7.6/10
3,011
28 user 18 critic

Sounder (1972)

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ON DISC
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.

Director:

Martin Ritt

Writers:

Lonne Elder III (screenplay), William H. Armstrong (novel)
Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

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

Genres:

Drama | Family

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 April 1973 (Argentina) See more »

Also Known As:

Csibész See more »

Filming Locations:

Clinton, Louisiana, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The credits indicate that the movie's source material - the novel by William H. Armstrong - won the Newbery Award. See more »

Goofs

After Earl and Josie go to bed, after the reunion dinner, the position of Nathan's hand and cup changes. See more »

Quotes

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 ...
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Connections

Referenced in Good Fences (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

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

You Learn What You Are Made of When Life Throws Those Curve Balls.
12 May 2004 | by tfrizzellSee all my reviews

1933 Depression-era Louisiana is seen through the eyes of an adolescent African-American boy (Kevin Hooks) in this methodical and smartly realized cinematic drama. Poverty and near starvation almost become tragedy when Hooks' father (Oscar nominee Paul Winfield) is arrested for stealing a hog and butchering it. Immediately he is sentenced to one year in jail (probably dodging much worse punishment) and it is up to wife Cicely Tyson (in her Oscar-nominated role) and her three young children to make the money needed to survive as Winfield is shipped from prison to prison. And through it all Hooks dreams of a better life via an education. The film's title refers to the family dog/game hunter who gets injured early on and yet finds a way to persevere much like his family (this is a great element of symbolism found within the movie). A brilliant screenplay by Lonne Elder III (who received an Oscar nomination as well) and intelligent direction by the always good Martin Ritt make "Sounder" one of the lesser-known gems of the 1970s. 4 stars out of 5.


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