7.7/10
2,784
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.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (novel)
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ON DISC
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

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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

In 2003, ABC's The Wonderful World of Disney (1995) produced a new TV version of The Wonderful World of Disney: Sounder (2003). Kevin Hooks directed, and Paul Winfield played the teacher. (It was one of Winfield's last roles before his death in 2004.) 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 Saturday Night Live: Mike Myers/Aerosmith (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Give Me That Old Time Religion
Traditional Spiritual
sung by congregation
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User Reviews

One scene makes it a thing of beauty.
17 June 2003 | by (Washington, DC) – See all my reviews

'Sounder' is a very small, sublime film- quietly powerful and perfect for just about anyone. Even though the title made no immediate sense to me (it's the name of the family dog), the plot and script is choice and proves what I've always believed regarding most scripts: less is more. Films with close, reverent, African-American families are still rare in the 21st century, and this one was extraordinary because it was a *1972* release, breaking ground when it was nominated at that year's Academy Awards for lead actor (Paul Winfield), lead actress (Cicely Tyson), screenplay (Lonne Elder III), and best picture. Only director Martin Ritt was not nominated, which was a travesty, but the Academy is historically famous for bonehead decisions. At any rate, it's nice to see a film which shows true family support- even in the event of the father's absence. I won't say why that happens, but it's only temporary, and his third act return- staged against a long stretch of open field and spotlighting a barefoot Tyson and limping Winfield running into each other's arms- is a bewitching, magical, sequence in the film. (There won't be a dry eye in the house.) Everyone is a standout, including Kevin Hooks as the pre-teen who needs to grow up overnight and to Carmen Matthews as the neighbor who quietly helps the family. Even more amazing is that this is a G-rated film; your whole family- black, white, or brown- will absolutely cherish it.


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