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I Passed for White1960

  • 3.6
A beautiful young woman meets and marries the man of her dreams, only she hasn't told him that she is half-black, and he and his rich family and friends are white. She soon discovers that happiness cannot be founded on a lie. Please excuse the poor source quality of this film.

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Member Reviews (2)

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Fred Wilcox's I Passed For White (1960) is not just a dated 1960 film, it's just unreal, and it was equally unreal in 1960. Being a White 65 year old man, who grew up in a predominantly Black urban neighborhood in New England, and who attended predominantly black public schools in the '50's and '60's, until I was in the 8th grade, I can not only tell you that this filmmaker not only did no research on the racial topic that was the focus of his film, but I doubt that he EVER even knew a Black person before he made this film. The film was made by a middle class White guy in 1960, who had the typical White racial stereotypes and racial prejudices of almost all middle class White people of that era. Furthermore, it seems obvious to me that his intended audience for this film were White middle class, prejudiced people just like him, because any of the Black people in the neighborhood that I grew up in would either walk out on this movie in disgust, or just die laughing. This filmmaker was totally out of touch with the reality of "passing for white", and just didn't know what he was talking about in this film. That the "heroine" in this film would rather go back to her "own people" at the end of the film, to "go back where she belongs", rather than to admit to her White, upper crust husband that she is part Black is very telling about this filmmaker's racial attitudes. He obviously felt that being part Black was such a BAD thing, something to be so ASHAMED of, that it was better to run away than admit it. Sorry, but even in the pre-civil rights days that this film was made, Black people still had more pride and self respect than this culturally Neanderthal filmmaker gave them credit for. Learning that Wilcox grew up in, and attended college in Kentucky, in the Deep South, certainly makes clear to me where his head was at when he made this film.

2 members like this review

This movie reminds me of the Black & White films I watched with my aunt and grandmother as a child. This was not a memorable movie but enjoyable. 'I Passed for White,' is not memorable because the film only teased Taboo lines but dared not cross the very boundaries that could have boost this film into the history books during the peak of the civil rights movement. This is clearly a film that sat on the sidelines of Mainstream Media opposed going to the ball to dance with Popular Culture.

I felt it was well written and took me back to Saturday afternoons I spent with my grandmother and aunt when I was a girl. I enjoyed this non-memorable film evoking cherished memories from my childhood.

1 member likes this review