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The Ditchdigger's Daughters (1997)

TV-PG | | Drama | TV Movie 23 February 1997
In many ways "The Ditchdigger's Daughters" adheres to the well worn path of a genre best described as the black struggle in an injust white America. But the real plot in this movie revolves... See full summary »


Johnny E. Jensen


Yvonne S. Thornton (book) (as Yvonne S. Thornton M.D.), Jo Coudert (book) | 1 more credit »
1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Carl Lumbly ... Donald Thornton
Dulé Hill ... Young Donald
Victoria Dillard ... Tass
Shelley Robertson ... Donna
Monique Coleman ... Young Donna
Kimberly Elise ... Jeanette
RaéVen Kelly ... Young Jeanette (as Raeven Kelly)
Rosalyn Coleman ... Yvonne
Jameelah Nuriddin Jameelah Nuriddin ... Young Yvonne
Monica Calhoun ... Linda
Malaika Jabali Malaika Jabali ... Young Linda
Erika L. Heard Erika L. Heard ... Rita
Kiara Tucker Kiara Tucker ... Young Rita
Denice Sealy ... Betty (as Denice J. Sealy)
Niaja Cotton Niaja Cotton ... Young Betty


In many ways "The Ditchdigger's Daughters" adheres to the well worn path of a genre best described as the black struggle in an injust white America. But the real plot in this movie revolves around the tyranny of a father and the effect it has on his six daughters as he cajoles, demands, blusters, and drives his daughters to reach for his notion of excellence. Demanding all "A" report cards, prohibiting dating, punishing with housework, and insisting that each daughter aim her sights on a career as a doctor all harken to the underlying fact of his own failure to complete school, and his own view of being poor and black. Written by Gary Davis <ulian@pc.jaring.my>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis





Did You Know?


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User Reviews

Ditchdigger's Daughters
14 October 2006 | by entermineSee all my reviews

This made for television movie is one of my favorites. It has been 10 years and I'm still searching websites that might sell it on VHS Tape. I still remember parts of it but regret that I never got to view the movie again. Admittedly I haven't been much of a movie watcher for years now, but whenever I do review the TV Guide I never see a rerun of this movie. This movie is so memorable to whatever race, nationality, culture, etc. that would view it. It is primarily about Black struggle, but the fact that its about family is something all people can relate to and learn from. It is fact that there are so many bad things going on with children getting abused or neglected by their guardians that such a movie to be shown would make a beautiful impact. I don't remember seeing a similar movie or documentary. Another part of the movie that stood out for me was the actor that portrayed the father, Mr. Carl Lumbly, a remarkable low-key subtle and fine actor. I've seen him in a couple of other films including one with Halle Berry. He is a very good actor similar in my opinion to Denzel Washington; he can play any character to the extent where you forget he's acting and forget who he really is and only see the movie part that he's portraying.

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Release Date:

23 February 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Oi exi kores tou Thornton See more »

Filming Locations:

Wilmington, North Carolina, USA

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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