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The Power of One (1992)

PG-13 | | Drama, Sport | 27 March 1992 (USA)
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An English boy, living in Africa during World War II, through his boxing prowess, becomes a symbol of hope, in a time of war.

Director:

John G. Avildsen

Writers:

Bryce Courtenay (novel), Robert Mark Kamen (screenplay)
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1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Nomadlozi Kubheka Nomadlozi Kubheka ... Nanny
Agatha Hurle Agatha Hurle ... Midwife
Nigel Ivy Nigel Ivy ... P.K. Newborn
Tracy Brooks Swope ... Mother
Brendan Deary Brendan Deary ... P.K. Infant
Winston Mangwarara Winston Mangwarara ... Tonderai Infant
Guy Witcher ... P.K. Age 7
Tonderai Masenda Tonderai Masenda ... Tonderai
Cecil Zilla Mamanzi Cecil Zilla Mamanzi ... Ranch Foreman
John Turner ... Afrikaner Minister
Robbie Bulloch Robbie Bulloch ... Jaapie Botha
Gordon Arnell Gordon Arnell ... Minister at Mother's Funeral
Jeremiah Mnisi Jeremiah Mnisi ... Dabula Manzi
Armin Mueller-Stahl ... Doc
Paul Tingay Paul Tingay ... Grandfather
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Storyline

The Power of One is an intriguing story of a young English boy named Peekay and his passion for changing the world. Growing up he suffered as the only English boy in an Afrikaans school. Soon orphaned, he was placed in the care of a German national named Professor von Vollensteen (a.k.a. "Doc"), a friend of his grandfather. Doc develops Peekay's piano talent and Peekay becomes "assistant gardener" in Doc's cactus garden. It is not long after WWII begins that Doc is placed in prison for failure to register with the English government as a foreigner. Peekay makes frequent visits and meets Geel Piet, an inmate, who teaches him to box. Geel Piet spreads the myth of the Rainmaker, the one who brings peace to all of the tribes. Peekay is cast in the light of this myth. After the war Peekay attends an English private school where he continues to box. He meets a young girl, Maria, with whom he falls in love. Her father, Professor Daniel Marais, is a leader of the Nationalist Party of South ... Written by Greg Brunson <gmbtiger@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

An exhilarating epic of a triumph of the heart. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some areas of strong violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Australia | France | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 March 1992 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

O Poder de um Jovem See more »

Filming Locations:

UK See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$684,358, 29 March 1992

Gross USA:

$2,827,107

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,827,107
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The nickname of Kark von Vollensteen (Armin Mueller-Stahl) was "Doc", while the nickname of Peter Philip Kenneth-Keith was "P.K.", or alternatively "Peekay", "P.K.", or "Peekay" is a reference to the character's earlier nickname of "Pisskop", which is a word from Afrikaans, and translates into English as "pisshead". See more »

Goofs

When PK's character goes from 12 to 18 years old, the caption is "Johannesburg 1948". After the classroom scene and as PK and Morrie are walking past the fountain after the art lesson, Morrie says, "...as the Queen has for boules..." In 1948, George VI was the monarch. Elizabeth II, his daughter, did not ascend to the throne until 1952, four years later. However, the wife of a British King is known as the "Queen". Therefore, Morrie may have been referring to George VI's wife, Queen Elizabeth (later known as "The Queen Mother" after her daughter ascended to the throne). See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Title Card: In the 1680s, Dutch, French and Germans fled religious persecution in Europe and settled in Southern Africa. They called themselves the Afrikaners. White Africans. / For the next 250 years, the British Empire fought the Afrikaners for control of the land, the gold and 20 million Native Africans. / In 1948, a conservative Afrikaner government was voted into power. A system of segregation first introduced by the English was declared the law of the land. / The English never gave the ...
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Connections

References The Karate Kid (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

The Penny Whistle Song
Written by Hans Zimmer and Lebo M.
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User Reviews

An american ending to an african story
5 February 1999 | by MaikSee all my reviews

It's been a while since I have seen the movie for the first time. Though I really liked the first two thirds of the film (up to the point, when Stephen Dorff takes over the main-character (but that has nothing to do with his performance)). I found, that the last part was strange and somehow out of continuity. The first part strictly sticks to the idea of experiencing Apartheid from the view of a boy, who is growing up in a system of classes and injustice and who himself fails to really belong to any of these classes. The last part however suddenly tries to be a lot of movies in one: Action, Romance, Patriotism and a Historic Anti-apartheid picture. And I think, trying to do too much, it failed to be anything of the above in the end.

The reason I'm writing this comment now is, that I am just done reading Bryce Courtenays novel. And I was really surprised to learn, that exactly after two thirds of the story, the movie totally goes its own way and ignores the course things take in the novel. The last part of the Novel is just as great as the first. If you liked the movie (or at least the first part) read the book, it's worth it!

To sum it up: I believe The Power Of One had the potential to be an outstanding picture. The music was great, the landscapes beautiful and the acting excellent (Armin Müller Stahl at his best). But unfortunately somebody tried to write an american ending for an african story and couldn't have failed worse.


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