61 user 29 critic

A Raisin in the Sun (1961)

Approved | | Drama | 18 May 1961 (UK)
2:49 | Trailer
A substantial insurance payment could mean either financial salvation or personal ruin for a poor black family.


Daniel Petrie


Lorraine Hansberry (play), Lorraine Hansberry (screenplay)
Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »





Complete credited cast:
Sidney Poitier ... Walter Lee Younger
Claudia McNeil ... Lena Younger
Ruby Dee ... Ruth Younger
Diana Sands ... Beneatha Younger
Ivan Dixon ... Asagai
John Fiedler ... Mark Lindner
Louis Gossett Jr. ... George Murchison (as Louis Gossett)
Steven Perry ... Travis Younger (as Stephen Perry)
Joel Fluellen Joel Fluellen ... Bobo
Louis Terrel Louis Terrel ... Herman
Roy Glenn ... Willie Harris


Walter Lee Younger is a young man struggling with his station in life. Sharing a tiny apartment with his wife, son, sister and mother, he seems like an imprisoned man. Until, that is, the family gets an unexpected financial windfall... Written by Greg Bruno <burlynerd@usa.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The Prize-Winning Drama That Warms The Screen With Its People and Its Passions!...




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Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


The Broadway production of "A Raisin in the Sun" by Lorraine Hansberry opened at the Ethel Barrymore Theater in New York City on March 11, 1959, ran for five hundred thirty performances, and was nominated for the 1960 Tony Award (New York City) for the Best Play. Sidney Poitier, Claudia McNeil, Ruby Dee, Diana Sands, Ivan Dixon, Louis Gossett Jr., and John Fiedler re-created their stage roles for the movie version. A 1960 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play nomination went to Claudia McNeil. See more »


When Benetha is talking to mama and getting ready to go out with George, the bracelet on her left arm keeps disappearing and reappearing. See more »


Walter Lee Younger: [to George Murchison, Beneatha's date] How come all you college boys wear them faggoty-looking white shoes?
See more »


Featured in The EE British Academy Film Awards (2016) See more »

User Reviews

Incredible acting
19 November 2017 | by HotToastyRagSee all my reviews

When you rent A Raisin in the Sun, get ready for some seriously intense acting and a beautiful script. Usually, when a film is made of a play, one or two members of the Broadway cast are used, and the rest is filled with Hollywood names. In Daniel Petrie's adaptation of Lorraine Hansberry's play, almost everyone in the 1959 original Broadway cast reprised their roles on film. And, while Sidney Poitier and Claudia McNeil, as well as the direction and play itself, were nominated for Tonys, the film was universally ignored at the Oscars.

In a small apartment that doesn't even have a bathroom, there lives the widowed Claudia McNeil, her son Sidney Poitier, her daughter Diana Sands, and Sidney's wife Ruby Dee. They're all dissatisfied with their lives, but each family member deals with their disappointment and frustration in different ways. Sidney throws his heart into untrustworthy schemes, Diana is studying to become a doctor to better herself, Ruby keeps her head down as she tries to get through each day, and Claudia tries to continue mothering her grown children.

Unlike most plays, A Raisin in the Sun isn't overly wordy, and not a single moment is boring. It's terribly sad, but still a bit optimistic at times, and very thought-provoking. Perhaps my favorite element, besides the superbly heart-wrenching performances of Sidney and Claudia, is the character development in the script. Every single person in the story is three-dimensional, and no one is a villain or a saint. Audiences can understand their thought-processes and motivations, and it's nearly impossible to choose a favorite character. Depending on how well you handle sad stories, this might be a staple you add to your collection, or it might be a film you watch only once but remember forever.

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Release Date:

18 May 1961 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

A Raisin in the Sun See more »

Filming Locations:

Chicago, Illinois, USA


Box Office


$1,500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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