Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Movies with Interracial Relationships

Young Boy with Coffee – “Excuse me, I happened to be passing, and I thought you might like some coffee.”
Little Girl – “Oh, that's very nice of you, thank you.”
Young Boy with Coffee – “Cream?”
Little Girl – “No, thank you, I take it black, like my men.”
                                                – Airplane! (1980)                   

If there’s one subject in most of movie history that pretty much guaranteed controversy it was having an interracial relationship in it, especially if it was black/white.  This category won’t be restricted just to those two races, though.  There will be various combinations among the films.

And by “relationships” I don’t mean buddy movies such as Lethal Weapon, Shanghai Noon, or the like.  No, I mean relationships where two people are romantically or sexually connected to each other (at least as far as it was allowed to go for the time period the film was made.)

Because there have been so many films like this in recent years, I am going to limit this category to those movies where the relationship is a sizable or key component to the film.  This means I will be excluding movies like The Royal Tenenbaums where it is an ensemble and there just happens to be an interracial couple among the characters.

In the interest of showing how things have changed over the years I will be posting reviews of my recommended films in chronological order – oldest to newest.  I've placed the years there to give you an idea of what the range will be.  As I review the films I will come back and add the links for them here. 

Monster's Ball (2001)
O (2001) - (posted July 28, 2012)

On to the reviews…


  1. I'm curious to see the list, although I have a very good idea of what 1991's film is going to be.

    For a bleeding heart social liberal like myself, the ultimate goal is for an interracial relationship to be such a normal part of a film that it's a part of the characters but not a significant part of the plot. I think we're getting there, but we've still got a way to go as a society.

    1. If you're thinking Jungle Fever for 1991 I've actually never seen it. My 1991 film has a major star in it, but it's a much smaller film than he's usually known for.

      You've actually seen several of my choices, seeing as how they appear on a certain list we are quite familiar with.

  2. Very interesting topic. I went looking to see whether 1919's film was The Cheat. It wasn't but its something you might want to catch some time. Cecil B. DeMille's 1915 drama stars Fanny Ward as an embezzling socialite and Sessue Hayakawa as the "Burmese" ivory trader she agrees to trade her sexual favors with.

    1. I'll try to check out The Cheat before I post my first film (seeing as how it would come first chronologically.) Thanks for the tip.

  3. It always makes me upset when the interracial relationship becomes the subject or a major issue of a film. My favorite interracial relationships on film are those where it is not an issue at all but just the way it is. So, the girl happens to be black, so what?
    That said, I will be very curious to see your selection. I have a good idea what the 1919 pick is, but no idea about the rest.
    An interesting view is also intercultural couples. That has a lot of potential for both comedy and drama and is a lot more obvious than interracial mixes. The old tv series Shogun is a good and interesting example. Loved that one.

    1. There will be a few movies in this category that don't make a big deal about it, but most will, especially the older ones.

      There's a film I saw (and reviewed here) titled Out at the Wedding. It's a comedy where a woman dating a black man tells him her family is dead because she feels they are bigoted and she doesn't want the two sides to meet. She goes home for a wedding and big confusion occurs (as it often does in movieland) and her family ends up thinking she is a lesbian. She starts to correct them then decides it will actually be less hassle to just let them think that then to explain she's dating a black man. Of course, by the time she realizes that they're okay with her being a lesbian, and would have also presumably been okay with her dating a black man, it's too late and she has to stick with the lie. It's a funny movie. it's in my Girl Meets Girl category.