8.1/10
6,225
53 user 23 critic

A Raisin in the Sun (1961)

Approved | | Drama | 24 August 1961 (Mexico)
A substantial insurance payment could mean either financial salvation or personal ruin for a poor black family.

Director:

Daniel Petrie

Writers:

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

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Cast

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
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 August 1961 (Mexico) See more »

Also Known As:

Ein Fleck in der Sonne See more »

Filming Locations:

Chicago, Illinois, USA

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Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The line spoken by Walter (Sidney Poitier), "The lion waking now, honey .... Wimoweh!", during the native dance scene is a reference to the song, "The Lion Sleeps Tonight (Wimoweh)" written by Solomon Linda, and made famous by The Weavers and The Tokens. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

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

Connections

Referenced in The Salon (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The cast was usually amazing, in this simple, but compelling story.
31 May 2008 | by TOMNELSee all my reviews

The actors in this movie are great actors. That could be said for every one of them. They all knew exactly what to do with the script from their previous work on the stage play version. Unfortunately, when their face is blown up 10 times on the big screen, so are their actions, and some scenes, because of this, come off a little too over the top dramatic than they should be realistically. The story is a simple one, but actually pretty interesting, and most of the time this is entertaining to watch.

The Younger family has just lost a member. Lena "Momma" Younger's (Claudia McNeil) husband died, and because of this the government is giving the family 10,000 dollars. Momma wants to buy a house and move the family out of their tiny apartment into a nice white neighborhood. Walter (Sidney Potier) has the dream of taking the money to start a liquor store. Beneatha (Diana Sands) wants to go to college on this money. The family has problems, and though no real plot is apparent, the characters make the film.

The direction on this is great. The music only adds to it, and helps out greatly in scenes trying to be dramatic. The actors play the scenes off well usually, though as stated earlier, a few times they almost come off campy instead of serious and dramatic. Most of the time this wasn't the case though, and these actor's performances shouldn't be nitpicked like I'm doing, and most won't even notice the over the top goofiness. The writing is very good, and is straight out of the play. The entertainment value is high, though some scenes seem to drag, another better scene generally follows.

Overall, this is not a masterpiece. The play is good, the acting is great, the cheese level is fairly low, and Raisin has a true human touch to it that makes the audience feel for these poor characters, and it's a very hard trait to emulate.

My rating: *** out of ****. 120 mins. PG for violence.


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