Made in America (1993 film)

Made in America
Directed by Richard Benjamin
Produced by Arnon Milchan
Michael Douglas
Rick Bieber
Written by Marcia Brandwynne
Nadine Schiff
Holly Goldberg Sloan
Music by Mark Isham
Cinematography Ralf Bode
Edited by Jacqueline Cambas
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release dates
  • May 28, 1993 (1993-05-28) (US)
Running time
111 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $22 million
Box office $104,942,695

Made in America is a 1993 American comedy film released on May 28, 1993 by Warner Bros. starring Whoopi Goldberg and Ted Danson, and featuring Nia Long, Jennifer Tilly and Will Smith. The film was directed by Richard Benjamin. It was shot in various locations in Oakland, California and at Oakland Technical High School.

A notable song on the soundtrack is "Colors of Love," written by Carole Bayer Sager, James Ingram and Bruce Roberts, which alludes to the story line.


Zora Matthews (Long), whose mother Sarah (Goldberg) conceived her with the aid of an anonymous sperm donor, discovers her father is a white man named Hal Jackson (Danson). This comes as a major shock to Sarah, who had explicitly requested a black donor. On top of that, Jackson is a loud, self-promoting car salesman, which clashes with Sarah's intellectualism. The film revolves around Zora and her mother's rocky relationship with Jackson. Jackson eventually comes to have feelings for his supposed daughter and her mother.



The story did not originally specify black actors for any of the roles and was rewritten upon Goldberg's casting.[1]


The character of Hal Jackson is based in part on the real life car dealership owner Cal Worthington. Hal's use of large circus animals in his car commercials are an homage to Cal's famous "My Dog Spot" ads, which were also filmed with live circus animals.


The soundtrack album was released on May 28, 1993.

  1. Gloria Estefan - Go Away
  2. Keith Sweat and Silk - Does He Do It Good
  3. Del Tha Funkee Homosapien - Made In America
  4. Lisa Fischer - Colors of Love
  5. Sérgio Mendes - What Is This?
  6. Mark Isham - Made In Love
  7. Laura Satterfield and Ephraim Lewis - I Know I Don't Walk On Water
  8. DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince - Dance or Die
  9. Deep Purple - Smoke On The Water
  10. Ben E. King - If You Need A Miracle
  11. Y.T. Style - Stand


The film opened in theaters on May 28, 1993, and grossed over $12 million on its opening weekend.[2] It was released to over 2,000 theaters and grossed nearly $50 million in the U.S. alone. Worldwide, it earned over $100 million. This was television star and Grammy Award-winning rapper Will Smith's second supporting role in a movie and started his successful career as a major film actor.

Made in America earned mostly negative reviews from critics,[3] holding a 29% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 28 reviews. However, Roger Ebert praised Goldberg's acting in the film and said "This isn't a great movie, but it sure is a nice one."[4]


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