Pat Conroy, an ambitious, slightly rebellious, idealistic teacher, accepts Bennington county SC's school board superintendent's offer to teach the all-black kids of the pauper fishery ... See full summary »
John Kent Harrison
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White Pat Conroy was born and raised in Beaufort, South Carolina. In March 1969 under the Beaufort School District, he starts a job teaching at a small poor school located on Daufuskie Island, an island in a South Carolina river delta, the island accessible only by boat. The island is inhabited exclusively by blacks. He quickly learns that his students, who have never left the island, lack not only a basic understanding of academic items such as the alphabet and simple arithmetic, but also of other basic necessities of life such as personal hygiene. They can't even pronounce his name, they who call him Conrack. The teachers before him, including the school principal Mrs. Scott, have always treated the students as being slow and basically unteachable of academics. Conrack, a free thinking man, decides to expose his students not only to the academic subjects, but also to the gamut of life skills from brushing one's teeth to human anatomy, and some of the fun things in life like ...Written by
In a 2007 interview on the Dennis Miller Radio Show, Jon Voight recalled a reunion that was held twenty years after the release of the movie, with all of the available actors and actresses. Of the twenty-one actors and actresses who portrayed students, at the time of the reunion, three were teachers. See more »
When Pat Conroy goes out to a student's home a pack of dogs rush out to him and the owner calls them off. As Conroy is leaving the dogs chase after him again and as he runs down the road at least one of them run past Conroy, presumably toward the trainer calling them. See more »
[while they're listening to Beethoven's Fifth Symphony]
Okay, this is it! We're going up the hill, together... a foot may slip, but no one's gonna fall!
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Opening credits prologue: This is based on a true story. It began in March of 1969. See more »
This film launched my theory about films based on books: Instead of following the cliche "You've read the book; now see the film," if you are looking for a good book to read, try one upon which a movie you like was based, because it'll be 10 times better.
I saw this film on its initial release at the National Theater in downtown Eugene and liked it so much that I stayed to see it again. It's a perfect merger of the inspiring talents of one of my favorite actors, Jon Voight, with what became my favorite book, "The Water Is Wide," by Pat Conroy.
I can think of no better movie about the nobility of teaching and the ironic challenges of life. Two tiny caveats:
(1) The video suffers severely from pan-and-scan and deserves a letterbox version. (2) The title should be restored to the name of the book, a reference to one of the most touching, enigmatic songs ever written
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