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Beloved (1998)

R  |   |  Drama, History, Horror  |  16 October 1998 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 5,939 users   Metascore: 57/100
Reviews: 207 user | 77 critic | 24 from

Based on the book by Toni Morrison, in which a slave is visited by the spirit of her deceased daughter.



(novel), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 23 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Yada Beener ...
Denver aged 9
Emil Pinnock ...
Howard aged 14
Calen Johnson ...
Buglar aged 13
Baby Suggs
Kessia Embry ...
Amy Denver (as Kessia Kordelle)
Schoolteacher's Nephew
Younger Sethe (as Lisa Gay Hamilton)
Tyler Hinson ...
Baby Beloved


After Paul D. finds his old slave friend Sethe in Ohio and moves in with her and her daughter Denver, a strange girl comes along by the name of "Beloved". Sethe and Denver take her in and then strange things start to happen... Written by Jeremy Cohen <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

spirit | farm | freedom | slavery | ohio | See All (148) »


The past has a life of its own.


Drama | History | Horror

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violent images, sexuality and nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

16 October 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Agapimeni  »

Box Office


$53,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$8,165,551 (USA) (16 October 1998)


£148,377 (UK) (12 March 1999)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In a scene set on Fourth Street in Cincinnati, Danny Glover walks by the John Shillito & Co. department store. Founded in 1832, "Shillito's" (pronounced "SHIL-ih-toes"), as it was known by local residents, was the most famous department store in downtown Cincinnati for 150 years. (It was the Cincinnati equivalent of Marshall Field's in Chicago or Nordstrom's in Seattle.) In 1982, the store became "Shillito-Rike's," and in 1986, it was re-named "Lazarus," after its owner, the F.H. Lazarus Co. In 2005, Lazarus was bought out by Macy's. The 1878 Shillito's department store building still stands at Seventh and Race Streets in Cincinnati, but has been converted into condos. See more »


When Paul D first arrives and sits on the porch with Sethe, her braids are in front of her shoulders. In the full shot that comes immediately after Sethe's braids are behind her shoulders. See more »


Beloved: Where your diamonds?
Sethe: Diamonds? What would I be doing with diamonds?
Beloved: On your ears.
Sethe: Wish I did. Come to think of it, I had some crystal once. Present from the lady I used to work for.
Beloved: Tell me. Tell me your diamonds.
See more »


Referenced in The Salon (2005) See more »


Sethe's Lullaby
Written by Toni Morrison and Rachel Portman
Performed by Oprah Winfrey
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A Fair Film
18 October 1998 | by (Cambridge, MA) – See all my reviews

Beloved the movie seeks to rival Beloved the novel in telling the African-American story. While it could not attempt to capture all of the richness of Morrison's great novel, it does do what it can in the constraints of a feature movie. The performances are phenomenal, and any Oscar nominations will be well deserved. The Ohio/Kentucky background takes one's breath away and the movie really does grip its viewer during key scenes

However, Morrison's non-linear style did not translate as well on the big screen and the flashbacks are truly confusing at points. Moreover, the movie has about three natural climaxes which heighten the viewer's awareness of the length of the movie.

All told, it is a good movie, but it is not a must-see movie, nor will it have the cultural impact Oprah intended.

(As for no likeable white characters which some posts have charged, first Mr. Baldwin is a likeable white person. Second, in a post-slavery society of Ohio/Kentucky, why do there have to be any good whites in this narrow world? Oh yeah, don't be mad at Oprah for that--Morrison didn't include any in her book either)

16 of 20 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Terrible book, terrible movie. runagain
When Sethe urinated in the yard... gbruce-2
'Touch me on the inside part' scene Pornography_and_Satori
Can someone answer this for me??? blueyedangel522
Was Beloved mentally impaired? katejane10
The Key Plot Words? ctabor-1
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