6.4/10
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Shadrach (1998)

PG-13 | | Drama | 23 September 1998 (USA)
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1:42 | Trailer

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In 1935, ninety-nine-year-old former slave Shadrach asks to be buried on the soil where he was born to slavery, and that land is owned by the large Dabney family, consisting of Vernon, ... See full summary »

Director:

Susanna Styron

Writers:

William Styron (short story), Susanna Styron (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Martin Sheen ... Narrator (voice)
John Franklin Sawyer ... Shadrach
Scott Terra ... Paul
Ginnie Randall Ginnie Randall ... Virginia
Darrell Larson ... Father
Deborah Hedwall ... Mother
Jonathan Parks Jordan ... Middle Mole
Erin Underwood ... Lucinda
Alice Rogers Alice Rogers ... Cloris
Monica Hewes ... Edmonia (as Monica Bugajski)
Daniel Treat Daniel Treat ... Little Mole
Andie MacDowell ... Trixie
Michael Ruff ... Smut
Muse Watson ... Captain
Doug Chancey Doug Chancey ... Dock Worker
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Storyline

In 1935, ninety-nine-year-old former slave Shadrach asks to be buried on the soil where he was born to slavery, and that land is owned by the large Dabney family, consisting of Vernon, Trixie, and their seven children, and to bury a black man on that land is a violation of strict Virginia law.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

One man's journey changed another man's heart

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for language and brief sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 September 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Il Profumo di un Giorno d'estate See more »

Filming Locations:

Wilmington, North Carolina, USA

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$16,669, 27 September 1998, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$20,167, 27 September 1998
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The name Shadrach is Biblical, and comes from the Book of Daniel. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were three men of God who were put into a fiery furnace, but who came out unscathed, because the Lord had protected them. They had been put in there by King Nebuchadnezzer of Babylon, when they refused to bow to an idol. (Daniel 3:1-29) See more »

Goofs

The pickup truck on the ferry with them was newer than 1936. See more »

Quotes

[Paul has learned curse words from the Dabneys and is yelling them into the closet.]
Paul: Son of a bitch, whorehouse, Jesus Christ, pisspot, asshole!
Mrs. Whitehurst: Come on, Paul, it's time to go to church!
See more »


Soundtracks

Trying to Make 400
Performed by Lucille Lindsey and Guitar Gabriel
Courtesy of Music Maker Recordings
See more »

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User Reviews

A nice little film
8 December 1999 | by Bobs-9See all my reviews

I've read quite a few reviews here and at other sites, and this movie sure seems to be taking its lumps (although I did read some favorable reviews). I don't know, though -- I rather liked it. It is a simple and straightforward story. It is certainly sentimentalized to some extent, but I am not one of those people for whom that is anathema. Despite its hard times, depression-era setting and poor white trash characters, there is a certain amount of idealization in the film. My gut feelings are that in real life Mr. Dabney, being a product of his time, would be more hard-hearted towards old Shadrach. Andie MacDowell is likeable as Mrs. Dabney, but she looked far too healthy and aerobically svelte to be the beer-guzzling alcoholic mother of a large, unwashed, lice-infested family living below the poverty level. Just having her clutch a beer bottle in almost every scene didn't quite pull off the illusion. Despite its simplification of complex social issues, its idealization of human nature fondly remembered in old age left me with kind of a warm fuzzy feeling. Some reviewers have rated "Shadrach" as being of "TV movie" quality, but I think a vice common to many TV movies is avoided here. Namely, trying to deal with tough, complex issues comprehensively in 90 to 120 minutes. The story is scaled down to its essence, and as such is nicely handled in an hour and a half. While Shadrach himself is sort of an enigma, trying to tell the story of his 99-year-long life in any sort of satisfying way could have expanded the film to epic, miniseries length. A film which touches on the issue of slavery in America, even obliquely, is bound to leave a certain amount of people unsatisfied if it does not proceed to rail at length about Man's inhumanity to Man. I just don't think that was the point of the film, though, and no film can satisfy everyone's expectations. I just see this as a sweet, sentimental, (and sure, rather unrealistic) view of events in a certain time and place, as seen through the eyes of a child. The fact that in a dream sequence young Paul sees Shadrach being presented with a Micky Mouse watch in the middle of the 19th century illustrates that we are seeing a child's-eye view of this story. I liked "Shadrach" enough to buy the video, and I think it's gotten sort of a bum rap.


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