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Rebecca L. Prime
Unaffiliated independent scholar
Uptight!: Race, Revolution, and the Most Dangerous Film of 1968

Completion of a book on the background, making, legacy, and historical significance of Uptight! (1968), a landmark movie directed by Jules Dassin that reflected racial tensions in America during the 1960s.

My book project, Uptight!: Race, Revolution, and the Most Dangerous Film of 1968, combines biography with the history of mid-twentieth century America to tell a compelling and still palpably resonant story about the struggle to make Uptight! (dir. Jules Dassin, 1968), the first feature film to address the Black Power movement and whose troubled production serves as a microcosm for the racial and political tensions of the time. The story of Uptight! unfolds against the backdrop of 1968, a watershed year for the civil rights movement, the Hollywood film industry, and American democracy. Drawing on original archival research, the book has a dramatic narrative arc, fascinating but historically neglected key characters, and presents a clear through line from 1968 to contemporary struggles over race and representation in the film and media industries.

Project fields:
American Studies; Cultural History; Film History and Criticism

Public Scholars

Research Programs

$60,000 (approved)
$60,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2021 – 8/31/2022