UK DVD cover
|Directed by||Charles Lane|
|Produced by||Carol Baum|
|Written by||Andy Breckman|
|Music by||Marc Marder|
|Cinematography||Thomas E. Ackerman|
|Edited by||Kent Beyda|
|Distributed by||Buena Vista Pictures|
|Box office||$4,693,236 (US)|
True Identity is a 1991 American comedy film directed by Charles Lane and starring Lenny Henry, Frank Langella and Anne-Marie Johnson. The plot revolves around a black man (British actor Henry), who disguises himself as a white man to escape the mob.
A struggling black actor named Miles Pope is on a plane ride home from a failed acting audition. Miles meets a producer named Leland Carver who accidentally reveals his mafia ties when he believes that their plane is about to crash. However, the plane does not crash and Miles is the only man who knows Leland's past. To escape, Miles persuades his makeup artist friend Duane to transform him into a Caucasian male.
As Miles is packing his bags to get out of town, a hitman walks in and a struggle ensues. Miles kills the hitman, but through a comedy of errors he is mistaken for the hitman. Miles must assume a parade of identities to stay one step ahead of the mafia on his trail.
- Lenny Henry as Miles Pope
- Frank Langella as Leland Carver
- Anne-Marie Johnson as Kristi
- James Earl Jones as Himself
- Charles Lane as Duane
- Peggy Lipton as Rita
- Melvin Van Peebles as Taxi Driver
- J. T. Walsh as Houston
- Andreas Katsulas as Anthony
- Austin Pendleton as Othello's Director
The film received mediocre reviews. Caryn James of The New York Times said that Lane's direction was "tame and conventional" and that although Henry had "obvious" talent, True Identity does not take enough advantage of it". Lenny Henry commented on film retrospectively in 2010: "When I went to America to do True Identity in 1991, I realised they had their own Richard Pryor, they didn’t need me pretending to be Richard Pryor, so I had a massive career rethink." The film was not a box office success.
- True Identity at Box Office Mojo
- "Making a Serious Comedy". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2012-06-05.
- "Lenny Henry --The Man in the Irony Mask : Movies: The British comedian finds the transition from black to white for his role in 'True Identity' an illuminating experience". The Los Angeles Times. 1991-08-24. Retrieved 2011-01-14.
- "True Identity". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2012-06-05.
- Turan, Kenneth (1991-08-23). "Movie Review : A Mistaken 'Identity' From Lane". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-01-14.
- James, Caryn (1991-08-23). "Review/Film; A British Comedian Abroad, in 'True Identity'". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-01-14.
- "Lenny Henry interview". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2012-06-06.
- Fox, David J. (1991-08-27). "Weekend Box Office : List-Toppers Are Listless". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-01-14.
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