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Bright Road (1953)

Approved | | Drama, Music | 17 April 1953 (USA)
Based on the story "See How They Run," which ran in the June 1951 issue of "The Ladies' Home Journal" and subsequently won that year's Christopher Award. The story was written by Mary ... See full summary »

Director:

Gerald Mayer

Writers:

Emmet Lavery (screenplay), Mary Elizabeth Vroman (story "See How They Run")
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Dorothy Dandridge ... Jane Richards
Philip Hepburn Philip Hepburn ... C.T. Young
Harry Belafonte ... Mr. Williams - School Principal
Barbara Randolph ... Tanya Hamilton (as Barbara Ann Sanders)
Robert Horton ... Dr. Mitchell
Maidie Norman ... Mrs. Hamilton - Tanya's Mother
Rene Beard Rene Beard ... Booker T. Jones
Howard McNeeley Howard McNeeley ... Boyd
Robert McNeeley Robert McNeeley ... Lloyd
Patti Marie Ellis Patti Marie Ellis ... Rachel Smith
Joy Jackson Joy Jackson ... Sarahlene Babcock
Fred Moultrie Fred Moultrie ... Roger
James Moultrie James Moultrie ... George
Carolyn Ann Jackson Carolyn Ann Jackson ... Mary Louise
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Storyline

Based on the story "See How They Run," which ran in the June 1951 issue of "The Ladies' Home Journal" and subsequently won that year's Christopher Award. The story was written by Mary Elizabeth Vroman, a fourth-generation schoolteacher from the British West Indies. "Bright Road" has only one white actor in the cast, Robert Horton. Jane Richards, a young fourth-grade teacher in the South, faces a challenge in the form of 11-year-old C.T. Young, a backward boys whose pride has made him a stubborn rebel and an exalted liar. Jane believes in him, then discovers his interest in nature when he spends his time watching a caterpillar in a tree trunk as it develops a cocoon. C. T. is devoted to his family and also to little Tanya, who adores him. When Tanya dies of viral pneumonia despite Dr. Mitchell's efforts to save her, the embittered C.T. stays away from school; when he returns, he gets into a fight and gets sent to Coventry. But when a swarm of bees invades the classroom and panics the ... Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The award story from the ladies' home journal has become the most unusual picture of the year!

Genres:

Drama | Music

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 April 1953 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

L'appel de la vie See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At around 15 minutes C.T. and Tanya stop to watch a bird in a tree singing. Tanya calls to the bird "Hello, hello", and the bird answers. C.T. then calls "Be happy, be happy" with a similar response.

The singing bird's long tail feathers and the mimicking of human voices indicate that the bird is a mockingbird.

C.T. then tells his dog "Birds got a right to live, too, so don't you go around trying to scare 'em. It's all right to chase one once in a while, but if you catch one, there's gonna be trouble". See more »

Quotes

Jane Richards: Oh yes I want to thank you for that lovely gift.
School Principal: Oh I'm glad you liked it. You know I was afraid you might have thought it was a bit too
[pause]
School Principal: too...
[pause]
Jane Richards: Too gay? No I like to be gay once in a while!
School Principal: Well that's uh,
[pause]
School Principal: that's fine, just fine.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Sweet and Low
(uncredited)
Written by Charles L. Johnson and Sidney Homer
Sung by Dorothy Dandridge
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Quietly Wonderful
24 May 2006 | by movingpicturegalSee all my reviews

Dorothy Dandridge as a young teacher, Miss Richards, on her first year of teaching and the relationship she has with a student named C.T. C.T. is from a large, poor family, he's slightly troubled, won't study, arrives late his first day, and just doesn't care about school - yet he is kind, bright, and always seems to have a smile. Now in the fourth grade, he has spent most of his school years flunking and spending two years in each grade. Miss Richards tries to help him and meantime has a small flirtation (yeah, really quite small) with the hunky, guitar-playing, school principal (Harry Belafonte). C.T. has a soft spot in his own heart for his pretty little schoolmate, Tanya, and the two have a sweet little romance with walks home from school hand in hand.

Well, this film is really a sort of hidden little jewel - how'd I manage to miss it all these years?! They also manage to fit in a few singing spots for Harry Belafonte and Dorothy Dandridge, who gives a very sensitive portrayal of the new teacher (with interesting voice-overs of her inner voice speaking to herself). She also looks quite lovely in plain make-up and clothing. A special and different film.


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