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Nat King Cole: Afraid of the Dark (2014)

TV-14
94 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

Imagine what it would feel like to be the only black television star in Hollywood at a time when the Ku Klux Klan acted out violently against black people, when America groaned under the weight of segregation and prejudice. Imagine being ...See moreImagine what it would feel like to be the only black television star in Hollywood at a time when the Ku Klux Klan acted out violently against black people, when America groaned under the weight of segregation and prejudice. Imagine being in possession of a natural talent so great, so unique and disarming that these issues were seemingly swept to one side to allow you to perform and be acknowledged for this gift, yet behind closed doors they were trying to think of a way to package you as something you were not: white. This candid account of the actual happenings in and around the "fairytale" life of fame and fortune of Nat King Cole, are taken from the private journals of Nat King Cole and exclusive interviews with the widow of Nat King Cole, Maria Cole, as well as contributions from other family members, Tony Bennett, Buddy Greco, Harry Bellafonte, Nancy Wilson, Sir Bruce Forsythe, George Benson, Aaron Neville, Johnny Mathis and many more. Some of these shocking stories have never been told before, speaking a wider truth of the national climate at the time, and beg the question "how far have we come?" Director Jon Brewer is given exclusive access to archive held by the estate, which will be revealed for the first time in this film; honoring the man and his journey and the passing of a true icon, but also revealing his feelings behind his ultimate calling as a "beacon of hope" to the legions of the oppressed. Written by Laura Royko See less
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Release date
Oct 9, 2016 (Finland)

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Cast

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38 cast members
Name STARmeter Known for
Nat 'King' Cole
Himself (archive footage) Himself (archive footage)   See fewer
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Tony Bennett
Himself Himself   See fewer
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Ralph Carmichael
Himself Himself   See fewer
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Johnny Mathis
Himself Himself   See fewer
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George Benson
Himself Himself   See fewer
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Harry Belafonte
Himself Himself   See fewer
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Maria Cole
Herself, Nat King Cole's wife Herself, Nat King Cole's wife   See fewer
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Edward Coles
Himself, Baptist minister, Nat King Cole's father (archive footage) Himself, Baptist minister, Nat King Cole's father (archive footage)   See fewer
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Charles Evers
Himself, civil rights activist and former Republican politician Himself, civil rights activist and former Republican politician   See fewer
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Ivan Mogull
Himself Himself   See fewer
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Buddy Greco
Himself Himself   See fewer
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Bruce Forsyth
Himself Himself   See fewer
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Eddie Wakes
Himself Himself   See fewer
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Oscar Peterson
Himself (archive footage) Himself (archive footage)   See fewer
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Eddie Cole
Himself (archive footage) Himself (archive footage)   See fewer
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Nadine Robinson
Herself (archive footage) Herself (archive footage)   See fewer
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Aaron Neville
Himself Himself   See fewer
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George Schlatter
Himself Himself   See fewer
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Frank Sinatra
Himself (archive footage) Himself (archive footage)   See fewer
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Nancy Wilson
Herself Herself   See fewer
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Carlos Gastel
Himself, Nat King Cole's manager (archive footage) Himself, Nat King Cole's manager (archive footage)   See fewer
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Jack Costanzo
Himself Himself   See fewer
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Timolin Cole
Herself, Nat King Cole's daughter Herself, Nat King Cole's daughter   See fewer
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Casey Cole
Herself, Nat King Cole's daughter Herself, Nat King Cole's daughter   See fewer
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Duke Ellington
Himself (archive footage) Himself (archive footage)   See fewer
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Carol Cole
Herself, Nat King Cole's daughter (archive footage) Herself, Nat King Cole's daughter (archive footage)   See fewer
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Natalie Cole
Herself, Nat King Cole's daughter Herself, Nat King Cole's daughter   See fewer
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Nat Kelly Cole
Himself (archive footage) Himself (archive footage)   See fewer
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Sammy Davis Jr.
Himself (archive footage) Himself (archive footage)   See fewer
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Skip Riddle
Himself Himself   See fewer
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Members only
Vern Yocum
Himself (archive footage) Himself (archive footage)   See fewer
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Cab Calloway
Himself (archive footage) Himself (archive footage)   See fewer
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Robert Cray
Himself Himself   See fewer
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Ella Fitzgerald
Herself (archive footage) Herself (archive footage)   See fewer
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Eartha Kitt
Herself (archive footage) Herself (archive footage)   See fewer
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Eric Lomax
Nat Cole / driver Nat Cole / driver   See fewer
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Nelson Riddle
Himself (archive footage) Himself (archive footage)   See fewer
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Ratings Breakdown

7 / 10 | 415 votes