IMDb > Cry, the Beloved Country (1951)

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

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Up 27% 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:
Somber and Unforgettable 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

Michael Goodliffe ... Martens, Probation Official at Reformatory
Edric Connor ... John Kumalo, Brother of Stephen
Charles McRae ... Church Friend of Stephen
Lionel Ngakane ... Absolom Kumalo, Son of Stephen
Vivien Clinton ... Mary (Wedded to Absolom)
Albertina Temba ... Mrs. Kumalo, Wife of Stephen
Bruce Anderson ... Frank Smith, Farmer and Friend of James Jarvis
Bruce Meredith Smith ... Captain Jaarsveldt, Policeman Bearing News of Murder
Berdine Grünewald ... Mary Jarvis, Wife of Arthur (as Berdine Grunewald)
Cecil Cartwright ... Harrison, Father of Mary Jarvis
Andrew Kay ... John Harrison, Brother of Mary Jarvis and Friend of Arthur
Max Dhlamini ... Father Thomas
Shayiaw Riba ... Father Tisa
Tsepo Gugushe ... Gertrude's Child
Ribbon Dhlamini ... Gertrude, Sister of Stephen
Danie Adrewmah ... Young Man, Client of Gertrude
Emily Pooe ... Mrs. Ndela (Absolom's Lodging)
Reginald Ngeabo ... Taxi Driver (Lead to Absolom)
Michael Golden ... Second reporter
Clement McCallin ... First reporter
Stanley Van Beers ... Judge
John Arnatt ... Prison warden
Scott Harrold ... Police superintendent
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Henry Blumenthal ... Arthur Jarvis
Berdine Brunewald ... Berdine Grunewald
Cyril Kwaza ... Matthew Kumalo, Son of John
Evelyn Nayati ... Mrs. Lithebe (Stephen's Lodging)
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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
John W. Mitchell .... sound
Camera and Electrical Department
Peter Lang .... camera operator: second unit
Gerry Massy-Collier .... camera operator (as C. Massy-Collier)
David Millen .... camera operator: second unit
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 .... advisor: Africa
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
103 min | Canada:96 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Did You Know?

The black-listed writer John Howard Lawson was not given an on-screen credit until after his death.See more »
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Somber and Unforgettable, 19 December 2011
Author: dougdoepke from Claremont, USA

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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