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Down in the Delta (1998)

PG-13 | | Drama | 25 December 1998 (USA)
0:26 | Trailer

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Rosa Lynn sends her druggie daughter Loretta and her children Thomas and Tracy away from the big city to live with their uncle Earl in the ancestral home in rural Mississippi. Earl puts ... See full summary »



2 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Earl Sinclair
Rosa Lynn
Kulani Hassen ...
Dr. Rainey
Sandra Caldwell ...
Colleen Williams ...
Tourist Woman
Richard Blackburn ...
Tourist Man
Philip Akin ...


Rosa Lynn sends her druggie daughter Loretta and her children Thomas and Tracy away from the big city to live with their uncle Earl in the ancestral home in rural Mississippi. Earl puts Loretta to work in his restaurant, Just Chicken, while also telling them about the generations of their family, the Sinclairs, dating back to their time in slavery before the the Civil War. Written by Jon Reeves <jreeves@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Sometimes, the last place you expected to be is the one place you've always belonged...



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for drug related material | See all certifications »




Release Date:

25 December 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Daroma La'Delta  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$1,636,678 (USA) (25 December 1998)


$5,662,985 (USA) (19 February 1999)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Many people board the bus at the depot, but while traveling cross country the bus is clearly empty (apart from the driver). See more »


Will Sinclair: I don't know how she's going to recognize me. She thinks somebody else is her own dead mother.
Earl Sinclair: Oh, yeah? Maybe somethin' come back if she more of ya.
Will Sinclair: Dad, how many times we got to talk about this? I'm not moving back to Mississippi.
Earl Sinclair: But your roots are here.
Will Sinclair: You taught me that my roots are here.
Will Sinclair: [pause, looks at the checkerboard] Whose move is it? You always do this. Why do you always start talking and then you...
Earl Sinclair: Your move.
Earl Sinclair: Your move!
See more »


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No Man's Land
Written by Mark Dubuclet and Eric McAlister
Performed by The One & Only
Published by Irving Music Inc., Dubuclet Publishing, and Stunk Funk Music (BMI)
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User Reviews

Fine Acting and Story
2 April 1999 | by (Woodstock, NY) – See all my reviews

A warm and life affirming story. Alfre Woodard gives another memorable, emotionally compelling performance in a story that engages from frame one. Al Freeman's fabulously inspired and understated performance as Uncle Earl is a lesson in how to fully inhabit a character without chewing the scenery. His is a most convincing and moving performance that should not be missed.

Mary Alice has become one of the great African American screen matriarchs now, possessing a vulnerable serenity in this role which underscores our hopes for the rebirth of the urban progeny at the core of this film.

Maya Angelou got up to directorial speed fairly quickly in this debut although some blocking and editing from early in the project (in opening scenes especially) are rough. She doesn't show a professional sense of timing in many of her edits and scene endings, but the heart she brings to her material more than compensates. And there are instances of excellent intercharacter cutting in scenes where it counts. It's fair to say that there's not a wasted scene anywhere in this film. It's equally fair to say that some scenes show more directorial finesse than others. Look for even greater work from this master poet.

The only disappointment is Stanley Clarke's score, an unfortunate embarrassment for Mr. Clarke who is an accomplished jazz bassist otherwise. His score shows little ability to become emotionally involved with dramatic material and no skill with scenic beats and transitions. Clarke had a major opportunity to deliver here and he blew it -- and this is truly a hard movie to screw up.

"Down in the Delta" is movie blessed with plenty of heart and a talented ensemble that delivers. Well worth two hours of your time.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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