7.9/10
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39 user 6 critic

Lackawanna Blues (2005)

PG-13 | | Drama, Music | TV Movie 12 February 2005
In a story fueled by rhythm and blues, a young boy's life is shaped by love and the stories of a cast of characters in the boarding house where he lives in 1960s Lackawanna, New York.

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Writers:

(play), (teleplay)
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Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 29 wins & 41 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Ruben Santiago Jr. (as Marcus Franklin)
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The Bandleader (as Mos Def)
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Alean
Bill Simms Jr. ...
Himself
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Ol'lem Taylor
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Pauline
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Bill Crosby (as Terrance Dashon Howard)
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Dick Barrymore
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Mr. Lucious
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Freddie Cobbs
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Ulysses Ford
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Ruben Santiago Sr.
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Laura's Mother
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Storyline

In the 1950s and 1960s, Ruben Santiago-Hudson Jr. lives in a lively boardinghouse in the blue-collar town of Lackawanna, New York, with his father after his parents separate. Run by the motherly Nanny Crosby and her taciturn husband, the boardinghouse residents, including The Bandleader, singer Pauline and cabaret owner Dick Barrymore, teach the young boy about life and art. Written by Jwelch5742

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Play it. Sing it. Shout it. Feel it.

Genres:

Drama | Music

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Language:

Release Date:

12 February 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Notes storgis  »

Filming Locations:


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Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ruben Santiago-Hudson insisted his daughter Lily be cast in a cameo as Laura's daughter. But his son Trey, a twin with Lily, wanted to appear in the movie as well, which Ruben accepted. In real life, the character of the abused Laura only had a daughter, not a twin daughter and son. The scene where Laura comes to Nanny's house in the middle of the night with her son and daughter after leaving her abusive husband is accurately re-created word-for-word as Ruben remembered from that night. See more »

Goofs

During the club scenes during the 1950s, there are a number of 45 rpm singles hanging on the walls. One is a Columbia Records single with the 1970s design and logo. See more »

Quotes

Rachel "Nanny" Crosby: Lord have mercy.
Laura: Jesse keeps beating on me, Nanny. I can't take it anymore. He slapped me with the back of his hand. I'm a mess.
Rachel "Nanny" Crosby: Here, put this ice on your mouth. Want me to take you to the hospital?
Laura: No.
Rachel "Nanny" Crosby: Well, I could make a bed for the kids right here on the couch and ya'll can just stay right on up here with me.
Laura: He'll come looking for us tomorrow Nanny. He knows I come here.
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Connections

Featured in 12th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

That's All I Need
Written by Sam Maghett
Performed by Ricky Fante
Produced by Josh Deutsch
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User Reviews

 
Killer performance for S. Epatha Merkerson
14 February 2005 | by See all my reviews

I always felt that Ms. Merkerson had never gotten a role fitting her skills. Familiar to millions as the Lt. on Law and Order, she has been seen in a number of theatrical releases, always in a supporting role. HBO's Lackawanna Blues changes that and allows this talented actress to shine as Nanny, successful entrepreneur in a world changing from segregation to integration. But the story is really about the colorful array of characters that she and her adopted son meet in a boarding house in Lackawanna, New York, a suburb of Buffalo.

The story could be set in any major African-American community of the 50's and 60's from Atlanta's Sweet Auburn to New York's Harlem. But the segregation-integration angle is only a subtle undercurrent in the colorful lives of the folks at Nanny's boarding house. The story revolves around Nanny's relationships with all kinds of people, played by some of the best actors in the business (I purposely did not say black actors--this ensemble is a stunning array of talent who happen to be black, except for Jimmy Smits, of course) I recommend this film as a fun and colorful look at a bygone day.


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