In recognition of Black History month, film site, BlackClassicMovies.com, has released its Top 100 list of African-American box office releases, documentaries, television miniseries programs and made-for-television movies that have been made available for DVD.
The list spanning films made between 1915 to 1999 includes such notable titles such as “Carmen Jones,” “A Raisin in the Sun” and “Lady Sings the Blues.” Other groundbreaking films such as “Sergeant Rutledge” and “Nothing But a Man” are included as well, recognized for their breakthrough portrayal of African-Americans on screen.
Other films in the Top 100 include “Within Our Gates,” the oldest known surviving African-American film directed by pioneering black film director, Oscar Micheaux; and “Hallelujah!,” the first all-black cast feature film produced by a major Hollywood studio.
BlackClassicMovies.com’s list is impressive indeed, but viewing the list a second time its clear that too many made-for-television films were included instead of just theatrical releases.
Notable omissions included three seldom-seen 1959 films, “Porgy and Bess,” “Black Orpheus” and “The World, The Flesh and The Devil.” Sidney Poitier didn’t get enough love as several of his films were left off the list. Those include “Paris Blues,” “A Patch of Blue,” “To Sir, With Love,” “Brother John” as well as the 1980 comedy he directed, “Stir Crazy.” That film starring Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder was the first film by a Black director to gross over $100 million.
Other films that didn’t make the cut include a rare Sammy Davis, Jr. gem, “A Man Called Adam, “the incendiary satirical comedy, “Putney Swope,” Melvin Van Peebles’ landmark indie classic, “Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song” and Gordon Park’s directorial debut, “The Learning Tree.” Also missing is the witty satirical comedy, “The Landlord,” horror classic, “Blacula,” the incendiary, “The Spook Who Set by the Door,” Yaphet Kotto’s “Across 110th Street,” two great Richard Pryor’s performances in “Blue Collar,”and “Which Way is Up,” Prince’s Oscar-winning, “Purple Rain,” as well as early hip-hop classics, “Beat Street” and “Wild Style,” and Charles Burnett’s thoughtful story, “To Sleep With Anger.”
To see the complete Top 100 and obtain more information, visit www.BlackClassicMovies.com.