IMDb > Cry, the Beloved Country (1951)

Cry, the Beloved Country (1951) More at IMDbPro »

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Down 7% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers (WGA):
Alan Paton (novel)
Alan Paton (screenplay)
View company contact information for Cry, the Beloved Country on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
16 November 1951 (South Africa) See more »
Filmed in Africa...Where It Was Lived! See more »
In the back country of South Africa, black minister Stephen Kumalo (Canada Lee) journeys to the city to search for his missing son... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Why remake a masterpiece? See more (8 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)
Canada Lee ... Stephen Kumalo
Charles Carson ... James Jarvis

Sidney Poitier ... Reverend Msimangu
Joyce Carey ... Margaret Jarvis
Geoffrey Keen ... Father Vincent
Vivien Clinton ... Mary

Michael Goodliffe ... Martens
Albertina Temba ... Mrs. Kumalo
Edric Connor ... John Kumalo
Lionel Ngakane ... Absolom Kumalo
Charles McRae ... Sibeko
Bruce Meredith Smith ... Captain Jaarsveldt
Bruce Anderson ... Frank Smith
Ribbon Dhlamini ... Gertrude
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Daniel Adnewmah ... Young Man, Client of Gertrude (as Danie Adrewmah)
John Arnatt ... Prison warden (uncredited)
Henry Blumenthal ... Arthur Jarvis (uncredited)
Cecil Cartwright ... Mr. Harrison (uncredited)
Max Dhlamini ... Father Thomas (uncredited)
Michael Golden ... Second reporter (uncredited)
Berdine Grünewald ... Mary Jarvis (uncredited)
Tsepo Gugushe ... Gertrude's Child (uncredited)
Scott Harrold ... Police superintendent (uncredited)
Andrew Kay ... John Harrison (uncredited)
Cyril Kwaza ... Matthew Kumalo (uncredited)
Clement McCallin ... First reporter (uncredited)
Evelyn Nayati ... Mrs. Lithebe (uncredited)
Reginald Ngcobo ... Taxi Driver (uncredited)
Emily Pooe ... Mrs. Ndela (uncredited)
Shayiaw Riba ... Father Tisa (uncredited)
Stanley Van Beers ... Judge (uncredited)

Directed by
Zoltan Korda 
Writing credits
Alan Paton (novel)

Alan Paton (screenplay)

John Howard Lawson  screenplay (originally uncredited)

Produced by
Zoltan Korda .... producer
Alan Paton .... producer
Original Music by
Raymond Gallois-Montbrun  (as R. Gallois Montbrun)
Cinematography by
Robert Krasker 
Film Editing by
David Eady 
Art Direction by
Wilfred Shingleton 
Costume Design by
Maisie Kelly 
Makeup Department
Peter Evans .... makeup artist
William Bell .... key makeup artist (uncredited)
Production Management
Jack Swinburne .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
John Bremer .... assistant director
Sound Department
Lee Doig .... dubbing editor
Jack Drake .... dubbing editor
Max Elliott .... dubbing editor
Red Law .... sound recordist
John W. Mitchell .... sound recordist
Camera and Electrical Department
Peter Lang .... camera operator: second unit
Gerry Massy-Collier .... camera operator (as C. Massy-Collier)
David Millin .... camera operator: second unit (as David Millen)
Gerry Fisher .... assistant camera: interiors (uncredited)
Editorial Department
Valerie Leslie .... assistant editor
Music Department
Hubert Clifford .... musical director
Raymond Gallois-Montbrun .... music arranger (as R. Gallois Montbrun)
Other crew
Maisie Kelly .... continuity
Frank Rogaly .... African advisor
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
103 min | Canada:96 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Recording)
Australia:M | Canada:PG | Finland:S | Sweden:15 | UK:A (original rating) | UK:PG (video)

Did You Know?

At about 18 minutes into the movie, the song "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" (AKA Wemoweh and Mbube) is sung behind the dialogue. Its use is possibly the earliest mass release version ever of the song, predating The Weaver's release of Wemoweh by at least a year.See more »
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21 out of 23 people found the following review useful.
Why remake a masterpiece?, 25 September 2003
Author: jandesimpson from United Kingdom

There seems little point in remaking proved masterpieces of cinema. Generally they are given short shrift by critics and moviegoers with examples such as a new "Stagecoach" and "Psycho" quickly assigned to oblivion while their originals continue to give endless pleasure either as DVDs or TV reshowings. The 1995 version of "Cry, the Beloved Country" deserved a similar fate and was only saved I would imagine because the original version of Alan Paton's South African novel directed by Vincent Korda in 1951 is so little known today. I regard this neglect and the fact that it was felt that a "new" version was needed as one of cinema's greatest tragedies, for the original was beyond doubt, in my opinion, one of the half dozen greatest films ever to have emerged from a British studio. I ran the two versions again recently. By the end of the exercise I vowed never again to see the "new" version as in every sense it is the inferior of the two. I would cite the treatments of one small scene to make the point, the incredibly moving moment in the novel when the news is broken to the white landowner on his farm of the murder of his only son by a group of black youth during the course of a burglary of his home in Johannesburg. Korda's treatment of the scene takes approximately a third of the time of the equivalent in the new Darrell Roodt version. It is impressively understated with the father quietly having to sit down to take in the dreadful news he has been brought. Richard Harris in the same part cannot match Charles Carson's tremendous dignity, exteriorising his grief in a far more theatrical way. It is the difference between tragedy and melodrama. Korda's monochrome "Cry, the Beloved Country" is almost documentary in style. The voice-over reading of Paton's opening paragraph is set against shots of the landscape it describes. The black Minister's train journey to the big city to find his fallen sister is punctuated by landscapes becoming more and more blighted by the rape of industry. Once there he embarks on a sad pilgrimage of shantytowns photographed with all the mastery of the postwar Italian neo-realists. That Korda's version of Paton's bleak tale is on the same level of artistic integrity and achievement as works such as "Bicycle Thieves" and "Germany Year Zero" is a measure of how highly I rate it. The use of music is masterly: indigenous a cappella choruses for the credits then nothing for the first third of the film. Then almost imperceptibly Raymond Gallois-Montbrun's orchestral score creeps in to meditate on some of the quieter scenes reaching a sort of apotheosis reminiscent of the conclusion of Berg's Violin Concerto by adopting the form of a chorale prelude for the final scene where the Minister climbs a hilltop to witness the dawn of a new day at the time his son is being executed. Shortly before he has passed the doubly bereaved white farmer to whom he has sent flowers on learning of his wife's death. The moment of reconcilliation between the two men is marked by the farmer's simple acknowledgement "Your flowers were of great beauty". There are few moments in cinema as moving as this.

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