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Beloved (1998)

Based on the book by Toni Morrison, in which a slave is visited by the spirit of a mysterious young woman

Director:

Jonathan Demme

Writers:

Toni Morrison (novel), Akosua Busia (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 23 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Yada Beener Yada Beener ... Denver aged 9
Emil Pinnock Emil Pinnock ... Howard aged 14
Calen Johnson Calen Johnson ... Buglar aged 13
Oprah Winfrey ... Sethe
Beah Richards ... Baby Suggs
Danny Glover ... Paul D
Kimberly Elise ... Denver
Jude Ciccolella ... Schoolteacher
Kessia Embry Kessia Embry ... Amy Denver (as Kessia Kordelle)
Dashiell Eaves ... Schoolteacher's Nephew
LisaGay Hamilton ... Younger Sethe (as Lisa Gay Hamilton)
Tyler Hinson Tyler Hinson ... Baby Beloved
Brian Hooks ... Young Paul D
Hill Harper ... Halle
Thandie Newton ... Beloved
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Storyline

After Paul D. finds his old slave friend Sethe in Ohio and moves in with her and her daughter Denver, a strange girl comes along by the name of "Beloved". Sethe and Denver take her in and then strange things start to happen... Written by Jeremy Cohen <crashbug@ix.netcom.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The past has a life of its own.

Genres:

Drama | History | Horror

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violent images, sexuality and nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 October 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Agapimeni See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$80,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,165,551, 18 October 1998

Gross USA:

$22,852,487
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Thandie Newton's African first name means, interestingly enough, "beloved." See more »

Goofs

In the scene with a deer in the field, a car is visible driving by in the upper right hand corner. See more »

Quotes

Sethe: You came back to me...
See more »

Connections

Featured in Tosh.0: Tron Guy (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Little Rice, Little Bean
Written by Toni Morrison & Rachel Portman
Performed by Danny Glover
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

There's a lot there
14 June 1999 | by The NaqSee all my reviews

I just finished watching Beloved for the first time. I neither read the book nor knew anything about it ahead of time, so my expectations were wide open.

I'm not going to recount all the prior comments about how difficult it was to follow - although I enjoyed a mental challenge for once in a movie - and the tremendous acting by the actress who played Denver. I'm definitely going to watch it again a few times (and, of course, I'm going to pay attention to the deer scene and look for cars).

I have a few comments that weren't yet listed here.

One is the symbolism of the rocking chair - a symbol of maternal instincts (a rocking chair connotes images of a mother and child). The reason Beloved can lift the rocking chair over her head is to symbolize her connection with her mother - her maternal link is what gives her "strength" and "life." Also, when Sethe becomes ill, and Denver is forced to look for work/food, the rocking chair is in the forefront of the scene when she finds a food offering on the tree stump. The rocking chair is lying face down on the porch, symbolizing the turmoil in the maternal relationship between Denver and Sethe. When Denver waits outside for Mr. Baldwin, the rocking chair is right again. She doesn't need the maternal link, and it symbolizes her strength on her own - apart from her mother.

Some people have commented that Sethe should not have killed her children, but should have taken that rage and fear and directed it against the white man. Well, in the end, when she finally raises her ice pick against Mr. Baldwin, and not against her own, does she finally release the ghost of her Beloved.

The movie is amazing. I've only seen it once, but there are so many subtleties to it, that those who say they didn't get it, didn't get it because it's too much trouble. It's like the difference between reading The Fountainhead and reading The Shining. So it doesn't get in your face. Use your brain.

On a negative note, after reading some of the comments about the sound-editing, I have to point out that when Denver leaves her yard on her own for the first time - in the middle of the day - the cricket sounds in the background make no sense. Most crickets are hanging out somewhere in the daytime. They're nighttime noises. Oh well.

As far as Baby Suggs is concerned, she reminded me way too much of Yoda. "Turn away from the Dark Side, Denver."

I'm going to watch it again.


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