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The Visit
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The Visit (2000/I) More at IMDbPro »

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The Visit -- A young man dying in prison brings his family together for a fateful visit, and proceeds to put his life back together.


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Release Date:
20 April 2001 (USA) See more »
Both father and son are in prison. But only one is behind bars.
A young man dying in prison brings his family together for a fateful visit, and proceeds to put his life back together. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
8 wins & 8 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Contains good morals and a neat style, but doesn't quite work. **1/2 (out of four) See more (8 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Obba Babatundé ... Tony
Charmin Lee White ... Mrs. Tony Waters
Terrell Mitchell ... Tony's Son
Enoh Essien ... Tony's Daughter
Christopher Babers ... Young Tony (as Chris Babers)

Jascha Washington ... Young Alex
Drew Renkewitz ... Prison Guard (as Drew Reukewitz)

Tim DeZarn ... Guard Enheim

Hill Harper ... Alex

Jennifer Freeman ... Young Felicia (as Jennifer Nicole Freeman)

Hugh Dane ... Mr. McDonald

Phylicia Rashad ... Dr. Coles

Marla Gibbs ... Lois Waters

Billy Dee Williams ... Henry

Jordan Lund ... Photographer

Efrain Figueroa ... Parole Board Member Cruz

David Clennon ... Parole Board Member Brenner

Talia Shire ... Parole Board Member Marilyn

Glynn Turman ... Parole Board Member Reingold
Amy Stiller ... Parole Board Member Julie

Kirk Acevedo ... Prospective Parolee

Rae Dawn Chong ... Felicia

Lyne Odums ... Crack House Woman
Jaime Perry ... Drug Dealer
David Roberson ... Corrections Officer
Javier Silcock ... Lamar
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Jacin Guillienne Gayent Dixon ... Guest at funeral (uncredited)
J.T. Thibodeau ... Prison Guard (uncredited)

Directed by
Jordan Walker-Pearlman 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Kosmond Russell  play
Jordan Walker-Pearlman  screenplay

Produced by
Susanne Columbia .... associate producer
Charla Driver .... line producer
Anastasia King .... associate producer
Peter Kleidman .... co-executive producer
Vicky Pike .... executive producer
Morris Ruskin .... executive producer
Kosmond Russell .... co-executive producer
Stacy Spikes .... executive producer
Jordan Walker-Pearlman .... producer
Chet Williams III .... co-executive producer
Original Music by
Michael Bearden 
Stefan Dickerson  (as Stefán Dickerson)
Ramsey Lewis 
Wallace Roney 
Stanley A. Smith 
Cinematography by
John L. Demps Jr.  (as John Ndiaga Demps)
Film Editing by
Alison Learned Wolf  (as Alison Learned)
Jordan Walker-Pearlman 
Production Design by
John Larena 
Art Direction by
Andy Brittan 
Set Decoration by
Andi Brittan 
Jennifer Knepshield  (as Jennifer Knepschield)
Costume Design by
Carlos Rosario 
Makeup Department
Steve Ratliff .... makeup artist
Production Management
Kirsten Zauber .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Kathleen Butler .... second assistant director
Frank Pinnock .... first assistant director
Kahi Taufaasau .... second second assistant director
Art Department
William Eric Barricklow .... constructor (as Eric Barricklow)
Craig Keller .... property master
Sandra Kay Muncie .... on-set decorator
Sound Department
Mike Hall .... sound mixer
Jon Mete .... supervising sound editor
Craig Ray .... boom operator
Doug Reed .... foley artist
James P. Slingluff .... sound mixer
Cameron Steenhagen .... dialogue editor
Visual Effects by
Vincent Lavares .... digital asset manager: Cinesite Hollywood
Scott Dougherty .... digital effects producer: Cinesite (uncredited)
Jerry Pooler .... visual effects supervisor: Cinesite (uncredited)
Tiffany Smith .... visual effects production coordinator: Cinesite (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Jack Arnette .... assistant camera: copter camera
Robert Blake Jr. .... additional first assistant camera
Robert Blake .... additional first assistant camera
Robert Burnette .... first assistant camera: "b" camera
Dan Carpluk .... grip
Marie Chao .... camera loader
Adam Colunga .... rigging key grip
Wayne 'Woody' Cone .... key grip
Ronald Gutierrez II .... rigging grip
Carlen Hudson .... Steadicam operator
Tom Jedrzejcyk .... best boy grip (as Tanqueray)
Philip Jordan .... grip
Joseph LaStrape III .... best boy gaffer
Thoma Reavis .... electrician
Dan Robinson .... grip
Rick Robinson .... camera operator
Idrissa Sene .... electrician
Jim Sheldon .... still photographer
Claire Skinner .... electrician
'Big Al' Stuart .... grip
Glenn Swaim .... dolly grip (as Glen Swaim)
Miguel Sánchez .... electrician
Larry Thigpen .... electrician
Joe Torres .... electrician
Kent C. Tramel .... electrician
Bela Trutz .... Steadicam operator
Dave Walker .... rigging best boy
Wade Whitley .... first assistant camera
William Rick Young .... grip
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Francois Jantzen .... costume assistant
Transportation Department
Billy Colbert .... transportation coordinator
Other crew
Charmaine Boos .... studio teacher
Ava DuVernay .... publicist
Nichola Ellis .... unit publicist
Gabi Endicott .... script supervisor
Peter Kleidman .... production executive
Kevin LaRosa .... helicopter pilot
Kathleen Mahoney .... location manager
Niamh Murphy .... dyer
Gaby Rizeanu .... script supervisor
Chet Williams III .... production executive

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Rated R for language and some drug content
107 min
Sound Mix:

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful.
Contains good morals and a neat style, but doesn't quite work. **1/2 (out of four), 28 April 2001

THE VISIT / (2000) **1/2 (out of four)

By Blake French:

"The Visit" is based on a stage play by Kosmond Russell, which itself was inspired by personal experiences with his brother in an Ohio prison. Director Jordan Walker-Pearlman added characters from his own circle of experience and synthesized the play with another previously written story to create the screenplay for "The Visit"

"The Visit" is a unique, original experience. It is not merely a prison drama, but a deep, human, passionate story about finding spiritual renewal and inner peace. Jordan Walker-Pearlman had good intentions with this often intriguing motion picture and incorporates solid voice. The movie also embarks the first full-length motion picture from Urban World Films, a new independent film company created to distribute and market minority movies.

The film stars Hill Harper as Alex Waters, a young man sentenced to 25 years in prison because of a rape he insists he did not commit. Alex spends his endless hours behind bars, with only one companion: his prison psychiatrist, Dr. Coles (Phylicia Rashad from "The Bill Cosby Show"), who strives to give Alex a greater awareness of himself.

The movie takes us inside a tortured family including Alex's successful older brother (Obba Babatunde), his unforgiving, controlling father (Billy Dee Williams), and his loving, passionate mother (Marla Gibbs). Along the way we also meet a childhood friend of Alex, an incest survivor named Felicia (Rae Dawn Chong). These characters are forced to reexamine their stance on Alex when they visit him for the first time in a number of years, only to learn he is dying of AIDS. "The Visit" is a smooth ride; there are no road bumps, awkward moments, undeveloped characters, or major plot problems, but something about it kind of feels distant. I think it's the various ideas in the thematic basis that are never completely explored. For instance, Alex insists that he never raped anyone-a massive point. But we never learn the truth, or any important information involving this issue. We don't see why he was convicted or what really happened. A plot hole this big is surely a conscious decision by the filmmakers; they probably thought this was unimportant, and wanted to focus on the movie's emotional, family, and spiritual themes. But whether he did or didn't brutally rape a woman is definitely important. For us to be involved we need to care for the main character, and I do not usually empathize with convicted rapists.

The spiritual aspects are also unclear. We know Alex's family is religious, and we know at the end Alex becomes a changed person because of his spiritual conviction, but we never see those changes. It is a crime for us to spend 107 minutes with a character as complex as Alex, and hear that he experiences complete transformation, but never see it. These little plot holes really skewer the impact of the narrative.

"The Visit" is not without its redeeming factors. Hill Harper ("He Got Game"), who received the Emerging Artist Award at the Chicago International Film Festival in 2000, provides us with a captivating, personal performance. Billy Dee Williams is also in top form, giving a stark, controlling edge to his character. The supporting cast is also very convincing.

"The Visit" contains good morals and a neat style. The format for the storytelling is unusually engaging. The film exposes Alex's inner emotions with fantasy scenes involving him and the different people in his life. Walker-Pearlman and cinematographer John Demps also work hard to create alternatives to the typical cuts back and forth between two characters sitting across from each another. I give the filmmakers credit for tying to produce a movie with a fresh flavor, but we don't fully absorb what we taste here.

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