Action / Drama

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 65%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 71%
IMDb Rating 7.2 10 3195

Plot summary

October 15, 2022 at 02:25 AM


John Ford

Top cast

Jeanne Crain as Patricia 'Pinky' Johnson
Juanita Moore as Nurse
Arthur Hunnicutt as Police Chief Anderson
Paul Brinegar as Western Union Clerk
937.42 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 41 min
P/S ...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by MartinHafer 9 / 10

A very brave and effective film...

Although Twentieth-Century Fox's "Gentlemen's Agreement" won the Oscar for Best Picture and Best Director in 1947, "Pinky" (also by Fox and director Elia Kazan) is a message film that seems to have better withstood the test of time and is, in my opinion, a more watchable film--and probably a lot more daring in its day.

Pinky is a young nursing school graduate played by Jeanne Crain. After spending the last three years up North studying, she has come home to visit with her grandmother (Ethel Waters)...a Black woman. It seems that for the last three years, the very white-skinned Crain has been posing as White...and you certainly can't blame her in light of the second-class status (or less) afforded to Black-Americans at the time.

The first day she goes into town, she is arrested (though she was doing nothing illegal), given a "talkin' to" by the Judge and almost raped on the way home! In light of this, you can certainly understand her wanting to leave as soon as possible and get away from this hellish Southern town. However, something intervenes. Grandma wants Pinky to stay a bit and take care of their neighbor, Miss Em (Ethel Barrymore). Pinky could care less, though, if and when Miss Em dies--as she's just another despicable White lady. Grandma shames Pinky into staying and helping Miss Em to die--after all, if she doesn't help, Grandma promises to knock her silly! All Pinky can remember are bad things about Miss Em, though Grandma's recollections are far different--telling Pinky that Miss Em is a good woman and they owe her for her past kindness. Pinky doesn't believe it, but doesn't want to disappoint Grandma or get whooped, so she goes to Miss Em's mansion to care for her. Surprisingly, after a very rocky start, the two women develop respect for each other.

Some time later, Miss Em dies and the full extent to which she cared for Pinky is now apparent. Just before dying, Miss Em left her estate to Pinky! The problem, however, is that Miss Em's closest relative is an evil and selfish lady, Melba (Evelyn Varden--who was great playing horrible women in this film and others like "The Bad Seed"), contests the will. In addition, Melba is a racist and does what she can to stir up resentment in the community. What will Pinky do? Can she get a fair shake in this terrible town? Is it worth staying and fighting for what is rightfully hers? Tune in and see.

I loved the film because it dared to talk about racism. The way many White-Americans treated Blacks was disgraceful and was finally being addressed by Hollywood in films like this and "Intruder in the Dust" (also 1949). Other related topics such as interracial marriage, bitterness within Black-America due to racism and rape were also brought into the film--making it a very, very daring film. I am sure it did not play in many towns in the US and had to have been met with hostility by some. However, because the acting, direction and script were all top-notch, it managed to counter the pin-heads out there, as it's hard to see the film and not be led to see the evil and injustice that was rampant in some parts of the country.

A must-see and a unique and powerful film.

Reviewed by TheLittleSongbird 9 / 10

Love and prejudice

Although it was controversial at the time, 'Pinky' is very highly regarded by most now. And rightly so. The cast is a great one, the most familiar cast member to me being Ethel Barrymore. Have said elsewhere about my high admiration for Elia Kazan and most of his films. 'Pinky' was most intriguing to me though for its subject of racism and bigotry, it was a very relevant theme at the time and very prominent and was very brave to address on film and sadly it is still.

'Pinky' turned out to be a great film, with so many brilliantly done things. Not quite one of Kazan's very finest, but close to being up there and close to being a near-classic. Really appreciated that it did tackle a subject like this, a topical one and important to address despite it hitting so close to home for many at the time and now, and appreciated even more so how it tackled it. Even if 'Pinky' isn't one of Kazan's best, it is one of his most sincere films and a contender for the bravest in a filmography where all the themes in all his films were quite courageously heavy and complex.

The production values are very high, lots of atmosphere in the art direction enhanced by the quite beautiful cinematography. Kazan's direction never feels self-indulgent or heavy-handed, and he seemed like he was at ease with the material and like he knew what he wanted to do with it. Alfred Newman always was a great film composer, one of the best at the time and his style was a distinctive one, one that was always sumptuous and stirring without ever over-bearing the atmosphere. That's the case here in 'Pinky'.

Moreover, 'Pinky' is sensitively scripted, making its points without hammering home. The dialogue was intelligently written and concise enough to not feeling too rambling. The story is a very emotionally powerful one, one that really hits hard and makes for unflinching viewing. Yet doing so without being prejudicial or one-sided, or with a complete lack of subtlety, actually being done with a lot of poignant sincerity that helps make it a real tear-jerker of a film. It is not "outdated" at all in my view, the subject was very relevant back then and sadly it still is, it is also one that has always been bold to portray on film and worthy of admiration whenever it is regardless of its execution.

Characters are well realised and don't seem like one-dimensional stereotypes sugar-coated or ham-fisted. Coming over like real human beings. The uniformly fine performances help, while Jeanne Crain is very moving and gives one of her best performances it's a magnificent Ethel Waters that comes off strongest.

Weak link, the only one really, is the very easily foreseeable and too tidily tied up ending.

Overall, exceptionally well done and very brave. 9/10

Reviewed by bkoganbing 8 / 10

Passing For White

What was fascinating and groundbreaking in 1949 is now a bit old fashioned when it comes to the film Pinky. Like Guess Who's Coming To Dinner a generation later, 20th Century Fox and director Elia Kazan went as far as they could and not hurt the box office.

Remember after all even with 'message' pictures, people have to come to the theater to see and get the message.

If it were done 20 years later someone like Lena Horne would have been cast in the part of Pinky. It was the kind of role that Lena wanted to do at MGM, but they wouldn't give her, they wouldn't be that bold. Still I can't fault Jeanne Crain's performance which got her an Oscar nomination for Best Actress. She lost the Oscar sweepstakes to Olivia DeHavilland for The Heiress.

Crain as Pinky has come home to her southern town after many years of living in the north and passing for white with her light features. As she puts she started when a train conductor escorted to the white section of a train she was riding on back when she left to go to nursing school. Of course the news that she's done that is shocking to her grandmother Ethel Waters who raised her.

It's also a culture shock to Crain to come home and relearn segregated ways after living in the north. When Sammy Davis, Jr. wrote his autobiography Yes I Can he said he learned about racism for the first time in the army. Working in show business with his dad and uncle where he was a child performer like Michael Jackson was with his brothers he was insulated from the realities of the outside world. Show business was a cocoon for Davis just as passing was for Crain's Pinky character. She has some nasty incidents including one with Nina Mae McKinney who resents what she sees as high toned ways.

Still Crain through her grandmother accepts a position to be a nurse companion to grand dame Ethel Barrymore who owns quite a bit of property. Her family is the local gentry there and Barrymore is dying. When Barrymore dies she leaves her estate, house and land to Crain and that gets her blood relatives led by Norma Varden all bent out of joint and ready to contest the will.

Which sets the film up for a trial similar to the one in To Kill A Mockingbird although this is a civil matter. The result of which you'll have to see the film for.

Besides those already mentioned look for sterling performances by Basil Ruysdael as Crain's attorney, William Lundigan as a white doctor who has fallen for Pinky, and Griff Barnett as a sympathetic doctor.

The two Ethels, Barrymore and Waters, both received Oscar nominations for Best Supporting Actress. And as luck would have it Celeste Holm and Elsa Lanchester were also nominated in that same category for Come To The Stable. So with two double nominees for two pictures, Mercedes McCambridge went right up the middle and won for her performance in All The King's Men. Made easier of course by the fact that Mercedes was also in the Best Picture of 1949.

Pinky is both old fashioned and groundbreaking. We'd never see casting like this again, but at the same time we can applaud the courage and daring it took for 20th Century Fox to make this film and for Jeanne Crain who got her career role out of it.

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Jonatan93 profile
Jonatan93 October 07, 2022 at 05:37 am

*Elia Kazan....

Gojira54 profile
Gojira54 June 02, 2021 at 05:46 pm

This film's director is labeled as John Ford when it's actually Elia Kazan. If you're reading this, Freeman, please fix it. Thanks for everything you do, you're a rockstar!

hosseineslami profile
hosseineslami May 20, 2021 at 09:57 pm

thank you but please upload 1080

templefugate profile
templefugate May 20, 2021 at 07:11 pm

This film was unknown to me until my sister told me about it a month ago. I DL'd it from the only source available with just leechers. It took a week to get a 99.4 playable file. Thanks for this UP, hope you can find a 1080p as well, thanks.

rekyht profile
rekyht May 20, 2021 at 08:39 am