The Last Brickmaker in America (TV Movie 2001) Poster

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Pretty good TV movie, about a young boy's dealing with family issues.
TxMike10 October 2001
I don't know why my original comment on this film never showed up. So here is my much abbreviated version that I can remember. Even though Sidney Poitier plays the "title" role as the Last Bricklayer, he is really incidental to the story. It is about a young boy who is caught up between his busy mother and demanding father who are separated. In trouble again at school, he is digging a ditch when Poitier comments on the clay, how it wants to be a brick. Intrigued, the boy visits Poitier who has the contract for the bricks to build the new library addition in honor of his deceased wife.

Boy actually moves in with the brickmaker, helps him. A storm washes out the first batch of drying bricks, so they get behind. Son asks mom to help, she says she doesn't have time. Son is disappointed, not so much because Poitier may not meet his contract, but because mom refused a favor her son asks. Eventually she helps, dad helps, gets fired for it, bricks are delivered on time, son, mom, and dad begin a new understanding of what is important, and perhaps a family reconciliation. Good story, well-done, and Poitier is his usual superb self.
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10/10
An American movie without guns!!
jmero6 February 2004
Nice, little story. Loved to see them make bricks. Ok, the story ain't the most rivetting, but it's nicely told without outrageous effects. Or is it that I long back to a time when the world seemed a more pleasant place?
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10/10
The Last Brickmaker in America
marthafernicola30 June 2006
I truly enjoyed this movie as it reminded me of my hometown. After reviewing this movie I knew I had to obtain a copy for my students.This movie was filmed in my hometown of Gastonia, NC. My grandmother went to the old Central High (Washington High) in the movie and my 7 grade history teacher and her husband own the yellow house that the brick maker lived in. I want very much to purchase a VHS or DVD of this movie to show to my students. I teach in an alternative school in Georgia and this movie will help me to explain how to improve your self-esteem, get along with your parents and become an active citizen. Please email me if you know where I can get a copy. Thank you ever so much!
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10/10
Is this movie on VHS or DVD?
jwlindsey16 April 2007
I could not find a customer service or contact us choice on your site??I am a BIG fan of Sidney Poitier and really loved this movie when I saw it on TV in 2001. A wonderful drama with great performances and serious subject matter. I logged on to try to find a company or on line store where I can get a copy of this movie? Have been looking everywhere trying to find a copy to purchase--please let me know if you know if it is on VHS or DVD and where I can get a copy if it is?? Sidney Poitieris always fantastic as he was in this film or if not available please let me know if you know if it will be shown on TV again any time soon and if so, what date, time and network channel?? Thanks so much.
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Great MOW! Too bad the producers still owe me 400 bucks...
klgretrt5 October 2001
...a thoughtfully written, performed, and photographed Movie of the Week, which took full advantage of rustic rural and suburban locations in and near Charlotte, NC.

Compared to the usual "grind 'em out" television long-form projects, there is a lot of texture and attention to detail: cast performances, production design, cinematography, and even if the casting and direction of the background players.

  • a film very enjoyable to view!
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5/10
Predictable but worth watching for Poitier fans
Dan Zelman12 June 2001
This film was supposed to air on CBS on April 15, 2001. For some reason CBS ended up changing the schedule so as far as I know this film as never been shown. I got a promo copy somehow. Sidney Poitier is a 73 year old brickmaker. He has recently lost his wife. He befriends a young troubled boy and teaches him some of life's lessons. The movie is predictable but still worth taking a look at if you are a Sidney Poitier fan.
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I Feel Bad for Sidney Poitier
dragoneyez014 April 2003
Poitier managed to get involved in two predictable piles of TV-movie mush within two years (1999's The Simple Life... and this). I remember watching this over a year ago on TV. The movie continues Poitier's career doldrums. He contributes a good performance, but writing and the overall horrible movie overshadow whatever attempts he makes.

Poitier plays Henry Cobb, a man who makes bricks the old fashioned way to make a living. He has a recently lost his wife and is depressed about how his career is becoming obsolete. Then he meets a young boy who works for him over the summer to meet a deadline for bricks. And the usual "bonding... wise old guy teaches kid stuff" plot continues on and on.

The rest of the cast isn't memorable, and don't contribute anything to rise the movie above below average / marginal. The writing was hurried and the dialogue is unrealistic for the most part. Poitier is a great actor, but, his talents are wasted.

I watched it once a while back, and will never watch it again. I wish Hollywood would give Poitier a roll in a movie that gets released to theatres where he can actually shine and show his full ability.

Unless you like sappy family oriented TV-movie of the week's like this ... or, you are a fan of Sidney; avoid this like the plague.

Rating: 3/10
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10/10
Sometimes you really can't see the forest for the trees
dunsuls-120 April 2013
Maybe its corny,maybe its too family values but maybe because the world is going to hell in a hand basket it might just be time to reflect and rediscover values that made this country great at one time and perhaps once again hopefully and that is the value of this film.The story is simples,even dull but if you don't see part of what YOUR life was,or wished it could be or even tries to be today,than,with respect,your lying to yourself. Perhaps your moving to fast and have lost sight of"the forest for the trees"THAT my friends is the simple yet so often missed or just forgotten message of a truly rare family film as relevant today as in the year it was released 2001,and running only 85 minutes.The cast is headed by legendary Sidney Poitier as a 76 year old brickmaker whose wife of 60 years has recently died,and a few other fine character actors along with a relative unknown Cody Newton,as a 13 year old troubled teen, weave a story that won't work for everyone but just might let you see that damned forest that those trees keep getting in the way of if your willing to give it a chance and open those big baby blues of yours.
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7/10
The sturdiest stuff
bkoganbing26 September 2015
Unless he decides there's a project out there worthy of his talents The Last Brickmaker In America is the last time Sidney Poitier was seen on the big screen or small. His role as a bricklayer running a one man shop is like his Walter Miller from Lillies Of The Field, married and raised a family and found a trade.

It's a trade that Poitier is proud of. But bricks can be better mass produced and they're used less and less in construction, something that Poitier can't understand. I confess I don't either because as he says it bricks and stone are impervious to the elements and they're the sturdiest stuff out there. Poitier is pretty sturdy stuff himself, he's carrying on despite the recent loss of his wife.

Into his life comes young Cody Newton who is proving to be something of a disciplinary problem for both his mother Wendy Crewson and father Jay O. Sanders. The kid is acting out a lot, but it's a cry for attention and help. So Poitier and Newton bond and he starts helping him make bricks to fulfill a contract to build a library.

I saw this on a religious television and unusual since there was no overt religious message in The Last Brickmaker In America. But there is a simple message about love of craft and love of family. And in mass production that's something that's hard to acquire.

If in fact this is Sidney Poitier's farewell film, it's a beautiful one to go out on. His scenes with young Mr. Newton are really special. The Last Brickmaker In America is one fine family film.
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7/10
I thought I had seen this before
jasunsfavorite9 February 2015
I kept thinking, why does this story look so familiar? I figured it out. It was remade about a woodcarver.

They are both corny, I enjoyed the redemptive storyline. I appreciate a movie that lets you think through the plot instead of throwing all the details in your face.

I wondered if there are really 4,000 yr old bricks from Babylon on display in some museum somewhere? Craftsmanship is an art and lost from society. What would I do if that were my son?

Definitely, a family movie. I recommend that you watch with your family. I watched it on Inspirational channel

check it out The Woodcarver http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2047890/
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10/10
One of the best movies in a long time!
eas526 December 2013
This is one of the better movies I have seen in a long time, I have always admired Sidney Poitier as an actor with integrity and heart. This movie brought tears to my eyes and joy to my heart. This movie speaks of what made this country great and could again if people care enough to get themselves out of the way and care about others more as this movie speaks so eloquently of. This is a movie to be shared and if history does it right will become a classic for future generations to come. Cody Newton who played Danny Potter the child who was angry and unable to explain why he was angry until he met his friend, Henry Cobb who helped him find how to be a good person with dreams and an outlook toward learning how to become a good man. Mr. Cobb taught so many folks how to get out of their own way and care about someone more than themselves.
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8/10
A great story...a poor movie.
Sharon23 February 2009
Warning: Spoilers
This movie had so much potential, yet all was lost in the production. They had big acting names (Sidney Portier, Piper Laurie), a good story line, beautiful setting, and a great moral. However, the main thought that comes to mind while watching is: why didn't they try to make this better? The dialog was poor, the acting poor, and the story line was disjointed. It left me with more questions than satisfaction. However...

Why is it that good, clean, for-everyone entertainment like this is always pushed aside to produce horrific, violent, foul and sex-driven movies? I would rather watch these poorly produced, poorly-filmed stories, than those that turn my stomach. But it could be so different!
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7/10
Lame? No. Typical of the genre? Yes.
imdbusersareapparentlyal16 September 2008
To the posters looking for this on video, "Feature Films for Families" has released it on DVD. To anyone who knows that company's work, it should clue you in on what to expect immediately. It's not Hollywood, but it's quite good for a watch on the couch with the kids.

Sidney Poitier does fine with the role. True 'nuff, it doesn't have, perhaps, the depth of many of his other roles, but for what it is, he does a fine job and it's very enjoyable because of him.

As for the other actors, no stellar performances, but this thing isn't *supposed* to be a blockbuster. This is a "family movie" from a company that specializes in this market, not a big Hollywood production. It's the sort of thing you watch with the entire family and then talk about afterward ... what did you learn about {something}? Does our family have any problems similar to the one in the film? Have you ever felt like running away? etc., etc.

Yes, it's predictable and *of course* it has a "sappy" ending (although, IMHO, it could be a lot worse on that). "Everyone lives happily (ever) after". So what? Are we supposed to wish for a divorce and Poitier to die in the brick kiln? Lol, I'm amazed at the cynicism around here....

Egbert O'Foo
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10/10
The Last Brickmaker in America
tmsharel18 April 2007
The Last Brickmaker in America starring Sydney Poitier is about a marriage reconciliation. We need more movies like this. Parents who split cause children to lose hope which is what happened in this movie to Danny Potter. Danny became a troublemaker, and even though his parents were involved in his life, his Dad having moved out of the family home traumatized him. It happens every day to kids whose parents "grow apart." But Mr. Cobb's gentle prodding led the parents to reconcile for the sake of their son. Imagine the happy kids all over the continent if this happened every day. Many parents go on to remarry bring stepparents into children's lives. That has not worked out well for children. Thank you, Mr. Brickmaker, for pointing out that children need the home they were born into.
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5/10
`What makes you think I care?'
The_Movie_Cat4 June 2003
Sidney Poitier stars in a film that's in no way similar to Noah Dearborn, whereby his wizened old man uses his knowledge of construction skills against the industrialisation of the big city. Comes complete with flashback sequences.

Sidney plays Henry Cobb, a bricklayer who has eight weeks to make 22,000 bricks. Coming soon – Robert De Niro as Tony Smith, postal worker. He has a fortnight to make the perfect perforation on a stamp. Al Pacino is John Benson, stationery retailer. He has six weeks to make 36,468 staples.

This man's won two Academy Awards, you know...
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7/10
Simple but good movie
lgilbertom16 May 2004
Warning: Spoilers
The Last Brickmaker in America is a simple movie but is a good one. Ok, this movie is predictable too, but many movies in those days are, so i don't care about this.

-------------------------Spoilers -----------------------------

This movie bring Sidney Poitier in the role of Mr Henry Cobb a brickmaker that lost his wife recently. He don't see any reason for his life. Every change when a man appears in his house to bring a document that release him from any charges about the new library. From this point Cobb recover the taste for his life.

--------------------------------------

With good performances with a simple but solid script these movie will go envoy the kind of people that is not expecting action and violence.
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3/10
Should have been a GREAT movie!
David31 December 2004
What a wasted opportunity. Sidney Portier as an aging, proud black man. Even though the dialogue was stilted and unconvincing - what really killed this movie was the awful casting. I mean AWFUL! The kid that Portier's character bonds with is simply unsufferably bad. It was absolutely impossible to make any kind of connection with any actor of any age that performs this poorly.

I was really hoping for a genuinely inspirational tearjerker. Instead, I kept finding myself thinking, "Slap the hell out of that brat!"

I am a huge fan of Portier and I was so saddened as this movie progressed. I was angry at the writer, director, and producers. I still am.
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The Last Straw
tedg22 January 2002
Warning: Spoilers
Spoilers herein.

I have no idea who thinks people will be attracted to such things as this: US society has entered a phase of romanticizing Blacks like we did Native Americans. Dangerous business that. And there really is a sector of society that soaks up, even needs the thin platitudes one finds trotted out here. Everyone is noble -- everyone is finally correcting a prior error. The destiny of everyone in the world is optimistic.

That such a thing exists should give us concern about our own intrinsic hope as a people. Anyone who needs this treacle is seriously sick.
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1/10
Predictable, schlocky embarrassment.
ampersandranch28 January 2002
My apologies to Mr. Poitier, who must have seen something worthwhile in this terrible script. In fact, he is the only (barely) redeeming quality of this pile of sugar-coated poop. If I had written anything this bad in a high-school level composition course, I would have failed. Thirteen-year-old Danny speaks as if he's been in therapy for years -- he has a better self awareness than people twice his age. Therefore, it is impossible to believe for even a moment that he isn't reading from a script. Danny's parents, of course, are portrayed as Mean and Selfish, while Mr. Cobb (Sidney Poitier) is the Kindly Local Gentleman With Self Respect and the obligatory Haunted Past. If I hadn't been trapped on an airplane, I would never have watched this through to the end (which was made clear within the first 10 minutes of the movie, anyway).
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