GenreDrama Music directorGeorges Delerue Duration CountryUnited States
CastOona ONeill, Oona Chaplin, Beverly Ross, Jacques Martial, Valerie Kling Similar moviesMister Johnson (1990), Imitation of Life (1934), Yes (2004), Spinning into Butter (2007), Two Gentlemen Sharing (1969)
Broken English is a 1981 drama film based on the theme of interracial romance. It is the only film to feature Oona O'Neill in an acting role.
Partly subtitled, the film follows the story of Sarah, who comes under fire from her family, friends and colleagues when she marries an African man, Maas. When she discovers that Maas is part of an underground group of South African freedom fighters, she must analyze her own political and sexual beliefs.
Broken English was the directorial debut of Michie Gleason, who at the time was romantically involved with Terrence Malick. It was produced by Bert Schneider, whom Gleason had conflicts with; he insisted that his wife Greta Ronningen be cast in the film and pressured her to add more sex scenes.
Lorimar, the production company, refused to distribute the completed film because it was not sexually explicit enough. Schneider filed a successful lawsuit against them, but it would be his last picture as a producer. The film has never been shown or released outside of festival screenings.