In the pre-Civil War South, a sadistic plantation-owner brutalizes his slaves to the point of them heaving no other choice but to rebel. Always obedient, peaceful and honest old slave Tom plays a central role in this tragedy.
Géza von Radványi
Based on the novel by Harriet Beecher Stowe: Eliza, a slave who has a young child, pleads with Tom, another slave, to escape with her. Tom does not leave, but Eliza flees with her child. ... See full summary »
A small town girl finds escape from her cruel home life in the arms of a handsome stranger. Soon she finds herself working as a prostitute in New Orleans, desperately clinging to the belief that he really loves her.
Nellie Bly Baker,
In the Crimea, the Reds and the Whites aren't done fighting, and Jeanne discovers that the man she loves is a Bolshevik (when he kills her father). Penniless, she returns to Paris where she... See full summary »
Lovely Anita dreams of escaping the monotony of her island home and sailing to bustling Havana. But when her abusive father promises her to the greasy local merchant, Anita does everything in her power to make her dream a reality.
This movie is the origin of the stereotypical "Uncle Tom" not Stowe's novel. The three dimensionality of the characters in the novel is virtually stripped away in this movie version. The awkward "smiles" and inappropriate laughter of the black characters caters to the post-Reconstruction mentality of the re-claimed South. Stowe's novel has a much more realistic treatment of characters from both regions. The poignant scene between Topsy and Eva is rendered cartoons in the movie. The faith connection between Tom and Eva is completely absent from the movie, yet one cannot appreciate the true nobility of their characters without seeing this bond between them brought about by a shared love of the world beyond. This movie does not properly capture the traditional paternalistic objectification of the slaves that the Master Shelby takes for granted and haunts Mrs. Shelby nor does it capture the "enlightened" position of Augustine St. Clare, who still is not moved to actually free his slaves until it is too late. George and Eliza's "priveliges" are virtually ignored in the movie, hence the contrast with these and the definitive reinforcement of their slave status at critical moments is lost. Legree is more of a Grimm-like ogre than the unbelievably inhumane monster of a man he is in the novel. This is a Jim Crow movie, Stowe's is not a Jim Crow novel. The South lost the war, but it won with this movie. It is a distant cousin to Griffith's "Birth of a Nation."
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