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10 More Milestone Movies

If you like A Raisin in the Sun, see these films, too

ONE POTATO, TWO POTATO, Barbara Barrie, Bernie Hamilton, 1964

Barbara Barrie and Bernie Hamilton in One Potato, Two Potato (1964) — Courtesy Everett Collection

Racial equality in mainstream movies was slow in coming, but the prestige and acclaim of A Raisin in the Sun eased the way for more of it. Every major step counted — and as with the rest of the civil rights movement, there would be no going back:

One Potato, Two Potato (1964)
A sleeper in its day, this independently financed child-custody drama shot in Painesville, Ohio, has a hook that reflects still-archaic times. An ex-husband (Richard Mulligan, later of Soap and many other TV series) launches a hearing when his white former wife (Barbara Barrie) marries again to a black man (Bernie Hamilton). And it's not as if the couple has much of a fighting chance: Barack Obama may already have been born by this time, but it would be three more years before the U.S. Supreme Court would overturn (specifically) Virginia's state law forbidding interracial marriage. Though the screenplay was nominated for an Oscar and Barrie tied for best actress at the Cannes Film Festival, Potato has never had an official home release. The climactic courtroom scene, however, is available on YouTube.

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