To Sleep with Anger (1990)

PG  |   |  Drama  |  12 October 1990 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 782 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 20 critic

Charles Burnett's beautiful, poetic masterpiece is novelistic in its narrative density and richness of characterization. Harry Mention, an enigmatic drifter from the South, comes to visit ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sunny (as Devaughn Walter Nixon)
Reina King ...
Cory Curtis ...
Babe Brother
Paula Bellamy ...
Mrs. Baker
Wonderful Smith ...
Ethel Ayler ...
DeForest Covan ...
Fred Jenkins (as DeForest Coven)


Charles Burnett's beautiful, poetic masterpiece is novelistic in its narrative density and richness of characterization. Harry Mention, an enigmatic drifter from the South, comes to visit an old acquaintance named Gideon, who now lives in South-Central Los Angeles. Harry's charming, down-home manner hides a malicious penchant for stirring up trouble, and he exerts a strange and powerful eff... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


When Harry comes to town, he brings good times, bad times... And a lot of trouble!




PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

12 October 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dormir con rabia  »

Box Office


$1,200,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Stand By Me
Written by Ben E. King, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller
Performed by Ethel Ayler
See more »

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User Reviews

...then the last preacher said, "My sin is the worst of all".
12 December 2009 | by (Nova Scotia, Canada) – See all my reviews

Maybe it was the bizarre photo of a smirking, card-holding Danny Glover that always gave me the wrong impression of this film. I'm not entirely sure what I expected it to be, but I'm relatively certain I wasn't expecting a quiet family drama.

Writer/director Charles Burnett doesn't reach hard for big statements. The film appears to take place in the 1950s-60s (I couldn't be sure), but the time period isn't chosen out of a desire to create a plot focused on race relations. In fact, the drama is entirely centered around a single small family, and a wild friend from way in the past (Harry, played by Danny Glover). Cinematographer Walt Lloyd creates a familiar environment, whether or not it happens to be personally familiar to the viewer. Everything feels warm and slightly worn, including personalities and ways of speaking.

Although my personal family history couldn't be more different than the family depicted in this film, the character of Samuel "Babe Brother" (Richard Brooks) really hit home for me. His attitude on life and relationship with his father mirrors my own all too closely. It's the honestly of character depiction and interaction that brings out so much truth from Charles Burnett's writing. Everything comes together to make a perfectly realized story of absolute truth. This may just be a great film.

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