Life is rough in the coal mines of 1876 Pennsylvania. A secret group of Irish emigrant miners, known as the Molly Maguires, fights against the cruelty of the mining company with sabotage ... See full summary »
Mary Stuart, who was named Queen of Scotland when she was only six days old, is the last Roman Catholic ruler of Scotland. She is imprisoned at he age of 23 by her cousin Elizabeth Tudor, ... See full summary »
Dramatizes the events in 1955-1956 in Montgomery, Alabama, when blacks boycotted public transport becuase they were forced to sit at the back. Odessa works as a maid for the Thompsons, and as well as she is treated, she feels it is her duty to walk to work, even if it means she is exhaused, and gets to work late. Written by
Murray Chapman <email@example.com>
The real life, 1955, bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama provides the backdrop for this fictional story about an upper middle class white homemaker named Miriam Thompson (Sissy Spacek) who gradually becomes disenchanted with racial segregation. Her changed attitude comes about as a direct result of her Black maid, a woman of deep moral principles named Odessa Cotter (Whoopi Goldberg).
Odessa normally would take the bus to work. But she supports the boycott, and therefore chooses to walk the long distance from her shabby house to the manicured, suburban Thompson home. Yet, despite several incidences wherein Southern whites display their hatred of the boycott and of Blacks in general, Odessa, with the support of her own family and her religious faith, maintains a respectful and thoughtful attitude toward Miriam and the Thompson family. The story is told in retrospect, from the viewpoint of Miriam's daughter, Mary Catherine (Lexi Randall), who was seven years old at the time.
There is nothing subtle about this slow paced story. It is forceful and frank. The overt hatred by Southern whites toward Blacks is palpable. In no character is this odious racial superiority more evident than in Miriam's cigar chomping brother-in-law, Tunker (well played by Dylan Baker).
But Miriam and Odessa relate to each other as individuals, not as members of some group. Perceptive and sensitive, Miriam comes to understand that Southern racist attitudes, those feelings and emotions she grew up with, are passed down through generations. "You just don't question it", she tells Odessa, apologetically.
Both Miriam and Odessa are multi-dimensional and sufficiently unique to give the story depth of characterization. The acting is fine. Whoopi Goldberg in particular gives a great performance, along with the always reliable Sissy Spacek. The film's production design and period costumes are credible. Lighting is subdued. I liked the background gospel music, but I could have wished for even more. "We're Marching To Zion" not only is a great gospel hymn; it's also the film's theme.
Technically well made, "The Long Walk Home" has value mostly as historical perspective on an important contemporary social issue. As such, the film's message is just as relevant now as it was fifty years ago.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?