Pinky Overview:

Pinky (1949) was a Drama - Film Adaptation Film directed by Elia Kazan and John Ford and produced by Darryl F. Zanuck.


Fox head Zanuck tackles the sensitive subject of interracial romance and society's intolerance. A southern black girl (Crain) who is able to pass for white while working as a nurse in New England attracts the affections of a white doctor (Lundigan). She rejects his sincere attention and returns to her hometown and works for wealthy matron Barrymore, from whom she inherits a large estate. Barrymore's family contests the bequest, and the hearing reveals their racial bias. John Ford started shooting but was replaced by a director with more political commitment.

(Source: available at Amazon AMC Classic Movie Companion).


Academy Awards 1949 --- Ceremony Number 22 (source: AMPAS)

Best ActressJeanne CrainNominated
Best Supporting ActressEthel BarrymoreNominated
Best Supporting ActressEthel WatersNominated

BlogHub Articles:

Classic Films in Context: “Pinky” 1949

By Stephen Reginald on Feb 22, 2012 From Classic Movie Man

Classic Films in Context: “Pinky” 1949 In 1947, producer Darryl F. Zanuck tackled the subject of anti-semitism with Gentlemen’s Agreement. The movie, directed by Elia Kazan, won the Academy Award for Best Picture of the Year. In 1949, Zanuck produced the first Hollywood fil... Read full article

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Quotes from

Melba Wooley: Cousin Em, what do you mean, gettin' sick like this?
Miss Em: When you're eighty years old, you expect to be sick. Sit down.
Melba Wooley: Now, now. Naughty, naughty. Eighty years *young* is what we say.
Miss Em: I don't. It's old, and I won't have it minimized. Takes a lot of livin' to get there, and pure, cursed endurance. Eighty years young indeed!

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Facts about

William Hansen's feature film debut.
John Ford was the original director of the film, but after seeing dailies Darryl F. Zanuck felt Ford wasn't connecting with the material. Zanuck called Elia Kazan in New York and asked him to take over the film. Kazan felt he owed Zanuck for his film career, and agreed to do the movie without even looking at the script. He flew to Los Angeles and started filming the next Monday.
Lena Horne initially campaigned to play the title role in this movie (she was light enough to photograph "white"), but in the end, the movie studio felt white American audiences would feel more comfortable with a white actress, especially since love scenes with a white actor were involved.
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Best Actress Oscar 1949

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Also directed by Elia Kazan

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Also produced by Darryl F. Zanuck

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Also released in 1949

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