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A Raisin in the Sun (2008)

PG-13 | | Drama | TV Movie 25 February 2008
2:37 | Trailer

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An African-American family struggles with poverty, racism, and inner conflict as they strive for a better way of life. Based on the play by Lorraine Hansberry.



(teleplay), (play)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 9 wins & 21 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Willy Harris (as Ron C. Jones)
Earline Johnson
Rudy Webb ...
Mr Johnson
Walter Lee Sr
Mrs. Arnold
Paul Stephen ...
Mr. Arnold


After moving to Chicago's South Side in the 1950s, a black family struggles to deal with poverty, racism, and inner conflict as they strive for a better life. Adapted for the screen from Lorraine Hansberry's play, this is a moving portrait of dreams deferred. Written by Anonymous

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PG-13 | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

25 February 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El color de los sueños  »

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Company Credits

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Phylicia Rashad's sister, Debbie Allen, played "Beneatha Younger" in the Broadway musical, "Raisin". See more »


When they are packing up the apartment, Momma is working on putting sticks around a small plant to protect it to wrap it. The number and location of the sticks are not in sync with the timing. See more »


Asagai: There is something wrong when all the dreams of a household depend on a man dying.
See more »


Featured in 15th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards (2009) See more »


I Dream Of Love And You
Written by Mervyn Warren
Performed by Mervyn Warren
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User Reviews

This 2nd TV Remake of the Lorraine Hansberry classic works thanks to meticulous direction and the powerhouse performances from three exceptional actresses...
26 February 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A RAISIN IN THE SUN is the 2nd television remake of the 1961 film based on the play by Lorraine Hansberry and the recent Broadway revival about broken dreams that centers on the Younger family, a hard-working black family living in a cramped Chicago tenement in 1959, to whom we are introduced to the day before the family is to receive a $10,000.00 insurance check and the tensions that arise from the plans that the young patriarch of the family has already made for money that really isn't his. Lena Younger (Phylicia Rachad) is a strong,God-fearing woman who has worked as a housekeeper to a white family for years but has decided to retire because of her impending windfall (the check is only coming because of the death of Lena's husband). Walter Lee Younger (Executive Producer Sean "Puffy" Combs)is a chauffeur who wants to use Lena's money to start his own business. Walter's wife, Ruth (Audra McDonald)is a strong-willed woman who finds herself constantly torn between her husband and her mother-in-law, often at the expense of her son Travis(Justin Martin). Beneatha (Sanaa Lathan) is Walter's flighty, free-spirited sister, struggling to find her identity as a black woman, full of more dreams than she can handle, which are further complicated by her relationships with two completely different kind of men. This story first hit theaters in 1961 with Sidney Poiter as Walter Lee, Ruby Dee as Ruth, and Claudia McNeill as Lena. Combs has brought the cast of the highly successful Broadway revival (which won Tony Awards for Rachad and McDonald) to the small screen and aided by the detailed direction of Kenny Leon, has opened up the story for the television screen without losing the story's intensity or intimacy. Phylicia Rachad is nothing short of brilliant, in the performance of her career, as Lena, the proud matriarch struggling to hold her family together and hoping that this money might help. Audra McDonald, who has won 4 Tony Awards for her work in Broadway musicals and won a fifth for this role on Broadway, proves that she is as powerful an actress as she is songstress as she brings a depth and substance to the pivotal role of Ruth that I have never seen before. Sanaa Lathan also offers one of her best performances as the bombastic Beneatha, a walking talking hurricane of emotions struggling to find who she is in a world where she feels like she is suffocating. Sadly, Sean Combs had some big shoes to step into, taking on a role originated by Sidney Poiter and for me, his performance just doesn't work...there is an emptiness to the performance that implies Combs really doesn't understand a man like Walter Lee. Combs also seems to be unaware at times that he is now in front of a television camera and not in a Broadway theater and that certain facets of his performance have to be taken in and controlled, which can be partly blamed on the director I suppose, but this problem only exists with Combs, not his leading ladies. Poitier brought a dignity and maturity to the role of Walter Lee that Combs is missing...he plays the role as a petulant child, diluting a lot of its power. Despite Combs problematic performance, this film stands as a worthy tribute to its predecessors thanks to the mostly effective direction by Kenny Leon and three extraordinary performances from Sanaa Lathan, Audra McDonald, and especially Phylicia Rachad.

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