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Sounder (1972)

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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:
...
...
...
...
Mrs. Boatwright
...
Ike
...
Sheriff Young
Eric Hooks ...
Earl Morgan
Yvonne Jarrell ...
Josie Mae Morgan
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

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 May 1973 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Csibész  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

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

When embracing at the reunion, Earl's hands change position. 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 Psych: 1967: A Psych Odyssey (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
Breathtaking cinematography and excellent performances
11 March 1999 | by (Shanghai, China) – See all my reviews

For the breathtaking cinematography alone, this film is one not to be missed. It is surprising that such a simple film could have one's eyes glued to the screen for its entire duration. The father of a sharecropper family during the Great Depression in Louisiana steals food for his family in desperation and is sent to jail. The local law enforcement officers refuse to allow his wife to visit him and then, when he is sent away to a work camp, they will not disclose its name to his family. Finally, however, a sympathetic woman finds out and the eldest son goes on a journey to find his father. At the end of his travels, he meets a beautiful, kind, and learned school teacher who asks him to return in the fall to attend school. Excellent performances by all. (10 out of 10)


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