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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1979)

Based on writer Maya Angelou's childhood, this story is about a young girl in the South who is sent to live with her grandmother after her parents divorce.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Paul Benjamin ...
Grandmother Baxter
Bailey Sr.
Miss Flowers
Constance Good ...
John Driver ...
Bailey Jr. (as John M. Driver II)
Sonny Jim Gaines ...
Uncle Willie
J. Don Ferguson ...
Mr. Donleavy
Georgia Allen ...
Mrs. Gurney
Darleen Taylor ...
1st Girl
Darryl Antony Williams ...
Tommy Valdon (as Darryl Williams)
Lillie (as Tommie Stewart)


A true story based on the early life of actress, professor and author Maya Angelou. The story traces her life from when she and her brother move in with her mother to the trauma of being raped as a little girl by one of her mother's boyfriends and the several years of silence that came after the attack. Written by Brian Washington <Sargebri@att.net>

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Biography | Drama

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

28 April 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Miksi häkkilintu laulaa  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

A Wonderful Story
21 April 2003 | by (Los Angeles, California) – See all my reviews

This is one of the most engrossing bio pics ever shown on television. You really get to see the formative years of a true renaissance woman. The book that this work was based on has been required reading in schools for years and you can really see why as you see what Dr. Angelou went through as a child, espcially suffering the trauma of being raped at the age of seven and not talking for five years due to the fact that she blamed herself for the death of her attacker. However, the only fault I find with the film is the fact that they end the film at the point where she starts to talk again. The book goes on to her teen-age years and ends at the point where she gives birth to her son a few years later. Other than that, this was truly a great story.

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