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Cry, the Beloved Country (1951)

 |  Drama  |  26 April 1952 (UK)
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In the back country of South Africa, black minister Stephen Kumalo (Canada Lee) journeys to the city to search for his missing son, only to find his people living in squalor and his son a ... See full summary »



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Title: Cry, the Beloved Country (1951)

Cry, the Beloved Country (1951) on IMDb 7.1/10

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Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »


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Complete credited cast:
Canada Lee ...
Charles Carson ...
Joyce Carey ...
Geoffrey Keen ...
Vivien Clinton ...
Albertina Temba ...
Mrs. Kumalo
Edric Connor ...
John Kumalo
Lionel Ngakane ...
Absolom Kumalo
Charles McRae ...
Bruce Meredith Smith ...
Captain Jaarsveldt
Bruce Anderson ...
Frank Smith
Ribbon Dhlamini ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Daniel Adnewmah ...
Young Man, Client of Gertrude (as Danie Adrewmah)


In the back country of South Africa, black minister Stephen Kumalo (Canada Lee) journeys to the city to search for his missing son, only to find his people living in squalor and his son a criminal. Reverend Misimangu (Sidney Poitier) is a young South African clergyman who helps find his missing son-turned-thief and sister-turned-prostitute in the slums of Johannesburg. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

africa | based on novel | See All (2) »


The Screen Brings New Power And Greatness To Alan Paton's Best-Selling Novel! See more »




See all certifications »




Release Date:

26 April 1952 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

African Fury  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Shot on location in Natal and the slums of Johannesburg, as well as in studios in England. See more »


Featured in In Darkest Hollywood: Cinema and Apartheid (1993) See more »


Composed by Raymond Gallos-Montbrun
Directed by Dr. Hubbert Clifford
Performed by London Film Symphony Orchestra
See more »

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User Reviews

Somber and Unforgettable
19 December 2011 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

A sincere, but also very somber, glimpse of segregated South Africa, circa 1950. Reverend Kumalo (Lee) travels from rural home to Johannesburg to search for missing son. What he finds instead is degradation, both economic and moral, plus immense heartache.

That train trip through an industrial belt is riveting as we glimpse the harsh conditions along the way. Ditto, the shantytown slums of the city that Kumalo and Msimangu (Poitier) must search through. To me, these are the film's highlights since they're a long way from any movie lot. Then too, I don't recall seeing documentary footage from SA like this before. Note also, that the real thing is photographed not only on the streets but inside the shanties, as well. No constructed sets here. In my book, the Korda's should be saluted for their efforts to overcome what must have been difficult conditions to work under.

It's a very grim storyline, heavy on the notion of redemption, both personal (Kumalo's son) and societal (apartheid). Fortunately, the screenplay weaves these two threads together very effectively. It's also worth noting that hints at racial reconciliation revolve around religious themes instead of the more controversial political kind. The latter would probably have been impossible to do. Nonetheless, Kumalo's climb up the hill at movie's end is powerfully symbolic of the promise of a new day.

Definitely a must-see for serious movie fans.

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