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Nothing But a Man is a 1964 American independent drama film starring Ivan Dixon and Abbey Lincoln, and directed by Michael Roemer, who also co-wrote the film with Robert M. Young. The film tells the story of Duff Anderson, an African-American railroad worker in the early 1960s who tries to maintain his respect in a racist small town near Birmingham, Alabama, after he marries the local preacher's daughter. In addition to dealing with oppression and discrimination, Anderson must also come to terms with his troubled relationship with his own father, a drunk who abandoned and rejected him.

A crew of African-Americans are laying tracks in rural Alabama. The crane

operator is the only white man on the section gang.

INT. BUNK CAR

The dormitory of the section gang. The men are through for the day and

lounging on their bunkbeds. DUFF ANDERSON plays checkers with FRANKIE, using

bottle tops as pieces. Duff makes the winning move and Frankie, disgusted,

turns over the board. He saunters over to JOCKO, who is shaving in a broken

mirror. Frankie watches him with a grin.

JOCKO:

Go to hell, Frankie.

FRANKIE:

Man, you sure one ugly cat!

He takes the cigarettes Jocko has rolled, sailor-style, into the sleeve of

his T-shirt.

JOCKO:

Why don't you guys buy your own?

FRANKIE:

'Oughta give up smoking, Jocko.

He stops in front of an older man, who is writing a letter.

FRANKIE:

How much longer we got on this stretch, Riddick?

RIDDICK:

Five weeks, maybe six.

FRANKIE:

Man, what a dump.

He circles restlessly past two cardplayers back to Duff, who is clipping his

fingernails.

FRANKIE:

What you gettin' all pretty for?

DUFF:

(with a grin)

Why don't you relax, Frankie?

RAILROAD TRACK:

Duff, Frankie, and Jocko are riding a track-car, powered by a small engine,

into the nearest town. The sun is setting. A church bell rings.

POOL HALL:

Jocko, a cigar in his mouth, is playing a pinball machine. Duff and Frankie

stand at the bar. They are joined by DORIS , a sad-looking woman with bad

skin.

DORIS:

Who's going to buy me a beer?

FRANKIE:

(scornfully)

What's the matter, Doris? Business bad?

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Michael Roemer

Michael Roemer (born January 1, 1928) is a film director, producer and writer. He has won several awards for his films. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship. A professor at Yale University, he is the author of Telling Stories. more…

All Michael Roemer scripts | Michael Roemer Books

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