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Malcolm X [2 Discs] [DVD] [1992]

Release Date:02/08/2005
Spike Lee's epic biopic of Malcolm X gets a superb two-disc special edition release from Warner Bros. that offers a handful of appealing extras. A full-length commentary featuring Lee, cinematographer Ernest Dickerson, editor Barry Alexander Brown, and costume designer Ruth Carter (who earned an Oscar nomination for her work in the film) touches upon seemingly every conceivable aspect of the film's somewhat troubled production. Especially entertaining are Lee's stories about fighting with the bond company once they had taken control of the filming. There are a handful of deleted scenes introduced by the director. A second disc offers a 1972 documentary about Malcolm X that offers a healthy amount of footage of the man. This film was nominated for an Oscar for Best Documentary, and it offers the viewer the chance to appreciate how Denzel Washington fully captured the man in his performance. The transfer is presented in a widescreen image that preserves the original aspect ratio. Lee's film offers an English soundtrack mixed in Dolby Digital 5.1, and a French soundtrack recorded in Dolby Surround Stereo. The documentary's soundtrack has been recorded in Dolby Digital Mono. This disc offers a first-rate presentation of what is arguably Spike Lee's best film.

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    Ratings & Reviews

    Overall Customer Rating:
    98% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (141 out of 144)

    Special Features

    • 1992 movie with commentary by Spike Lee, director of photography Ernest Dickerson, editor Barry Alexander Brown, and costume designer Ruth Carter
    • Deleted scenes with introductions by Spike Lee
    • Oscar nominated 1972 feature-length documentary "Malcolm X"
    • New documentary "By Any Means Necessary: The Making of Malcolm X"
    • Theatrical trailer


    Malcolm X
    Writer-director Spike Lee's epic portrayal of the life and times of the slain civil rights leader Malcolm X begins with the cross-cut imagery of the police beating of black motorist Rodney King juxtaposed with an American flag burning into the shape of the letter X. When the film's narrative begins moments later, it jumps back to World War II-era Boston, where Malcolm Little (Denzel Washington) is making his living as a hustler. The son of a Baptist preacher who was murdered by the Ku Klux Klan, Little was raised by foster parents after his mother was deemed clinically insane; as an adult, he turned to a life of crime, which leads to his imprisonment on burglary charges. In jail, Little receives epiphany in the form of an introduction to Islam; he is especially taken with the lessons of Elijah Mohammed, who comes to him in a vision. Adopting the name 'Malcolm X' as a rejection of the 'Little' surname (given his family by white slave owners), he meets the real Elijah Mohammed (Al Freeman, Jr.) upon exiting prison, and begins work as a spokesman for the Nation of Islam. Marriage to a Muslim nurse named Betty Shabazz (Angela Bassett) follows, after which X spearheads a well-attended march on a Harlem hospital housing a Muslim recovering from an episode of police brutality. The march's success helps elevate X to the position of Islam's national spokesperson. There is dissension in the ranks, however, and soon X is targeted for assassination by other Nation leaders; even Elijah Mohammed fears Malcolm's growing influence. After getting wind of the murder plot, X leaves the Nation of Islam, embarking on a pilgrimage to Mecca that proves revelatory; renouncing his separatist beliefs, his oratories begin embracing all races and cultures. During a 1965 speech, Malcolm X is shot and killed, reportedly by Nation of Islam members. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi

    Cast & Crew

    • Denzel Washington
      Denzel Washington - Malcolm X
    • Spike Lee
      Spike Lee - Shorty
    • Angela Bassett
      Angela Bassett - Betty Shabazz
    • Al Freeman, Jr.
      Al Freeman, Jr. - Elijah Muhammad
    • Delroy Lindo
      Delroy Lindo - West Indian Archie

    Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.