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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 character Willie Harris was portrayed by Roy Glenn. Glenn shared the screen with Sidney Poitier in Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967), in which he portrayed Poitier's father (though in actuality, Glenn was only ten years older than Poitier). See more »

Goofs

Lena Younger states that she and Walter Sr. moved into the 2-bedroom apartment as young marrieds. Walter Jr. and Ruth sleep in one bedroom and now that Walter Sr. is deceased, Beneatha sleeps in the bedroom with her mother, but where did she sleep prior to her father's death? Travis sleeps on the single couch. Answer: Beneatha probably slept on the couch and Travis slept on the floor. 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 »

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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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