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The Power of One (1992)

PG-13 | | Drama | 27 March 1992 (USA)
An English boy, living in Africa during World War II, through his boxing prowess, becomes a symbol of hope, in a time of war.

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(novel), (screenplay)
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1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Nomadlozi Kubheka ...
Nanny
Agatha Hurle ...
Midwife
Nigel Ivy ...
...
Mother
Brendan Deary ...
Winston Mangwarara ...
Tonderai Infant
...
Tonderai Masenda ...
Tonderai
Cecil Zilla Mamanzi ...
Ranch Foreman
...
Afrikaner Minister
Robbie Bulloch ...
Jaapie Botha
Gordon Arnell ...
Minister at Mother's Funeral
Jeremiah Mnisi ...
Dabula Manzi
...
Doc
Paul Tingay ...
Grandfather
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Storyline

The Power of One is an intriguing story of a young English boy named Peekay and his passion for changing the world. Growing up he suffered as the only English boy in an Afrikaans school. Soon orphaned, he was placed in the care of a German national named Professor von Vollensteen (a.k.a. "Doc"), a friend of his grandfather. Doc develops Peekay's piano talent and Peekay becomes "assistant gardener" in Doc's cactus garden. It is not long after WWII begins that Doc is placed in prison for failure to register with the English government as a foreigner. Peekay makes frequent visits and meets Geel Piet, an inmate, who teaches him to box. Geel Piet spreads the myth of the Rainmaker, the one who brings peace to all of the tribes. Peekay is cast in the light of this myth. After the war Peekay attends an English private school where he continues to box. He meets a young girl, Maria, with whom he falls in love. Her father, Professor Daniel Marais, is a leader of the Nationalist Party of South ... Written by Greg Brunson <gmbtiger@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He's had to fight all his life. Now he's fighting for theirs. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some areas of strong violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

| |

Language:

Release Date:

27 March 1992 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

O Poder de um Jovem  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

$2,827,107 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Fourth and final, as of June 2015, of four collaborations of John G. Avildsen and screenwriter Robert Mark Kamen, who previously worked on The Karate Kid (1984), The Karate Kid Part II (1986), and The Karate Kid Part III (1989). See more »

Goofs

When PK's character goes from 12 to 18 years old, the caption is "Johannesburg 1948". After the classroom scene and as PK and Morrie are walking past the fountain after the art lesson, Morrie says, "...as the Queen has for boules..." In 1948, George VI was the monarch. Elizabeth II, his daughter, did not ascend to the throne until 1952, four years later. However, the wife of a British King is known as the "Queen". Therefore, Morrie may have been referring to George VI's wife, Queen Elizabeth (later known as "The Queen Mother" after her daughter ascended to the throne). See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Title Card: In the 1680s, Dutch, French and Germans fled religious persecution in Europe and settled in Southern Africa. They called themselves the Afrikaners. White Africans. / For the next 250 years, the British Empire fought the Afrikaners for control of the land, the gold and 20 million Native Africans. / In 1948, a conservative Afrikaner government was voted into power. A system of segregation first introduced by the English was declared the law of the land. / The English never gave the ...
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Connections

References Romeo and Juliet (1933) See more »

Soundtracks

9th Symphony
Written by Ludwig van Beethoven
Arranged by Hans Zimmer
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User Reviews

An american ending to an african story
5 February 1999 | by (Frankfurt, Germany) – See all my reviews

It's been a while since I have seen the movie for the first time. Though I really liked the first two thirds of the film (up to the point, when Stephen Dorff takes over the main-character (but that has nothing to do with his performance)). I found, that the last part was strange and somehow out of continuity. The first part strictly sticks to the idea of experiencing Apartheid from the view of a boy, who is growing up in a system of classes and injustice and who himself fails to really belong to any of these classes. The last part however suddenly tries to be a lot of movies in one: Action, Romance, Patriotism and a Historic Anti-apartheid picture. And I think, trying to do too much, it failed to be anything of the above in the end.

The reason I'm writing this comment now is, that I am just done reading Bryce Courtenays novel. And I was really surprised to learn, that exactly after two thirds of the story, the movie totally goes its own way and ignores the course things take in the novel. The last part of the Novel is just as great as the first. If you liked the movie (or at least the first part) read the book, it's worth it!

To sum it up: I believe The Power Of One had the potential to be an outstanding picture. The music was great, the landscapes beautiful and the acting excellent (Armin Müller Stahl at his best). But unfortunately somebody tried to write an american ending for an african story and couldn't have failed worse.


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