Black and White (1999 film)
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|Black and White|
|Directed by||James Toback|
|Produced by||Daniel Bigel
|Written by||James Toback|
|Starring||Robert Downey, Jr.
Oli "Power" Grant
|Music by||American Cream Team|
|Editing by||Myron Kerstein|
|Distributed by||Palm Pictures|
|Running time||98 minutes|
Black and White is a 1999 American film directed by James Toback, starring Robert Downey, Jr., Gaby Hoffmann, Allan Houston, Jared Leto, Scott Caan, Claudia Schiffer, Brooke Shields and a number of rap musicians, namely members of the Wu-Tang Clan (Raekwon, Method Man, Ghostface Killah, Oli "Power" Grant, Masta Killa and Inspectah Deck) and Onyx (Fredro Starr and Sticky Fingaz).
The film also features Ben Stiller in a rare dramatic role as a sleazy police detective, as well as Mike Tyson playing himself. It had its first showing at the Telluride Film Festival on September 4, 1999, followed by a second screening at the Toronto Film Festival on September 15, 1999. It had its widespread theatrical release in the U.S. on April 5, 2000.
The inner workings of the New York hip-hop scene, and the fascination of white observers with rap music and hip-hop culture, set the stage for this drama written and directed by James Toback.
Rich Bower (Power) is a mover and shaker in the world of rap music (he's involved with a number of other licit and illicit business ventures as well), and his apartment is a favored meeting place for musicians, hangers-on, and hipsters who want to seem cool, including a clique of white kids who want to be on the inside of what they consider the coolest scene of the day. Sam (Shields), a filmmaker, is making a documentary about Rich and his circle, with the help of her husband Terry (Downey), a closeted homosexual who doesn't feel at home in this milieu.
Dean (Houston) is Rich's friend since childhood and a talented college basketball player. He is offered a deal by a bookmaker, Mark (Stiller) to throw a few games for a price. Dean takes the money against his better judgment, and he soon realizes how much of a mistake he made when Mark turns out to be a cop hoping to dig up dirt on Rich. Rich in turn discovers that Dean might be forced to tell what he knows to stay out of jail, and he decides that Dean has to be killed; however, rather than murder his friend himself, Rich asks one of the white kids who hangs out with him, who seems especially eager to prove himself, to do it for him. The kid, however, is actually the son of the District Attorney.
Also contributing to Black and White's supporting cast are boxing legend Mike Tyson, musician Bijou Phillips, Wu Tang Clan rapper Raekwon, model Claudia Schiffer, and Donald Trump's former spouse Marla Maples.
- Robert Downey, Jr. as Terry Donager
- Gaby Hoffmann as Raven
- Allan Houston as Dean Carter
- Jared Leto as Casey
- Scott Caan as Scotty
- Stacy Edwards as Sheila King
- Kidada Jones as Jesse
- Marla Maples as Muffy
- Joe Pantoliano as Bill King
- Bijou Phillips as Charlie
- Oli "Power" Grant as Rich Bower
- Raekwon as Cigar
- Claudia Schiffer as Greta
- William Lee Scott as Will King
- Brooke Shields as Sam Donager
- Ben Stiller as Det. Mark Clear
- Eddie Kaye Thomas as Marty King
- Frank Adonis as Frank
- Elijah Wood as Wren
- Mike Tyson as himself
Most of the script was improvised by the cast. Only Claudia Schiffer's part was fully scripted.
Because she had not had them done previously, Claudia Schiffer had to have her ears pierced especially for the large hoop earrings worn by her character. In addition to sporting fake dreadlocks, Brooke Shields also wore a nose ring for this film, for which she had her nose temporarily pierced.
The movie did poorly at the box office.
- "Movie Review". New York Times. Retrieved 2012-09-21.(login required)
- JOHN ANDERSON (2005-12-11). "Disjointed 'Black and White' Lured by Hip-Hop Culture". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-09-21.
- "Black and White :: rogerebert.com :: Reviews". Rogerebert.suntimes.com. Retrieved 2012-09-21.
- ROBERT W. WELKOS (2000-04-11). "'Engagement' Rules the Weekend". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-09-22.
- Black and White at the Internet Movie Database
- Black and White (1999 film) at Rotten Tomatoes
- Black and White at allmovie