Nothing But A Man - Production


The script was written in six weeks but casting took several months because at the time not many blacks could find part-time work in the cinema. Charles Gordone is responsible for introducing the writers to the main stars, Abbey Lincoln and Ivan Dixon. The movie premiered at Philharmonic Hall and was a supposed success.

Before the film was written, Roemer, who had fled Nazi Germany as an 11-year old child on the Kindertransports, and his colleagues went on a quest to understand and get to know the African American culture of the south. They “left on an Underground Railway in reverse”. They allowed themselves to be passed on from one family and community to the next so they could learn as much as possible about the relationships and experiences. One morning, while in Mississippi, the plot of a young couple and the relationship with the man’s father came to Roemer and the script was written in six short weeks as soon as they were back in New York.

The film was written by both Robert M. Young and Michael Roemer, who drew on his own background as a Jew persecuted by Nazis. Michael Roemer also went on to direct the movie; Robert M. Young directed the cinematography. It was produced by both men, along with Robert Rubin and was edited by Luke Bennet. The music was done by Wilbur Kirk, the production design was done by William Rhodes, and Nancy Ruffing was the costume designer.

The film was apparently a favorite film of Malcolm X.

Julius Harris was a male nurse before he was cast in the movie, but had always wanted to act.

At the last minute, the writer almost changed the name of the movie to Duff Anderson.

Read more about this topic:  Nothing But A Man

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