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MPAA Rating - PG13

    201 Minutes


Original Release Date:
    Jan 18, 2000

    Spike Lee

    Denzel Washington, Spike Lee, Angela Bassett, Al Freeman Jr., Delroy Lindo, Albert Hall

Movie Summary
Spike Lees comprehensive film biography of the slain civil rights leader Malcolm X is much more than the depiction of a great mans life. It is a film that shows, through the powerful story of one man, a persons 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 Xs 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 Malcolms 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. ~ Paul Brenner, All Movie Guide


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