There Was a Time: Civil Rights-Era Hollywood

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of In the Heat of the Night (showing in a new 4K restoration) we take stock of liberal Hollywood’s by turns well-meaning, troubled, and admirable efforts to engage with the subject of race during and immediately following an era when the struggle over civil rights brought America to a great moral and political crossroads. This 16-film survey takes us from Sidney Poitier and Tony Curtis handcuffed together in The Defiant Ones in 1958 to Muhammad Ali playing himself in The Greatest in 1977, and unavoidably centers on Poitier, a pivotal figure in Hollywood’s conversation about African-American social status and agency.

Past Screenings