7.6/10
3,235
32 user 19 critic

Sounder (1972)

Trailer
1:41 | Trailer
The oldest son of a loving and strong family of black sharecroppers comes of age in the Depression-era South after his father is imprisoned for stealing food.

Director:

Martin Ritt

Writers:

Lonne Elder III (screenplay), William H. Armstrong (novel)
Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Cicely Tyson ... Rebecca
Paul Winfield ... Nathan Lee
Kevin Hooks ... David Lee
Carmen Mathews ... Mrs. Boatwright
Taj Mahal ... Ike
James Best ... Sheriff Young
Eric Hooks Eric Hooks ... Earl
Yvonne Jarrell Yvonne Jarrell ... Josie Mae
Sylvia Kuumba Williams Sylvia Kuumba Williams ... Harriet (as Sylvia 'Kuumba' Williams)
Teddy Airhart Teddy Airhart ... Mr. Perkins (as Ted Airhart)
Richard Durham Richard Durham ... Perkins' Foreman
Wendell Brumfield Wendell Brumfield ... Deputy #1
Al Bankston Al Bankston ... Deputy #2
Myrl Sharkey Myrl Sharkey ... Teacher (as Merle Sharkey)
Inez Durham Inez Durham ... Court Clerk
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Storyline

The Morgans, a loving and strong family of Black sharecroppers in Louisiana in 1933, face a serious family crisis when the husband and father, Nathan Lee Morgan, is convicted of a petty crime and sent to a prison camp. After some weeks or months, the wife and mother, Rebecca Morgan, sends the oldest son, who is about 11 years old, to visit his father at the camp. The journey becomes something of an odyssey for the boy. During the journey, he stays a little while with a dedicated Black schoolteacher. Written by Ed Cannon <ecannon@mail.utexas.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Family

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 April 1973 (Argentina) See more »

Also Known As:

Csibész See more »

Filming Locations:

Clinton, Louisiana, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The credits indicate that the movie's source material - the novel by William H. Armstrong - won the Newbery Award. See more »

Goofs

When embracing at the reunion, Earl's hands change position. See more »

Quotes

Camille: [reading to David Lee from W.E.B. Du Bois' "Of the Training of Black Men"] "The longing of black men must have respect."
[pauses to explain to David Lee]
Camille: Which means a man and a woman are human and must be treated that way.
[continues reading]
Camille: "The rich and bitter depth of their experience, the unknown treasures of their inner life, the strange rendings of nature they have seen, may give the world new points of view and make their loving, living, and doing precious to all human hearts. And to ...
See more »

Connections

Edited into Afro Promo (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Needed Time (Theme from Sounder)
Written by Taj Mahal
Performed by Lightnin Hopkins
Courtesy of Kent Records and special thanks to John Williams
See more »

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User Reviews

One scene makes it a thing of beauty.
17 June 2003 | by movibuf1962See all my reviews

'Sounder' is a very small, sublime film- quietly powerful and perfect for just about anyone. Even though the title made no immediate sense to me (it's the name of the family dog), the plot and script is choice and proves what I've always believed regarding most scripts: less is more. Films with close, reverent, African-American families are still rare in the 21st century, and this one was extraordinary because it was a *1972* release, breaking ground when it was nominated at that year's Academy Awards for lead actor (Paul Winfield), lead actress (Cicely Tyson), screenplay (Lonne Elder III), and best picture. Only director Martin Ritt was not nominated, which was a travesty, but the Academy is historically famous for bonehead decisions. At any rate, it's nice to see a film which shows true family support- even in the event of the father's absence. I won't say why that happens, but it's only temporary, and his third act return- staged against a long stretch of open field and spotlighting a barefoot Tyson and limping Winfield running into each other's arms- is a bewitching, magical, sequence in the film. (There won't be a dry eye in the house.) Everyone is a standout, including Kevin Hooks as the pre-teen who needs to grow up overnight and to Carmen Matthews as the neighbor who quietly helps the family. Even more amazing is that this is a G-rated film; your whole family- black, white, or brown- will absolutely cherish it.


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