Every movie buff should know the first black movie star. There were other black actors before the 1950s, but never was there the type of roles we see today, for handsome and intelligent leading men not of the Caucasian persuasion. Poitier gained international recognition for his Oscar nominated appearance in The Defiant Ones.
Sidney Poitier paved the way for non-stereotypical roles for black people.
Haven't you seen To Sir With Love (1967)? This film ranks high in my top fifty favorite films. Poitier plays a high school teacher in London, England who turns around an entire class of delinquents that no one else could teach and gains their ultimate respect.
Watch this and then see these other four films.
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967) This film stars Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn who play a couple whose daughter brings home her fiancé to meet them and they soon see it is to be a mixed marriage. This film won two Academy Awards and was nominated for eight others. Hepburn won Best Actress.
A Patch of Blue (1965) This is the story of a white blind girl who falls in love with a sighted black man. Shelley Winters won Best Supporting Actress for her role of the blind girl's mother, a horrible woman. The film was nominated for four other Academy Awards.
The Defiant Ones (1958) This is the story of two escaped convicts (Tony Curtis and Sidney Poitier) shackled together who try to flee the police in the deep south. The film won two Academy Awards and was nominated for seven others. It won Best Writing and Best Cinematography. Poitier was nominated for Best Actor.
Porgy and Bess (1959) This film is full of incredible Gershwin music and won an Academy Award for best musical scoring on top of being nominated for three other Academy Awards. It's a folk opera about the love, dreams and jealousy of the poor folk of Catfish Row. Dorothy Dandridge and Sammy Davis, Jr. also star.
*Contributed by: "Elizabeth Van Cleve" Date: Sun, Dec 2 2001 / 16:03:00 PST
1958 Nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role: THE DEFIANT ONES
1963 Won Best Actor in a Leading Role: LILIES OF THE FIELD
2002 Honorary and Other Awards: For his extraordinary performances and unique presence on the screen and for representing the industry with dignity, style and intelligence. Winner presented a statuette.