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Abbey Lincoln and Ivan Dixon, NOTHING BUT A MAN, 1964.

Abbey Lincoln and Ivan Dixon in Nothing But a Man (1964) — Courtesy Everett Collection

Nothing But a Man (1964)
A black schoolteacher (played by the great jazz singer Abbey Lincoln) marries a laborer (Ivan Dixon) beneath her social class — an observation with which her consternated minister-father will be the first to concur. Short-fused, the husband has a tough time holding jobs, and gradually the marriage starts to fall apart. Written and directed by whites (respectively, Michael Roemer and Robert M. Young), Man is widely lauded as being indisputably authentic to the black experience — a happy example of a low-budget labor of love that made 10-best lists in its day still holding up strongly today. In 1993, it was selected to the National Film Registry. (Available on DVD from Newvideo for a $26.95 list price)

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