6.8/10
282
14 user 5 critic

Nightjohn (1996)

PG-13 | | Drama | TV Movie 1 June 1996
Sarny, a 12-year-old slave girl in the ante-bellum South, faces a relatively hopeless life. Her chief duties at the plantation of Clel Waller are serving at table, spitting tobacco juice on... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(book), (teleplay)
Reviews

Watch Now

From $4.99 on Amazon Video

ON DISC
2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A man who despises his upwardly mobile lawyer brother reluctantly agrees to be best man at his wedding.

Director: Charles Burnett
Stars: Everett Silas, Jessie Holmes, Gaye Shannon-Burnett
Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Director: Charles Burnett
Stars: Lynn Redgrave, James Earl Jones, Margot Kidder
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  
Director: Charles Burnett
Stars: Danny Glover, Chrisjan Appollus, Obed Emvula
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

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 »

Director: Charles Burnett
Stars: Danny Glover, Paul Butler, DeVaughn Nixon
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

One think for sure is The Melanic Religion Organization has adopted Prophet Nat Turner 1800-1831 as our Prophet in 1983 and moving forward. The Prophet was right in line with our belief ... See full summary »

Director: Charles Burnett
Stars: Herbert Aptheker, Charles Burnett, Resharma Coleman
The Wedding (TV Movie 1998)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  
Director: Charles Burnett
Stars: Halle Berry, Eric Thal, Lynn Whitfield
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

J.J. is a rookie in the Sheriff's Department and the first black officer at that station. Racial tensions run high in the department as some of J.J.'s fellow officers resent his presence. ... See full summary »

Director: Charles Burnett
Stars: Michael Boatman, Lori Petty, Erich Anderson
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Stan works in drudgery at a slaughterhouse. His personal life is drab. Dissatisfaction and ennui keep him unresponsive to the needs of his adoring wife, and he must struggle against ... See full summary »

Director: Charles Burnett
Stars: Henry G. Sanders, Kaycee Moore, Charles Bracy
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A proud strip club owner is forced to come to terms with himself as a man, when his gambling addiction gets him in hot water with the mob, who offer him only one alternative.

Director: John Cassavetes
Stars: Ben Gazzara, Timothy Carey, Seymour Cassel
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Clel Waller
...
John
...
Old Man
...
Callie Waller
...
Outlaw
...
Dr. Chamberlain
Joel Traywick ...
Jeff Waller (as Joel Thomas Traywick)
Allison Jones ...
Sarny
Patty Mack ...
Evelyn
Deborah Duke ...
Lethe
Danny Nelson ...
Reverend Osee Rush
Monica Ford ...
Egypt
Gerald Brown ...
Joseph
Robin Michelle McClamb ...
Sarnys Mother (as Robin McLamb-Vaughn)
Steven Sutherland ...
Alan Bowen
Edit

Storyline

Sarny, a 12-year-old slave girl in the ante-bellum South, faces a relatively hopeless life. Her chief duties at the plantation of Clel Waller are serving at table, spitting tobacco juice on roses to prevent bugs, and secretly conveying intimate messages between Waller's wife, Callie, and Dr. Chamberlaine. Then Nightjohn arrives. A former runaway slave who bears telltale scars on his back, he takes Sarny under his wing and, in exchange for a pinch of tobacco, secretly begins to teach her to read and write, a crime punishable by death. "Words," he says, "are freedom. Slavery is made of words: laws, deeds and passes." He starts by drawing letters in the dirt and cautions her that no one must know. At her baptism, Sarny steals a Bible that belongs to Waller's son, Jeffrey, and practices reading by lantern-light in the slave quarters. The same Bible serves another purpose when, on a blank page taken from it, Nightjohn forges a pass for Outlaw, a young slave, to use in escaping to freedom ... Written by Echo Bridge Home Entertainment

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Words Are Freedom

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some scenes of racial oppression and abuse

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 June 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Das Ende der Nacht  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Goofs

All the women's dresses have zippers in the back of them. The zipper wasn't invented until 1917. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

If you have any affection for the printed word, this is a movie to cherish.
8 May 2000 | by (Colorado) – See all my reviews

A hymn to learning and determination, "Nightjohn" is also a thoughtful and moving film about slavery, perhaps the best I've seen. All the actors are superb, the script is winning, the insight into human relations cuts deep. Charles Burnett is one of our best unknown directors, and the fact that he can turn out a film like "Nightjohn" for Hallmark/Disney should indicate to those in power in Hollywood that more of his work should end up on the big screen. Great stuff!


16 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss Nightjohn (1996) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?