7.7/10
2,824
26 user 18 critic

Sounder (1972)

The oldest son of a loving and strong family of black sharecroppers comes of age in the Depression-era South after his father is imprisoned for stealing food.

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Writers:

(screenplay), (novel)
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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Nathan Lee Morgan
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David Lee Morgan
...
Mrs. Boatwright
...
Ike
...
Sheriff Young
Eric Hooks ...
Earl Morgan
Yvonne Jarrell ...
Sylvia Kuumba Williams ...
Harriet (as Sylvia 'Kuumba' Williams)
Teddy Airhart ...
Mr. Perkins (as Ted Airhart)
Richard Durham ...
Perkins' Foreman
Wendell Brumfield ...
Deputy #1
Al Bankston ...
Deputy #2
Myrl Sharkey ...
Teacher (as Merle Sharkey)
Inez Durham ...
Court Clerk
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Storyline

The Morgans, a loving and strong family of Black sharecroppers in Louisiana in 1933, face a serious family crisis when the husband and father, Nathan Lee Morgan, is convicted of a petty crime and sent to a prison camp. After some weeks or months, the wife and mother, Rebecca Morgan, sends the oldest son, who is about 11 years old, to visit his father at the camp. The journey becomes something of an odyssey for the boy. During the journey, he stays a little while with a dedicated Black schoolteacher. Written by Ed Cannon <ecannon@mail.utexas.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Family

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

10 May 1973 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Csibész  »

Filming Locations:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Cicely Tyson commented in a TCM interview that director Martin Ritt's cinematographer (principal cameraman), while shooting the famous "homecoming sequence" with Tyson and co-star Paul Winfield, was so moved by their performances that he was certain he missed framing the action properly in the shots and respectfully asked them to do the difficult scene again. They obliged, but a later examination of daily rushes revealed that they got shot and acting perfect the first time, and take 1 was a print. See more »

Goofs

After Earl and Josie go to bed, after the reunion dinner, the position of Nathan's hand and cup changes. See more »

Quotes

Camille: [quoting from W.E.B. Du Bois' "Of the Training of Black Men"] Herein the longing of black men must have respect: the rich and bitter depth of their experience, the unknown treasures of their inner life, the strange rendings of nature they have seen, may give the world new points of view and make their loving, living, and doing precious to all human hearts. And to themselves in these the days that try their souls the chance to soar in the dim blue air above the smoke is to their finer spirits ...
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Connections

Referenced in Good Fences (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Needed Time
Written by Taj Mahal
Sung by Lightnin Hopkins
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User Reviews

You Learn What You Are Made of When Life Throws Those Curve Balls.
12 May 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

1933 Depression-era Louisiana is seen through the eyes of an adolescent African-American boy (Kevin Hooks) in this methodical and smartly realized cinematic drama. Poverty and near starvation almost become tragedy when Hooks' father (Oscar nominee Paul Winfield) is arrested for stealing a hog and butchering it. Immediately he is sentenced to one year in jail (probably dodging much worse punishment) and it is up to wife Cicely Tyson (in her Oscar-nominated role) and her three young children to make the money needed to survive as Winfield is shipped from prison to prison. And through it all Hooks dreams of a better life via an education. The film's title refers to the family dog/game hunter who gets injured early on and yet finds a way to persevere much like his family (this is a great element of symbolism found within the movie). A brilliant screenplay by Lonne Elder III (who received an Oscar nomination as well) and intelligent direction by the always good Martin Ritt make "Sounder" one of the lesser-known gems of the 1970s. 4 stars out of 5.


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