Synopsis: A light-skinned African American woman falls in love with a white doctor, though he is unaware of her true race.
Genre: Drama
Director(s): Elia Kazan, John Ford
Production: 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
  Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 1 nomination.
Rotten Tomatoes:
102 min

(Whistle Blowing)

(Birds Chirping)

(Dog Barking)


Good morning, ma'am.

Sure is a fne day today, isn't it?

Getting this washing up.

Should've had it up long ago too.

If it's Aunt DiceyJohnson

you're lookin' for, ma'am, here I be.


- Pinky, child?

- Yes, Granny. It's... It's me.

Pinky. My Pinky.

Thank you, Lord,

for bringing my child back to me.

She'd be such a far piece

and long journey, and this

be the morning of her return.

- Amen.

- Granny.

No frettin', honey.

'Cause you're home safe and sound.

Come on in and let Granny

scare you up a mite of breakfast.

Come on.

Come on, sugar. Come on.

(Pots Clanking)

Oh, me. It sure do me good

to see you standin' there.

just think. My Pinky baby

all growed up and come home

to her old granny.

- How did you know I'd come back?

- That's why I sent you away,

sugar... so you'd come back.

Come back and help the sick,

the halt and the needy.

Remember what I say

the day I put you on the train?

I said, "Pinky, baby,

no matter how far you go...

"how much you learn, you

gotta bring it all back with you.

"That's why I'm sending you.

Because the Bible say...

A little leaven shall

leaven the whole lump."'


Granny, did you ever think

I might wanna stay up north?

There's some things

we gotta trust the Lord about, Pinky...

some things we can't do ourself.

- We gotta depend on him.

- (Object Clinking)

Everything just like you left it, sugar.

- What is it, Pinky?

- Oh, I wish you'd never sent me away.

You mean, you wish

you'd growed up ignorant,

no-account good-for-nothin'?

You wish you'd never

learned to read and write

and make your way in this world?

Oh, no, but don't you see?

Yes, Pinky, I do see.

Let me say something

once and for all and never again.

Why is it you write me

less and less as time go by?

Why is it after you go to

the hospital, I get no letter at all?

No. You don't need to say nothin'.

You think I don't know.

You think poor old ignorant woman

like me livin' in a shack like this...

don't know nothin',

but you're wrong, Pinky.

I do know. And I know what you done.

And you know I never told you

to pretend you is what you ain't.

I didn't mean to, Granny.

It just happened.

But that's a sin before God,

and you know it.

It was a conductor

on the train. He put me back

in another car... the white one.

- But he knowed who you was.

I put you where you belonged.

- No. No, no.

It was after that,

when they changed conductors.

- Then why you ain't

tell the new conductor?

- Granny, I don't know.

- I was only a child.

- Then what about school?

What about that?

Other children talk

about their kinfolks, don't they?

What you say when they

asked you about your'ns? You

tell 'em who your granny is?

Oh, shame... shame be on you, Pinky.

Denying yourself like Peter

denied the good Lord Jesus.

- Here. Get down. Get down.

- (Crying)

That's where you belong.

Now you tell the Lord what you done.

Ask his forgiveness

on your immortal soul.

Come on out and get

your breakfast. I don't wanna

hear another word from you...

- About what you done

again as long as you live.

- (Door Closes)


(Pinky's Voice)


- Tom.

- Tom, please.

- Please, Tom.

- (Voice) Tom.


- (Screams) Tom.!

- (Crickets Chirping Loudly)

(Chirping Continues)

(Chirping Quiets)

(Rooster Crowing)

- Good morning, honey. You up, I see.

- Yes, Granny.

You do this much every day?

Ain't missed a day

'cept the time I was down sick

with pneumonia three years ago.

- Here. I'll help you.

- I ain't sent you away for you to

come back and take in washing.

Granny, I was awful glad

when you stopped sending me money.

- What you mean?

- I didn't want you breaking

your back for me forever.

Stopped? I ain't never missed once.

I giveJake Waters that money...

just like I been doin' every week

since his pa died.

I gotta seeJake about that.

Kind of superstitious about him.

I'll go seeJake.

I'll get it back for you.

How much do you get

for a wash like this?

- Oh, they don't count,

far as money goes.

- You mean you're not paid for it?

- Course not. They're Miss Em's.

- Yeah. I can see it's Miss Em's.

- You mean to say she

doesn't pay you for it?

- Not in cash money.

Miss Em ain't got no cash money.

Besides, she's old now... old and sick.

- She has a house full of

valuable antiques, hasn't she?

- But they're family things.

Can't sell them.

Besides, why are you

so set agin Miss Em?

- She ain't never hurt you.

- Look at her house.

Slave-built, slave-run

and run-down ever since.

I went through that gate

in her garden once, just once,

when I was a little girl.

She ordered me out,

and I'll never forget it.

Oh, Miss Em ain't never liked

children traipsin' around in her garden.

Why, when she had that boarding school,

she made them girls play...

on the other side of the house.

Guess I'll look in on her now like I do

every morning to see if she's all right.

(Train Whistle Blows, Distant)

(Pinky's Voice)

Tom. Tom.

I'll send him a telegram. Western Union.

I want to send a telegram.

Yes. Straight wire.

"Dr. Thomas Adams.

"St. Bartholomew's Hospital, Boston.

"Darling. All a terrible mistake.

"Returning by the fiirst train.

"Meet me at the station, please.

I love you, love you,

love you, love you. "

(Man) Get up there.

Come on, you lazy devil. Come on.

- (Kids Chattering)

- Can you tell me

whereJake Waters lives?

- (Boy) Right down on the corner.

- Thank you.

- Hi, Tommy.

- Hi.

- This whereJake Waters lives?

- Uh-uh.

- You'reJake Waters, aren't you?

- Uh, yes, ma'am, I am.

- This is my house here.

- I'm Patricia Johnson.

- Who?

- You know Mrs. DiceyJohnson,

don't you? I'm her grandchild.


Well, what do you know?

Come right in, Miss Pinky.

I'm mighty glad to see you.

Mighty glad. Yes.

- I've come to get the money my

grandmother gave you to send me.

- Oh, the money! Come on in.

I've been tryin' to get over

to see your granny, but

every time I start over there...

something happens to stop me.

Yes, sir.

Mighty busy these days. Mighty busy.

This won't take long.

I shan't ask you...

why you held back the money

so long as you return it.

Oh, sure, sure.

Don't worry about it. Sit down.

Oh. (Chuckles) You know,

you've been away a long time.

- What about the money?

- You'll get it. You'll get it.

Every cent of it.

Sit down.

Why'd you come back, Miss Pinky?

Never fgured that you would.

- Why shouldn't I? This is my home.

- Don't give me that, Miss Pinky.

jake's smart. He sees things.

Man most likely, huh?

White man? Couldn't tell him

and couldn't not tell him, huh?

- Look, Jake, I haven't got all...

- Of course. Didn't mean

to be nosy, Miss Pinky.

jake's your friend.

He only wants to help you.

Help me by giving me back

my grandmother's money.

Oh, yes. The money. Well, I never

keep much cash money on me.

- Keep it all in the bank, Miss Pinky.

- Is it far to the bank?

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Philip Dunne

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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