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Uncle Tom's Cabin (1965)

Onkel Toms Hütte (original title)
G | | Drama | 1 January 1969 (USA)
In the pre-Civil War South, a sadistic plantation-owner brutalizes his slaves to the point of them heaving no other choice but to rebel. Always obedient, peaceful and honest old slave Tom plays a central role in this tragedy.


(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
John Kitzmiller ...
Olive Moorefield ...
Catana Cayetano ...
Michaela May ...
Little Eva (as Gertraud Mittermayr)
Charles Fawcett ...
Mr. Shelby
Vilma Degischer ...
Mrs. Shelby
Thomas Fritsch ...
George Shelby
Bibi Jelinek ...
George Goodman ...
Juliette Gréco ...
Harold Bradley ...
Eleonora Rossi Drago ...
Mrs. Saint-Claire


In the pre-Civil War South, a sadistic plantation-owner brutalizes his slaves to the point of them heaving no other choice but to rebel. Always obedient, peaceful and honest old slave Tom plays a central role in this tragedy.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The REAL story of how it all happened--the SLAVES, the MASTERS, the LOVERS! See more »




G | See all certifications »




Release Date:

1 January 1969 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Uncle Tom's Cabin  »

Box Office


DEM 4,200,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
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Did You Know?


Producer Aldo von Pinelli first announced Louis Armstrong to be playing the part of Uncle Tom, but the failing health of the singer and actor made this impossible. Simon Legree was first offered to Mario Adorf and Gert Fröbe, before Herbert Lom took over the part. Other roles were intended to be played by Harry Belafonte, Ella Fitzgerald and Omar Sharif, but none of them actually participated in this movie. See more »


Washington D.C.'s Lincoln Memorial is depicted as being in New York. See more »


Version of Uncle Tom's Cabin (1914) See more »


Saber Dance
Written by Aram Khachaturyan
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User Reviews

Passable European retelling about successful and anti-slavery novel written by American author Harriet Beecher Stowe
13 September 2014 | by (Santander Spain) – See all my reviews

"Uncle Tom's Cabin" deals with slavery tears apart a black family in the South before the start of the Civil War . In these days Harriet Beecher Stowe's popular novel of Uncle Tom's Cabin is known more by historians as a contributing cause of the Civil War than as an actual literary work . Uncle Tom's Cabin was the best-selling novel of the 19th century and the second best-selling book of that century, following the Bible . Stowe was partly inspired to create Uncle Tom's Cabin by the 1849 slave narrative The Life of Josiah Henson , formerly a slave, now an inhabitant of Canada, as narrated by himself ; as Henson escaped slavery in 1830 by fleeing to the Province of Upper Canada -now Ontario-, where he helped other fugitive slaves settle and become self-sufficient, and where he wrote his memoirs . It talks Tio Tom (John Kitzmiller), obedient yet not lacking integrity , but a Kentucky farmer named Arthur Shelby facing the loss of his farm because of debts and Tom eventually falls into the hands of the sinister Simon Legree (Herbert Lom) , a slave trader. "Uncle Tom" is a dutiful, long-suffering servant faithful to his white master or mistress . African-American slavers are afraid of the new strict fugitive slave law and some of them attempt to getaway . Eliza (Catana Cayetano) and her little baby escape from the plantation in the wintry night , their flight across the ice covered river, as there is a memorable scene of her flight to freedom across the ice flows with her son , but sympathetic northerners like the Quaker family you see rescue Eliza and her baby . During Eliza's escape, she meets up with her husband George Harris, who had run away previously . They decide to attempt to reach Canada . After that , St. Clare (O.W. Fischer) purchases Tom , the good black slave . St. Clare then asks Tom to educate her daughter Eva (Michaela May) . After Tom has lived with the St. Clares for two years, Eva grows very ill. There takes place the surreal death of little Eva . Then Tom sold to Simon Legree and the events go awry .

This the best and only European film adaptation of the classic Harriet Beecher Stowe novel , one of the more expensive films for the time . ¨Tio Tom's cabin¨ successfully captures the mood of the old pre-war South while emphasizing the horror and immorality of slavery . ¨Uncle Tom's Cabin¨ or ¨Life Among the Lowly¨, is an anti-slavery novel by American author Harriet Beecher Stowe , being published in 1852 , the novel "helped lay the groundwork for the Civil War" ; the impact attributed to the book is great, reinforced by a story that when Abraham Lincoln met Stowe at the start of the Civil War , Lincoln declared , "So this is the little lady who started this great war" . This is a surprisingly good , interesting, but, sentimental adaptation of the novel . The faith connection between Tom and Eva is completely described from the movie, yet one can appreciate the true nobility of their characters without seeing this bond between them brought about by a shared love of the world beyond . The film captures most of the highlights from the novel, including a very well done Eliza's flight across the frozen river pursued by bloodhounds , the death of Little Eva , and the villainous Simon Legree ; the film gets better as it goes along building to the exciting finale . John Kitzmiller gives a fine performance in the title role, John as lead role is outstanding as Uncle Tom . What is even more outstanding is the dignity and lack of minstrelsy in the way he is allowed to play him . Kitzmiller/Tom carries great emotional weight and manages to humanize slaves and rightfully demonize the institution of slavery itself . Special mention to villain Legree , perfectly interpreted by the great Herbert Lom . Released by Central Cinema Company Film (CCC) with all-European-star cast such as Herbet Lom , O.W. Fischer , Thomas Fritsch , Mylene Demongeot , Eleonora Rossi Drago , an uncredited Jeffrey Hunter ; furthermore two known singers : Juliette Gréco Eartha Kitt . This is a beautifully photographed film and a lavish production for the German cinema , being a France | Italy | West Germany | Yugoslavia co-production . Camera movements are fluid and plenty , as are the glossy close-ups , including a colorful cinematography . Evocative musical score , adding gorgeous songs sung by Eartha Kitt , Juliette Greco and John Kitzmiller .

As it turned out , the film was a German box-office success . However , The book , the plays and films inspired and helped popularize a number of stereotypes about black people , these include the affectionate, dark-skinned "mammy" ; the "pickaninny" stereotype of black children . In recent years, the negative associations with Uncle Tom's Cabin have, to an extent, overshadowed the historical impact of the book as a "vital antislavery tool. There are various adaptations about this notorious novel, these are the followings : Silent rendition ¨Uncle Tom's Cabin¨ (1927) by Harry Pollard with Margarita Fischer as Eliza and James B. Lowe as Uncle Tom , it was a box-office flop despite the immense and decades lasting popularity of Stowe's novel and its stage adaptations ; TV adaptation (1987) by Stan Lathan with Avery Brooks as Uncle Tom , Kate Burton as Ophelia , Bruce Dern as Augustine St. Claire and Paula Kelly ; and exploitation picture also titled ¨Uncle Tom's Cabin¨ (1976) by Al Adamson again with John Kitzmiller as Uncle Tom , Herbert Lom as Simon Legree and Olive Moorefield .

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