Nothing But a Man (1963)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

A landmark independent film, Nothing but a Man is the first dramatic story featuring a largely black cast created for an integrated audience (the work of black filmmakers such as Oscar Micheaux was intended for audiences who patronized black-only theaters). White filmmakers Michael Roemer and Robert M. Young traveled through the South in 1962 in search of ideas for a fiction feature set during the growing turbulence of the civil rights era. Their story, based in Alabama but shot in southern New … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Classics
Directed By:
Written By: Robert M. Young, Michael Roemer
In Theaters:
On DVD: Sep 28, 2004
Box Office: $9.2k
New Video



as Duff Anderson

as Will Anderson

as Rev. Dawson

as Effie Simms

as Car Owner

as Raddick

as Willie

as Teenager

as Teenager

as Rev. Dawson

as Mrs. Dawson

as Bud Ellis

as Schoolteacher

as Bartender

as Bessie

as Soloist

as Mill Foreman

as Hiring Boss

as Ginn Foreman

as Store Keeper

as Undertaker

as Desk Clerk

as Mill Hand

as Mill Hand

as Church Woman

as Church Woman

as Church Woman

as Car Passenger
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Nothing But a Man

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Critic Reviews for Nothing But a Man

All Critics (21) | Top Critics (8)

So astute about the economic and racial politics of the Jim Crow South, and particularly about the trauma suffered by black men struggling for respectability, that it's hard to believe it was made by two white guys ...

Full Review… | October 7, 2014
Village Voice
Top Critic

The title almost suggests manhood as something trifling. The film, however, confirms it's a mighty hard ideal to reach.

Full Review… | November 7, 2012
Village Voice
Top Critic

Its historical import as a peripheral civil-rights document can't be understated.

Full Review… | November 6, 2012
Time Out
Top Critic

[Roemer] and his collaborators create images and sounds, characters and situations, that embody the title's existential affirmation.

Full Review… | October 1, 2012
New Yorker
Top Critic

A sincere, intelligent, and effectively acted independent feature.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

A quietly stirring, beautiful little movie shot in black and white, it hasn't aged a microsecond.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Washington Post
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Nothing But a Man


I became engrossed with Nothing But a Man recently, which is the story of a young, black man in Alabama of the 1960's and his journey in becoming a strong and responsible husband and father. In a way, it feels as though you're watching a documentary. Excellent work from Ivan Dixon (Kinch...for those familiar w/ Hogan's Hero), Abbey Lincoln, Gloria Foster, Julius Harris and Yaphet Kotto with bit parts for Moses Gunn and Richard Ward.

Moe E

Super Reviewer

A man trying to make a voice while making inner changes for himself. I thought the main character's father (Harris) played an outstanding role for being an alcoholic father who never cared about his son.

Jojo Shek

Super Reviewer

With all of the nascent interest in "Black Film" I fail to fathom how this treasure has escaped mention, it's rarely --- if ever --- talked about. An extraordinary Motown Soundtrack and performances by Ivan Dixon and Abbey Lincoln so powerful that it can be argued they are exact barometers of gauging the Black Experience at the time of its creation. Without this there would NOT be a Black Film Movement.

Jose Vazquez

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