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Way Down South (1939)

 -  Crime | Music  -  21 July 1939 (USA)
5.5
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Ratings: 5.5/10 from 117 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 3 critic

In the pre-Civil War South, a plantation owner dies and leaves all his possessions, including his slaves, to his young son. While the deceased treated his slaves decently, his corrupt ... See full summary »

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(original story and screenplay), (original story and screenplay)
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Title: Way Down South (1939)

Way Down South (1939) on IMDb 5.5/10

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Bobby Breen ...
Timothy Reid Jr.
...
Jacques Bouton
...
Timothy Reid Sr.
Steffi Duna ...
Pauline
...
Uncle Caton
...
Claire Bouton
...
Martin Dill
...
Cass
Robert Greig ...
Judge Ravenal
Lillian Yarbo ...
Janie
Matthew 'Stymie' Beard ...
Gumbo (as Stymie Beard)
Hall Johnson Choir
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Storyline

In the pre-Civil War South, a plantation owner dies and leaves all his possessions, including his slaves, to his young son. While the deceased treated his slaves decently, his corrupt executor abuses them unmercifully, beating them without provocation, and he is planning to sell off the father'e estate--including the slaves--at the earliest opportunity so he and his mistress can steal the money and move to France. The young boy doesn't want to sell his father's estate or break up an of the slave families, and he has to find someone to help him thwart the crooked executor's plans. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

HELP YOURSELF TO HAPPINESS! HERE'S A WHILE SHOW-FULL! (original poster - all caps)

Genres:

Crime | Music

Certificate:

Approved
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 July 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La strada del sud  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Soundtracks

Didn't My Lord Deliver Daniel?
(uncredited)
Traditional Negro spiritual
Sung by Clarence Muse and the Hall Johnson Choir
See more »

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User Reviews

High Peaks
17 May 2006 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

At times this movie is brilliant beyond my powers of description to note. At other times it turns stupid. Langston Hughes' poetry and powerful images dominate some scenes. At others we have the sight of Clarence Muse in a dress and veil, or Bobby Breen advancing the plot while Alan Mowbray does his best to make it interesting by a little judicious mugging. Even the musical numbers are erratically choreographed. The last may have been an attempt to either appease white audiences who would never see this movie or a choreographer utterly ignorant of jazz dancing. In 1939? It doesn't make sense. Perhaps it was shot, edited, tested and then someone else went back to do some ham-handed reshooting.

The problems I have with the execution of this movie cannot be denied, but its strengths are likewise undeniable. Take a look at it and bear in mind that this was released in he same year as GONE WITH THE WIND.


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