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White Man's Burden Details


From director-writer Desmond Nakano comes this unusual role-reversal picture examining racism from a different perspective. Louis Pinnock (John Travolta) is a semi-literate worker in a chocolate candy factory. One day he makes a delivery to the mansion of wealthy Thaddeus Thomas (Harry Belafonte). He is noticed while he is unintentionally looking up at Thomas' wife, Megan (Margaret Avery), while she is undressing in an open window. Thomas makes sure that Pinnock is fired for this innocent indiscretion despite his years of reliable performance at the factory. Some time later, unemployed and destitute, Pinnock and his wife Marsha (Kelly Lynch) and children are evicted roughly from their home by police officers. Marsha's mother (Carrie Snodgress) takes in her daughter and grandchildren, but she won't let Pinnock stay. Police officers beat up Pinnock one day because, they say, he fits the description of a criminal suspect. Finally, Pinnock goes to Thomas's house to get an explanation for his firing, but Thomas doesn't remember the incident. Pinnock takes Thomas hostage and demands he be paid for all the hours of work he has missed. In this film, all the authority figures and wealthy people are black, and Pinnock is a member of a poor white underclass. ~ Michael Betzold, Rovi


John Travolta
as Louis Pinnock
Harry Belafonte
as Thaddeus Thomas
Kelly Lynch
as Marsha Pinnock
Margaret Avery
as Megan Thomas
Tom Bower
as Stanley
Robert Gossett
as John
Carrie Snodgress
as Josine
Sheryl Lee Ralph
as Roberta
Willie C. Carpenter
as Marcus
Wesley Thompson
as Williams
Bert Remsen
Judith Drake
as Dorothy
Tom Nolan
as Johansson
Tom Wright
as Lionel
Michael Beach
Bumper Robinson
as Martin


Desmond Nakano
Lawrence Bender
Desmond Nakano
Willy Kurant
Pilar McCurry
Musical Direction/Supervision
Happy Walters
Musical Direction/Supervision
Howard Shore
Composer (Music Score)
Nancy Richardson
Naomi Shohan
Production Designer
Paul Hellerman
Joann Fregalette Jansen
Associate Producer
Yves Marmion
Executive Producer
Isis Mussenden
Costume Designer
Todd Pfeiffer
First Assistant Director
Mary Gail Artz
Barbara Cohen