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Based on the story, "See How They Run," which ran in the June, 1951 issue of "The Ladies' Home Journal" and subsequently won that year's Christopher Award. The story was written by Mary Elizabeth Vroman, a fourth-generation school teacher from the British West Indies. "Bright Road" has only one white actor in the cast, Robert Horton. Jane Richards is a young 4th-grade teacher in the South who has a problem in her classroom with 11-year-old C.T. Young, a backward boy whose pride has made him a stubborn rebel and an exalted liar. Jane believes in him, discovers that he has an interest in nature when he spends his time watching a caterpillar in a tree trunk as it develops a cocoon. C. T. is devoted to his family and also to little Tanya, who adores him. When Tanya, despite every effort to save her on the part of Dr. Mitchell, dies of viral pneumonia, the embittered C.T. stays away from school. When he returns and gets into a fight, he is punished by being sent to Coventry. But when a ... Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
"Bright Road" is a film that Hollywood decided to present with an almost all black cast, something that was not done often prior to the fifties and the arrival of such stars as Dorothy Dandridge, Harry Belafonte, and the man that would make it all possible for other performers of color: Sidney Poitier! The film is based on a story by a real teacher and Gerald Mayer, the son of Louis B. Mayer, the famous head of MGM, directed with a light touch. Gerald Mayer, who had been romantically linked to the star of the film, used the right approach for this movie.
The story is simple, and yet, it speaks volumes of what a good teacher can do to inspire the young people in her charge. Jane Richards is such a person. She sees the good bottled inside C.T. Young, the rebellious poor boy that, deep inside, is a wonderful young who has had no luck with other teachers in the school, who have made him repeat two years and haven't really seen the potential in him.
Dorothy Dandridge makes a sweet, yet firm Jane Richards. She was a star that could do anything, as proved by her other films, most notably in "Carmen Jones". She was a beautiful presence in this film, who with her positive attitude changes and inspires her students. Harry Belafonte is seen as the Principal in his screen debut. Of course, the film star was Ms. Dandridge, and he had limited chances in which to show how good he was. Philip Hepburn played C.T. Young with conviction for such a small child.
"Bright Road" is a charming film thanks to Ms. Dandridge and the direction of Mr. Mayer.
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