Cry, the Beloved Country (1995)

PG-13  |   |  Drama, Thriller  |  15 December 1995 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 1,405 users   Metascore: 71/100
Reviews: 23 user | 18 critic | 14 from

A South-African preacher goes to search for his wayward son who has committed a crime in the big city.


(as Darrell James Roodt)


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



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Vusi Kunene ...
Theophilus Msimangu
John Kumalo
Tsholofelo Wechoemang ...
Dolly Rathebe ...
Mrs. Kumalo
Ramalao Makhene ...
Mpanza (as Ramolao Makhene)
Jack Robinson ...
Ian Jarvis
Jennifer Steyn ...
Mary Jarvis
Patrick Ndlovu ...
Man 1
Darlington Michaels ...
Man 2
King Twala ...
Man 3
Somizi Mhlongo ...
Young Thief
Sam Ngakane ...
John Whiteley ...
Father Vincent


South African church minister Steven Kumalo is summoned from his village to Johannesburg. There he finds that his son Absolom has been jailed in connection with a robbery in which a white man was killed. The father of the white man, James Jarvis, is a supporter of apartheid, the separation of the races which is the law of South Africa. When they encounter each other, both Kumalo and Jarvis come to unexpected realizations not only about their sons, but about the nature of their own humanity. Written by Jim Beaver <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Divided by injustice. Two men unite.


Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for emotional thematic elements and brief language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

15 December 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Llanto por la tierra amada  »

Box Office


$676,525 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The background instrumental music in the movie is the same as the theme song from the movie Zulu (1964). See more »


Robert Ndela: Sir... to my knowledge, your son never said... he believed in something, unless he believed it.
James Jarvis: I would like nothing better... than to understand my boy.
Robert Ndela: He's the only man I've ever met, black or white, who saw me for what I am. What I really am.
See more »


Version of Lost in the Stars (1974) See more »


Music by Enya
Lyrics by Roma Ryan
Performed by Enya
See more »

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User Reviews

Beautifully filmed, two great actors (Jones and Harris)
29 September 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I know most readers won't find my comments useful, but here goes anyway. I saw this movie a long long time ago but recently went looking for it on IMDb (not sure why), probably to look up snippets about Richard Harris. What I remember most about the movie was 1) the incredible cinematography - no denying that African countryside is gorgeous, and 2) the one long extended scene between James Earl Jones and Richard Harris. I don't even remember most of the dialogue, only that these two great classically-trained actors almost literally chewed the scenery. I remember that the scene was calmly played, yet both actors simmered with just-perceptible passion.

I once performed in the Kurt Weill opera of the same name. I'm accustomed to having music propel me through the story, but I didn't miss it in this movie. One casting note - probably because of recent trends in NTC (non-traditional casting), most stage shows refer to the racial divide in the opera as "whites" and "coloreds," which, under apartheid, included all non-whites. Whether or not this was intentionally done by the librettist, it gives opera companies the freedom to hire Asian-Americans, African-Americans, and Hispanic-Americans (or Europeans) as the "colored" cast. In the movie, it was starkly white and black. Nevertheless, if you lack any other reason for seeing the movie, see it for the wonderful performances of Jones and Harris.

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