4 Little Girls


1h 42m 1997

Brief Synopsis

On a Birmingham Sunday morning, September 15, 1963, while attending Sunday school, four little girls were brutally murdered when a bomb ripped through the basement of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church. Dead were Addie Mae Collins (14), Carole Denise McNair (11), Cynthia Wesley (14) and Carole Rosa

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Release Date
1997
Distribution Company
Green Valley Films

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 42m

Synopsis

On a Birmingham Sunday morning, September 15, 1963, while attending Sunday school, four little girls were brutally murdered when a bomb ripped through the basement of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church. Dead were Addie Mae Collins (14), Carole Denise McNair (11), Cynthia Wesley (14) and Carole Rosamond Robertson (14). A terrorist attack, orchestrated by Robert "Dynamite Bob" Chambliss, the bombing was one in a series of racial attacks against Black people across the country, but one that had a tremendous impact on America. Told through the eyes of people who were there--survivors, witnesses, defenders and prosecutors, this account records a senseless act whose supporters once thought they would be able to put an end to integration in Birmingham. Instead, it fueled the movement further when it robbed 4 innocent children of their lives and their place in the world.

Crew

Ola Akinmowo

Production Assistant

Julie Anderson

Researcher

Joan Baez

Song

Bill Baxley

Other

C Bayen

Song

John Landy Bentham

Assistant Camera Operator

Reverend James Bevel

Other

Paula Bing

Music

Vasco Bjegovich

Production Assistant

Terence Blanchard

Music Producer

Terence Blanchard

Music Conductor

Terence Blanchard

Music

Robert Bonfiglio

Music

Diane Braddock

Other

Taylor Branch

Other

Carolyn Lee Brown

Other

Charles Brown

Song Performer

Lillie Brown

Other

Guy Carawan

Song

Tim J Carroll

Other

Emile Charlap

Other

Roy Clark

Assistant Engineer

Gerald Colbert

Other

Junie Collins

Other

John Coltrane

Song

Bill Cosby

Other

Lamont Crawford

Key Grip

Walter Cronkite

Other

Barbara Cross

Other

Reverend John Cross

Other

Colin Cumberbatch

Post-Production Coordinator

Aubrey Cumming

Production Assistant

Faye Davis

Other

Ossie Davis

Other

Troy Davis

Music

Henry Debardeleben

Swing Gang

Kerwin Devonish

Assistant Camera Operator

Karl Dover

Production Assistant

Michael Dykes

Production Assistant

Richard Farina

Song

Lawrence Feldman

Music

Ernie Fields

Song

Ernie Fields

Song Performer

Michele Foreman

Associate Producer

Janie Gaines

Other

Eugene Gearty

Sound Effects Editor

Jacqueline Glover

Producer

Peter Gonzalez

Editor

Frank Hamilton

Song

Arthur Hanes

Other

Billie Harris

Other

James Hartel

Production Assistant

Zilphia Horton

Song

Dr. Freeman Hrabowski

Other

Mahalia Jackson

Song Performer

Reverend Jesse L Jackson

Other

Mike Jimenez

Production Assistant

Carl Johnson

Gaffer

Kareem Jamel Johnson

Swing Gang

Nicholas Katzenbach

Other

Coretta Scott King

Other

Ellen Kuras

Director Of Photography

Ellen Kuras

Other

John Lathan

Production Assistant

David C. Lee

Photography

Spike Lee

Producer

Skip Lievsay

Rerecording

Doris Lockhart

Other

Morris Marshall

Other

Carolyn M Mckinstry

Other

Chris Mcnair

Other

Harold Mcnair

Other

Maxine Mcnair

Other

Daphne Mcwilliams

Production Manager

Daphne Mcwilliams

Post-Production Supervisor

Dan Michael

Song

Tom Miho

Assistant Engineer

Jeffrey Mirinov

Music

Eric C. Moore

Production Assistant

Diane Nash

Other

Sheila Nevins

Executive Producer

Tjamal Noni

Production Assistant

Barbara Nunn

Other

Queen Nunn

Other

Rolf Pardula

Sound Recordist

Heather L Parish

Production Auditor

Glenfield Payne

Sound Editor

Dorothy Pearson

Song

Helen Pegues

Other

Noelle Penraat

Negative Cutting

Sam Pollard

Producer

Sam Pollard

Editor

Rickey Powell

Other

David Pultz

Color Timer

Howell Raines

Other

Max Roach

Song

Max Roach

Song Performer

Alpha Robertson

Other

Wamo Reed Robertson

Other

Pantera Saint-montaigne

Song

Pantera Saint-montaigne

Song Performer

Pete Seeger

Song

Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth

Other

Edward Simon

Music

Carole C Smitherman

Other

Alex Steyermark

Music Producer

Alex Steyermark

Music Supervisor

J.t. Takagi

Sound Recordist

Florence Terrell

Other

Rhonda Nunn Thomas

Other

Blair Tindall

Other

David J Vann

Other

Reginald Veal

Other

Susanna Virtanen

Assistant Camera Operator

Wyatt Tee Walker

Other

George Wallace

Other

Clara Ward

Song

Maisie Weissman

Music Editor

Shirley Wesley King

Other

Gwendolyn White

Other

Reverend Reggie White

Other

Todd Whitelock

Sound

Nadean S Williams

Other

Victoria Williams

Production Assistant

Alice Wine

Song

Tommy Wrenn

Other

Andrew Young

Other

Alan Zaleski

Assistant Sound Editor

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Release Date
1997
Distribution Company
Green Valley Films

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 42m

Award Nominations

Best Documentary Feature

1997

Articles

Ossie Davis (1917-2005)


Ossie Davis, the distinguished African-American character actor, director and civil rights activist, died of natural causes on February 4 in Miami Beach, where he was filming a movie. He was 87.

He was born Raiford Chatman Davis on December 18, 1917 in Cogdell, Georgia. His parents called him "R.C." When his mother registered his birth, the county clerk misunderstood her and thought she said "Ossie" instead of "R.C.," and the name stuck. He graduated high school in 1936 and was offered two scholarships: one to Savannah State College in Georgia and the other to the famed Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, but he could not afford the tuition and turned them down. He eventually saved enough money to hitchhike to Washington, D.C., where he lived with relatives while attending Howard University and studied drama.

As much as he enjoyed studying dramatics, Davis had a hunger to practice the trade professionally and in 1939, he left Howard University and headed to Harlem to work in the Rose McClendon Players, a highly respected, all-black theater ensemble in its day.

Davis' good looks and deep voice were impressive from the beginning, and he quickly joined the company and remained for three years. With the onset of World War II, Davis spent nearly four years in service, mainly as a surgical technician in an all-black Army hospital in Liberia, serving both wounded troops and local inhabitants before being transferred to Special Services to write and produce stage shows for the troops.

Back in New York in 1946, Davis debuted on Broadway in Jeb, a play about a returning black soldier who runs afoul of the Ku Klux Klan in the deep south. His co-star was Ruby Dee, an attractive leading lady who was one of the leading lights of black theater and film. Their initial romance soon developed into a lasting bond, and the two were married on December 9, 1948.

With Hollywood making much more socially conscious, adult films, particularly those that tackled themes of race (Lonely Are The Brave, Pinky, Lost Boundaries all 1949), it wasn't long before Hollywood came calling for Davis. His first film, with which he co-starred with his wife Dee, was a tense Joseph L. Mankiewicz's prison drama with strong racial overtones No Way Out (1950). He followed that up with a role as a cab driver in Henry Hathaway's Fourteen Hours (1951). Yet for the most part, Davis and Dee were primarily stage actors, and made few film appearances throughout the decade.

However, in should be noted that much of Davis time in the '50s was spent in social causes. Among them, a vocal protest against the execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, and an alignment with singer and black activist Paul Robeson. Davis remained loyal to Robeson even after he was denounced by other black political, sports and show business figures for his openly communist and pro-Soviet sympathies. Such affiliation led them to suspicions in the anti-Communist witch hunts of the early '50s, but Davis, nor his wife Dee, were never openly accused of any wrongdoing.

If there was ever a decade that Ossie Davis was destined for greatness, it was undoubtly the '60s. He began with a hit Broadway show, A Raisin in the Sun in 1960, and followed that up a year later with his debut as a playwright - the satire, Purlie Victorious. In it, Davis starred as Purlie, a roustabout preacher who returns to southern Georgia with a plan to buy his former master's plantation barn and turn it into a racially integrated church.

Although not an initial success, the play would be adapted into a Tony-award winning musical, Purlie years later. Yet just as important as his stage success, was the fact that Davis' film roles became much more rich and varied: a liberal priest in John Huston's The Cardinal (1963); an unflinching tough performance as a black soldier who won't break against a sadistic sergeant's racial taunts in Sidney Lumet's searing war drama The Hill (1965); and a shrewd, evil butler who turns the tables on his employer in Rod Serling's Night Gallery (1969).

In 1970, he tried his hand at film directing, and scored a hit with Cotton Comes to Harlem (1970), a sharp urban action comedy with Godfrey Cambridge and Raymond St. Jacques as two black cops trying to stop a con artist from stealing Harlem's poor. It's generally considered the first major crossover film for the black market that was a hit with white audiences. Elsewhere, he found roles in some popular television mini-series such as King, and Roots: The Next Generation (both 1978), but for the most part, was committed to the theater.

Happily, along came Spike Lee, who revived his film career when he cast him in School Daze (1988). Davis followed that up with two more Lee films: Do the Right Thing (1989), and Jungle Fever (1991), which also co-starred his wife Dee. From there, Davis found himself in demand for senior character parts in many films throughtout the '90s: Grumpy Old Men (1993), The Client (1994), I'm Not Rappaport (1996), and HBO's remake of 12 Angry Men (1997).

Davis and Dee celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 1998 with the publication of a dual autobiography, In This Life Together, and in 2004, they were among the artists selected to receive the Kennedy Center Honors. Davis had been in Miami filming an independent movie called Retirement with co-stars George Segal, Rip Torn and Peter Falk.

In addition to his widow Dee, Davis is survived by three children, Nora Day, Hasna Muhammad and Guy Davis; and seven grandchildren.

by Michael T. Toole
Ossie Davis (1917-2005)

Ossie Davis (1917-2005)

Ossie Davis, the distinguished African-American character actor, director and civil rights activist, died of natural causes on February 4 in Miami Beach, where he was filming a movie. He was 87. He was born Raiford Chatman Davis on December 18, 1917 in Cogdell, Georgia. His parents called him "R.C." When his mother registered his birth, the county clerk misunderstood her and thought she said "Ossie" instead of "R.C.," and the name stuck. He graduated high school in 1936 and was offered two scholarships: one to Savannah State College in Georgia and the other to the famed Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, but he could not afford the tuition and turned them down. He eventually saved enough money to hitchhike to Washington, D.C., where he lived with relatives while attending Howard University and studied drama. As much as he enjoyed studying dramatics, Davis had a hunger to practice the trade professionally and in 1939, he left Howard University and headed to Harlem to work in the Rose McClendon Players, a highly respected, all-black theater ensemble in its day. Davis' good looks and deep voice were impressive from the beginning, and he quickly joined the company and remained for three years. With the onset of World War II, Davis spent nearly four years in service, mainly as a surgical technician in an all-black Army hospital in Liberia, serving both wounded troops and local inhabitants before being transferred to Special Services to write and produce stage shows for the troops. Back in New York in 1946, Davis debuted on Broadway in Jeb, a play about a returning black soldier who runs afoul of the Ku Klux Klan in the deep south. His co-star was Ruby Dee, an attractive leading lady who was one of the leading lights of black theater and film. Their initial romance soon developed into a lasting bond, and the two were married on December 9, 1948. With Hollywood making much more socially conscious, adult films, particularly those that tackled themes of race (Lonely Are The Brave, Pinky, Lost Boundaries all 1949), it wasn't long before Hollywood came calling for Davis. His first film, with which he co-starred with his wife Dee, was a tense Joseph L. Mankiewicz's prison drama with strong racial overtones No Way Out (1950). He followed that up with a role as a cab driver in Henry Hathaway's Fourteen Hours (1951). Yet for the most part, Davis and Dee were primarily stage actors, and made few film appearances throughout the decade. However, in should be noted that much of Davis time in the '50s was spent in social causes. Among them, a vocal protest against the execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, and an alignment with singer and black activist Paul Robeson. Davis remained loyal to Robeson even after he was denounced by other black political, sports and show business figures for his openly communist and pro-Soviet sympathies. Such affiliation led them to suspicions in the anti-Communist witch hunts of the early '50s, but Davis, nor his wife Dee, were never openly accused of any wrongdoing. If there was ever a decade that Ossie Davis was destined for greatness, it was undoubtly the '60s. He began with a hit Broadway show, A Raisin in the Sun in 1960, and followed that up a year later with his debut as a playwright - the satire, Purlie Victorious. In it, Davis starred as Purlie, a roustabout preacher who returns to southern Georgia with a plan to buy his former master's plantation barn and turn it into a racially integrated church. Although not an initial success, the play would be adapted into a Tony-award winning musical, Purlie years later. Yet just as important as his stage success, was the fact that Davis' film roles became much more rich and varied: a liberal priest in John Huston's The Cardinal (1963); an unflinching tough performance as a black soldier who won't break against a sadistic sergeant's racial taunts in Sidney Lumet's searing war drama The Hill (1965); and a shrewd, evil butler who turns the tables on his employer in Rod Serling's Night Gallery (1969). In 1970, he tried his hand at film directing, and scored a hit with Cotton Comes to Harlem (1970), a sharp urban action comedy with Godfrey Cambridge and Raymond St. Jacques as two black cops trying to stop a con artist from stealing Harlem's poor. It's generally considered the first major crossover film for the black market that was a hit with white audiences. Elsewhere, he found roles in some popular television mini-series such as King, and Roots: The Next Generation (both 1978), but for the most part, was committed to the theater. Happily, along came Spike Lee, who revived his film career when he cast him in School Daze (1988). Davis followed that up with two more Lee films: Do the Right Thing (1989), and Jungle Fever (1991), which also co-starred his wife Dee. From there, Davis found himself in demand for senior character parts in many films throughtout the '90s: Grumpy Old Men (1993), The Client (1994), I'm Not Rappaport (1996), and HBO's remake of 12 Angry Men (1997). Davis and Dee celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 1998 with the publication of a dual autobiography, In This Life Together, and in 2004, they were among the artists selected to receive the Kennedy Center Honors. Davis had been in Miami filming an independent movie called Retirement with co-stars George Segal, Rip Torn and Peter Falk. In addition to his widow Dee, Davis is survived by three children, Nora Day, Hasna Muhammad and Guy Davis; and seven grandchildren. by Michael T. Toole

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States October 24, 1997

Released in United States on Video August 25, 1998

Released in United States 1997

Released in United States October 1997

Released in United States March 1999

Shown at Venice International Film Festival (Venetian Workshop) August 27 - September 6, 1997.

Shown at Mill Valley Film Festival October 2-12, 1997.

Broadcast in USA over HBO February 23, 1998.

A re-opening of the FBI investigation into the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing coincided with the theatrical release of "Four Little Girls."

videotape

Limited release in United Kingdom as part of series "American Independence" March 12, 1999.

Released in United States Summer July 9, 1997

Released in United States October 24, 1997 (Laemmle's Music Hall; Los Angeles)

Released in United States on Video August 25, 1998

Released in United States 1997 (Shown at Venice International Film Festival (Venetian Workshop) August 27 - September 6, 1997.)

Released in United States October 1997 (Shown at Mill Valley Film Festival October 2-12, 1997.)

Released in United States March 1999 (Shown in Los Angeles (American Cinematheque) as part of program "Out in the Streets: The Films of Spike Lee" March 15-20, 1999.)

Released in United States Summer July 9, 1997