Watch The Autobiography Of Miss Jane Pittman

'The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman' follows the 110-year life story of a woman born a slave in Louisiana. Though presented as a cinematic version of an individual who actually lived in real life, it is the conception of author Ernest Gaines, with a screenplay by Tracy Keenan Wynn. Made for television and subsequently nominated for nine Emmys, Cicelyn Tyson, who portrayed the title character, eventually won the Actress of the Year Emmy.

The film is told in flashbacks, as Jane Pittman narrates the tale of her life to an interested and curious visitor who has sought her out expressly for this purpose. Jane tells of growing up a virtual orphan: her mother was beaten to death when Jane was a girl, and her father was never known to her. Up until age nine, Jane works in the Big House on the plantation, caring for her master's children.

The Civil War breaks out. Both Confederate and Union soldiers traipse over the plantation. One soldier remarks that Jane, who at this time is still referred to as Ticey, should change her name, and offers his daughter's name as an option. Later, when Jane refuses to respond to her mistress' use of Ticey, she is beaten bloody and demoted to a field slave.

On Emancipation Day, Jane's master frees all his slaves, Jane among them. Led by a woman named Big Laura, Jane and her party are later attacked by poor whites, and all but Jane and a boy named Ned are murdered. Jane and Ned decide to continue onward to Ohio, where Jane hopes to look up Captain Brown, the Union soldier who christened her, and who invited her to visit him someday.

Jane ends up on a nearby plantation, working for wages. When the original plantation owner resumes management, shades of days from slavery appear again. Jane endures years of abuse, terror by the KKK, the Civil Rights Movement, but she eventually wins her freedom.

| 1974 | 1 hr 50 min | 8.0/10
Cicely Tyson, Eric Brown, Richard Dysart, Joel Fluellen
The Autobiography Of Miss Jane Pittman

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Miss Jane Pittman|3:31
Miss Jane Pittman|3:31

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