28 user 18 critic

Sounder (1972)

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The oldest son of a loving and strong family of black sharecroppers comes of age in the Depression-era South after his father is imprisoned for stealing food.



(screenplay), (novel)
Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
... Rebecca Morgan
... Nathan Lee Morgan
... David Lee Morgan
... Rita Boatwright
... Ike
... Sheriff Charlie Young
Eric Hooks ... Earl Morgan
Yvonne Jarrell ... Josie Mae Morgan
Sylvia Kuumba Williams ... Harriet (as Sylvia 'Kuumba' Williams)
Teddy Airhart ... Mr. Perkins (as Ted Airhart)
Richard Durham ... Perkins' Foreman
Wendell Brumfield ... Deputy #1
Al Bankston ... Deputy #2
Myrl Sharkey ... Teacher (as Merle Sharkey)
Inez Durham ... Court Clerk


The Morgans, a loving and strong family of Black sharecroppers in Louisiana in 1933, face a serious family crisis when the husband and father, Nathan Lee Morgan, is convicted of a petty crime and sent to a prison camp. After some weeks or months, the wife and mother, Rebecca Morgan, sends the oldest son, who is about 11 years old, to visit his father at the camp. The journey becomes something of an odyssey for the boy. During the journey, he stays a little while with a dedicated Black schoolteacher. Written by Ed Cannon <ecannon@mail.utexas.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Family


G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

26 April 1973 (Argentina)  »

Also Known As:

Csibész  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)


Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Features the only Oscar nominated performances of both Paul Winfield and Cicely Tyson. See more »


When embracing at the reunion, Earl's hands change position. See more »


Camille: [reading to David Lee from W.E.B. Du Bois' "Of the Training of Black Men"] "The longing of black men must have respect."
[pauses to explain to David Lee]
Camille: Which means a man and a woman are human and must be treated that way.
[continues reading]
Camille: "The rich and bitter depth of their experience, the unknown treasures of their inner life, the strange rendings of nature they have seen, may give the world new points of view and make their loving, living, and doing precious to all human hearts. And to ...
See more »


Referenced in Good Fences (2003) See more »


Needed Time (Theme from Sounder)
Written by Taj Mahal
Performed by Lightnin Hopkins
Courtesy of Kent Records and special thanks to John Williams
See more »

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User Reviews

A touching story of courage and endurance...
1 June 2005 | by See all my reviews

This movie was nominated for four Oscars and I would agree that it is a very deserving movie. It's a touching story of courage and endurance, from the award-winning novel by William Armstrong, which has been successfully translated to the big screen with excellent cinematography and acting.

The story is about a poor African-American family of Louisiana share-croppers struggling to survive during the early days of the Great Depression. 'Sounder' is the name of their faithful dog, whose bark I can still hear in my head as I write!

After watching the movie I put on Gregory Peck's classic 'To Kill a Mockingbird' again. Both movies seemed to fit together quite well and explored similar themes of difficult race relations in the Deep South and an inadequate legal system.

If you liked 'Sounder' you may also like 'Fried Green Tomatoes'.

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