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Slideshow

PREVIOUSLY PLAYED

NINA MAE McKINNEY: HOLLYWOOD’S FIRST BLACK STAR

Selected Screenings

Wednesday, November 10 – Tuesday, November 30

Selected Screenings in November

“She could act, sing, dance and wisecrack with the best of them, but she came along too early and there was no place for her.”
– Fayard Nicholas (of the Nicholas Brothers),
quoted in The Black Garbo by Stephen Bourne

Nina Mae McKinney (1912-1967) was still a teenager when chosen to star in King Vidor’s all-Black musical HALLELUJAH! (1929) at MGM. Following rave reviews, the studio touted her among its galaxy of stars, a first for an African American artist. But leading roles for Black actresses were virtually non-existent. We celebrate her all-too-brief career with the NY premiere of a new 4K restoration of HALLELUJAH! from the Library of Congress and the Film Foundation, along with her appearances in SAFE IN HELL (1931), PIE, PIE BLACKBIRD (1932), SANDERS OF THE RIVER (1935), THE BLACK NETWORK (1936), PINKY (1949), and other films.

Programmed by Bruce Goldstein, Consultant: Donald Bogle

Presented with support from the Robert Jolin Osborne Endowed Fund for American Classic Cinema

Watch an interview with Donald Bogle about his book Dorothy Dandridge: A Biography.

Read Manohla Dargis’ New York Times Critic’s Notebook on “The Glory of Nina Mae McKinney.”

Films in this Series

Wednesday, November 10

6:30

Tuesday, November 16

12:30    6:50

Wednesday, November 24 at 6:25

Film Forum