the Times (1987)

PG-13 | 85 min | Documentary, Music

72 Metascore

A concert film with theatrical staging, featuring live performances by Prince and his band.

Directors: Prince, Albert Magnoli | Stars: Prince, Sheila E., Sheena Easton, Dr. Fink

Votes: 1,634 | Gross: $3.00M

7. Carmen Jones (1954)

Approved | 105 min | Drama, Musical, Romance

65 Metascore

Contemporary version of the Bizet opera, with new lyrics and an African-American cast.

Director: Otto Preminger | Stars: Harry Belafonte, Dorothy Dandridge, Pearl Bailey, Olga James

Votes: 4,247

8. This Is It (2009)

PG | 111 min | Documentary, Drama, Music

67 Metascore

A compilation of interviews, rehearsals, and backstage footage of Michael Jackson as he prepared for his series of sold-out shows in London.

Director: Kenny Ortega | Stars: Michael Jackson, Alex Al, Alexandra Apjarova, Nick Bass

Votes: 37,437 | Gross: $72.09M

9. Lost Boundaries (1949)

Not Rated | 99 min | Drama

This story is a true account of the lives of Scott and Marsha Carter. Having graduated from medical school, Scott Carter, a fair-skinned African American, marries Marsha Mitchell and moves ... See full summary »

Director: Alfred L. Werker | Stars: Beatrice Pearson, Mel Ferrer, Susan Douglas Rubes, Robert A. Dunn

Votes: 355

10. The Sun Shines Bright (1953)

Approved | 90 min | Comedy, Drama, Western

John Ford weaves three "Judge Priest" stories together to form a good- natured exploration of honour and small-town politics in the South around the turn of the century. Judge William ... See full summary »

Director: John Ford | Stars: Charles Winninger, Arleen Whelan, John Russell, Stepin Fetchit

Votes: 1,230

11. Imitation of Life (1959)

Not Rated | 125 min | Drama

An aspiring actress befriends a black widow, but trouble arises when the latter is rejected by her daughter, who tries to pass for white.

Director: Douglas Sirk | Stars: Lana Turner, John Gavin, Sandra Dee, Susan Kohner

Votes: 13,933 | Gross: $13.99M

12. Band of Angels (1957)

Not Rated | 125 min | Drama, History, Romance

Amantha Starr grows up as a privileged southern Belle in the ante-bellum South, but after her father dies broke, her world is destroyed when she discovers her mother was black.

Director: Raoul Walsh | Stars: Clark Gable, Yvonne De Carlo, Sidney Poitier, Efrem Zimbalist Jr.

Votes: 1,947

13. 42 (2013)

PG-13 | 128 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

62 Metascore

In 1947, Jackie Robinson becomes the first African-American to play in Major League Baseball in the modern era when he was signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers and faces considerable racism in the process.

Director: Brian Helgeland | Stars: Chadwick Boseman, T.R. Knight, Harrison Ford, Nicole Beharie

Votes: 79,998 | Gross: $95.00M

14. Get on Up (2014)

PG-13 | 139 min | Biography, Drama, Music

71 Metascore

A chronicle of James Brown's rise from extreme poverty to become one of the most influential musicians in history.

Director: Tate Taylor | Stars: Chadwick Boseman, Nelsan Ellis, Dan Aykroyd, Viola Davis

Votes: 19,534 | Gross: $30.51M

15. The Cry of Jazz (1959)

Not Rated | 34 min | Documentary, Short, Music

Discussion of jazz and the role of African-Americans in the United States.

Director: Edward Bland | Stars: George Waller, Dorothea Horton, Melinda Dillon, Andrew Duncan

Votes: 183

16. Gone Are the Days! (1963)

Unrated | 99 min | Comedy, Drama

An idealistic young man returns to the plantation where he grew up in servitude. He brings his fiancée Lutiebelle, but hopes to convince the plantation owner that she is really his cousin ... See full summary »

Director: Nicholas Webster | Stars: Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Godfrey Cambridge, Hilda Haynes

Votes: 136

17. The Landlord (1970)

PG | 112 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

75 Metascore

At the age of twenty-nine, Elgar Enders "runs away" from home. This running away consists of buying a building in a black ghetto in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn. Initially his ... See full summary »

Director: Hal Ashby | Stars: Beau Bridges, Lee Grant, Diana Sands, Pearl Bailey

Votes: 2,052 | Gross: $0.96M

18. Don't Play Us Cheap (1973)

Not Rated | 99 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

Film version of Melvin Van Peebles' Broadway musical. A pair of devil-bats take human form and crash a Harlem house party in an attempt to break it up. But somehow, their attempts to ruin the party fail.

Director: Melvin Van Peebles | Stars: Thomas Anderson, Jay Van Leer, Robert Dunn, Mabel King

Votes: 192

19. Sounder (1972)

G | 105 min | Drama, Family

80 Metascore

The oldest son of a loving and strong family of black sharecroppers comes of age in the Depression-era South after his father is imprisoned for stealing food.

Director: Martin Ritt | Stars: Cicely Tyson, Paul Winfield, Kevin Hooks, Carmen Mathews

Votes: 3,307

20. Original Gangstas (1996)

R | 99 min | Action, Crime, Drama

A crew of former gang members take back their Gary, Indiana hood from the Uzi-toting gangbangers who have taken over. Featuring blaxploitation stars Pam Grier, Richard Roundtree, Ron O'Neal and more.

Directors: Larry Cohen, Fred Williamson | Stars: Fred Williamson, Jim Brown, Pam Grier, Paul Winfield

Votes: 1,421 | Gross: $3.01M

21. Panther (I) (1995)

R | 124 min | Drama

A dramatized account of the story of The Black Panther Party of Self-Defense.

Director: Mario Van Peebles | Stars: Kadeem Hardison, Bokeem Woodbine, Joe Don Baker, Courtney B. Vance

Votes: 2,159 | Gross: $6.83M

22. Brothers (1977)

R | 105 min | Biography, Drama

Thinly disguised account of the relationship between radical black activist Angela Davis and Black Panther and prison inmate George Jackson, who was one of those killed in a failed 1971 prison breakout.

Director: Arthur Barron | Stars: Bernie Casey, Vonetta McGee, Ron O'Neal, John Lehne

Votes: 112

23. Beloved (1998)

R | 172 min | Drama, History, Horror

57 Metascore

Based on the book by Toni Morrison, in which a slave is visited by the spirit of a mysterious young woman

Director: Jonathan Demme | Stars: Oprah Winfrey, Danny Glover, Yada Beener, Emil Pinnock

Votes: 6,847 | Gross: $22.85M

24. The Color Purple (1985)

PG-13 | 154 min | Drama

78 Metascore

A black Southern woman struggles to find her identity after suffering abuse from her father and others over four decades.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Danny Glover, Whoopi Goldberg, Oprah Winfrey, Margaret Avery

Votes: 73,741 | Gross: $98.47M

25. A Raisin in the Sun (1961)

Approved | 128 min | Drama

87 Metascore

A substantial insurance payment could mean either financial salvation or personal ruin for a poor black family.

Director: Daniel Petrie | Stars: Sidney Poitier, Claudia McNeil, Ruby Dee, Diana Sands

Votes: 6,629

26. Next Day Air (2009)

R | 84 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

46 Metascore

Two inept criminals are mistakenly delivered a package of cocaine and think they've hit the jackpot, triggering a series of events that changes ten people's lives forever.

Director: Benny Boom | Stars: Yasiin Bey, Mike Epps, Donald Faison, Wood Harris

Votes: 10,001 | Gross: $10.02M

27. Kansas City (1996)

R | 116 min | Crime, Drama, Music

57 Metascore

A pair of kidnappings expose the complex power dynamics within the corrupt and unpredictable workings of 1930s Kansas City.

Director: Robert Altman | Stars: Jennifer Jason Leigh, Miranda Richardson, Harry Belafonte, Michael Murphy

Votes: 4,134 | Gross: $1.35M

28. The Skinny (I) (2012)

TV-MA | 103 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

Director Patrik-Ian Polk provides exciting character developments, brilliant cinematography and life lessons for all, particularly for members of the black LGBT community. Cameos by key actors from the Noah Arc series are visual delights.

Director: Patrik-Ian Polk | Stars: Jussie Smollett, Blake Young-Fountain, Anthony Burrell, Shanika Warren-Markland

Votes: 586

29. Nutty Professor II: The Klumps (2000)

PG-13 | 106 min | Comedy, Romance, Sci-Fi

38 Metascore

Scientist Sherman Klump's inventions, his upcoming marriage to his pretty colleague Denise Gaines and his reputation are threatened by his evil clone Buddy Love.

Director: Peter Segal | Stars: Eddie Murphy, Janet Jackson, Larry Miller, John Ales

Votes: 46,781 | Gross: $123.31M

30. Chameleon Street (1989)

R | 94 min | Comedy, Drama

William Douglas Street is bored with his life. Working for his father is getting to him, his wife wants more money, and he's had enough. His solution is to re-invent himself. He becomes a ... See full summary »

Director: Wendell B. Harris Jr. | Stars: Wendell B. Harris Jr., Timothy Alvaro, Dave Barber, Marti Bowling

Votes: 439 | Gross: $0.24M

31. Little Man (III) (2006)

PG-13 | 98 min | Comedy, Crime

26 Metascore

A wannabe dad mistakes a vertically challenged criminal on the lam as his newly adopted son.

Director: Keenen Ivory Wayans | Stars: Shawn Wayans, Marlon Wayans, Kerry Washington, John Witherspoon

Votes: 48,049 | Gross: $58.65M

32. Skin Game (1971)

PG | 102 min | Comedy, Romance, Western

73 Metascore

In 1857, con man Quincy Drew and his black friend Jason O'Rourke swindle slave owners into buying Jason, who's a free man, and later share the profits when Jason escapes captivity.

Directors: Paul Bogart, Gordon Douglas | Stars: James Garner, Louis Gossett Jr., Susan Clark, Brenda Sykes

Votes: 1,415

33. Mandingo (1975)

R | 127 min | Drama, History, Romance

An 1840s slaveowner trains one of his slaves to be a bare-knuckle fighter.

Director: Richard Fleischer | Stars: James Mason, Susan George, Perry King, Richard Ward

Votes: 3,169

34. Amistad (1997)

R | 155 min | Drama, History

63 Metascore

In 1839, the revolt of Mende captives aboard a Spanish owned ship causes a major controversy in the United States when the ship is captured off the coast of Long Island. The courts must decide whether the Mende are slaves or legally free.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Djimon Hounsou, Matthew McConaughey, Anthony Hopkins, Morgan Freeman

Votes: 67,902 | Gross: $44.18M

35. The Scalphunters (1968)

Not Rated | 102 min | Comedy, Western

Forced to trade his valuable furs for a well-educated escaped slave, a rugged trapper vows to recover the pelts from the Indians and later the renegades that killed them.

Director: Sydney Pollack | Stars: Burt Lancaster, Shelley Winters, Telly Savalas, Ossie Davis

Votes: 3,024

36. Tamango (1958)

Not Rated | 98 min | Drama, History

A Dutch slave captain, on a voyage to Cuba, faces a revolt fomented by a newly captured African slave, Tamango. The slaves capture the captain's mistress, forcing a showdown.

Director: John Berry | Stars: Dorothy Dandridge, Curd Jürgens, Jean Servais, Alex Cressan

Votes: 174



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