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Native Son (1986)

 -  Drama  -  12 December 1986 (USA)
5.9
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 392 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 5 critic

In 1940s Chicago, a young black man takes a job as a chauffeur to a white family, which takes a turn for the worse when he accidentally kills the teenage daughter of the couple and then tries to cover it up.

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Title: Native Son (1986)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Jan
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Doc
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Max
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Gus
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Jack
Walter Rivers ...
G.H.
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Storyline

Bigger Thomas, an African American who lives in an impoverished neighborhood, is employed by a prosperous white family who live in the suburbs of a major city. The money Bigger makes at his new job will be used to supplement his mother's income. As a chauffeur, he is directed by the father of the family to take Mary, the daughter, to the university. Instead, Mary decides to pick up her Socialist boyfriend, Jan, and to spend the time drinking and partying. Jan and Mary portray a young liberal couple who venture into a black neighborhood with Bigger for the sole purpose of being entertained at Ernie's, a black nightclub. On the way home, Mary becomes inebriated and Bigger must get her to her bedroom without being detected. Mary's mother, who is blind, enters the room and Bigger panics at the thought of being caught with a white woman. He accidentally kills Mary by placing a pillow over her head to keep her quiet. Still frightened, Bigger disposes of the body in the furnace, possibly ... Written by Broncine G. Carter

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 December 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Amerikan poika  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$1,301,121 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

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Did You Know?

Quotes

Gus: Ain't no use hiding it. That Bigger Thomas, he bad. Just bad!
See more »

Connections

Remake of Native Son (1951) See more »

Soundtracks

"Jones Come Down (Call Me, Call Me, Call Me)
Written by James Mtume, Diane Silver and Dunn E. Pearson
Performed by Stephanie Mills
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A terrible adaptation of a wonderful book
12 December 2004 | by (Massachusetts) – See all my reviews

I'm not sure what Diane Silver was thinking when she was making this movie, but it obviously had nothing to do with Richard Wright's novel, which the movie is based on.

We read the novel this past summer for AP English 12, and just watched the film. During periodic note-taking and checking of the clock, I contemplated the chances of being struck by lightning. Of course, the sky was completely clear, and I was forced to watch the rest of the movie... and then write a 5-paragraph essay on it.

Wright's novel discussed very real themes, of the mind of a killer and the psychology behind it. Silver's movie turned a murderer into a victim, which is NOT what Wright wanted (see: "How Bigger was Born" 454).

I'm going to make this short and sweet: if you want to leave your consciousness, in Raphael Lambert's words, unsullied, skip the movie and read the book. The 1986 adaptation is not thought-provoking material.

... ::sigh:: Now I have to write the essay.


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