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 »


James Jarvis: He was on your side, which makes what happened...
Robert Ndela: He was on no one's side, sir. Except, perhaps... yours and mine.
See more »


Remake of Cry, the Beloved Country (1951) See more »


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

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User Reviews

A 5 hanky story if you're NOT easily moved.
28 February 1999 | by (Mesa, AZ) – See all my reviews

I could not believe as I read other reviewers of this movie that they thought it "irrelevant"! The struggle for equality, peace and love is NEVER irrelevant. This was a movie that by any standards is brillant and moving. James Earl Jones does a magnificent job of playing the main character with dignity and restraint. He makes you suffer with him as a result. A drama coach I once had told me, don't you cry, let them cry. He does both through his amazing minimalist acting. He doesn't waste himself on meaningless gestures & histronics, he lets you see the suffering of his soul. Equally brillant is Richard Harris as the father of the son killed by Jones' son. These two men are brought together in the worst of circumstances and that is when the true character of the man is revealed. Despite all his racist comments earlier in the movie, he overcomes his own self-hate (translated to Africans) to see the bigger picture that his own son knew all along. Someone once said, you cannot hate anything in someone else, unless it reflects something you hate within yourself. Through the pain & death of his son, he transcends his own sense of self-loathing. He sees with the eyes of love that people are just people, no matter what color their skin is. A movie that communicates that is never irrelevant or unimportant.

21 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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