Sounder (1972) Poster

(1972)

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10/10
For a 1971 Release...WAY AHEAD of Its Time!
KissEnglishPasto19 October 2013
............................................................from Pasto,Colombia...Via: L.A. CA., CALI, COLOMBIA and ORLANDO, FL

In retrospect, looking back at SOUNDER, there is a lot going on, both on a public, and for me, on a private level in relation to this film. It had a theatrical release in NOV.1971. I didn't get around to seeing it until Februrary '72. Movies that I saw in early 1972, I don't seem to recollect very well. SOUNDER was in that group. Saw it for the second time just hours ago. Really sorry I waited so long!

Here is something a lot of you can relate to: For a film that was shown in theaters in late '71 and early '72, SOUNDER was QUITE unique. It was WAY ahead of its time. Compare SOUNDER's somber tone and subject matter, its very deliberate pacing and mood to other films with a predominately Afro-American cast from that time frame. Notice any difference? No BLACKSploitation here! SOUNDER is completely character-driven, this is probably why a lot of people seem to define it as "Slow". Sadly lacking on my DVD of SOUNDER were any special features. Just the movie and the trailer...That's it! I really yearned for background info!

Set in rural Louisiana in 1933, perhaps the worst year of the depression, Paul Winfield and Cicely Tyson both shone in career-defining roles. Winfield, as the father, short on education but long on character, strength and spirit, who is sent off to an undisclosed prison for a year for his first offense...Stealing a ham to feed his starving family; Tyson, as the dutiful, solid-as-a-rock, stand-by-her-man wife and mother. My hat is off to Ms. Tyson. Despite being considered something of a sex symbol at the time, she accepted a role which required a very scruffy and unflattering, no make-up look! And what a fine job she does! 10*.....ENJOY/DISFRUTELA!

Any comments, questions or observations, in English o en Español, are most welcome!

KissEnglishPasto@Yahoo.com
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10/10
Quiet...VERY quiet
preppy-317 February 2004
Tale of a sharecropping family in 1933 Louisiana and what happens when the father (Paul Winfield) is sent to jail for stealing food to feed his family. It also deals with the oldest son (Kevin Hooks) coming of age. Sounder, BTW, is the name of the family dog.

Quiet, slow but ultimately very moving tale of a poor black family in the 1930s. There's some beautiful shots here (it was shot on location in Louisiana) and very little dialogue and only occasional music. I must admit I was getting a little bored at first--I wanted the story to MOVE! But the film slowly grew on me and, after half an hour, I was hooked. The images tell the story along with some very moving Oscar-nominated performances by Winfield and Cicely Tyson (as his wife). Even young Hooks (who was only 14 when this was done) is quite good. The film slowly works on you and, by the end, I was crying my eyes out--But don't worry--it DOES have a very happy ending.

This was a HUGE hit in 1972. It was one of the few G-rated films dealing with a black family. Unlike most other 1970s black films it had no drugs, violence, sex or swearing--this was a true rarity back then. And white, black, young and old audiences loved it. It works on all levels. It was also nominated for Best Picture. It didn't win anything but the fact that it was nominated was enough. The cast went through hell making it. I remember, in an interview, Winfield said it was brutally hot during the whole shot, the cast was eaten alive by mosquitoes and he caught a TERRIBLE case of hay fever from all the pollen. It's to this whole casts credit that they all give out good performances. Sadly...this film has been forgotten. That's too bad...it should be rediscovered.

There was a sequel 3 years later (with a different cast). It was "Sounder Part 2" but it seems nobody has ever seen it. But don't miss this one. A perfect family film.
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9/10
Excellent period piece
NORDIC-230 June 2014
In 1969 William H. Armstrong, a white 9th grade history teacher at Kent School in Connecticut, published 'Sounder', a short but deeply moving children's novel about the struggles of black sharecroppers in Louisiana during the depths of the Great Depression. Instantly recognized as a classic, 'Sounder' was awarded the John Newberry Medal and the Lewis Carroll Shelf Award in 1970. The book also attracted the attention of Martin Ritt, the once-blacklisted producer-director of 'Hud', 'The Molly Maguires', 'The Great White Hope' and a host of other socially committed movies. Ritt recognized that 'Sounder' transcended its coming-of-age theme by providing a powerful depiction of the Jim Crow South at its most oppressive: a part of history that had never been adequately represented in American cinema (though the story of white poverty in the Great Depression had been told in John Ford's 'The Grapes of Wrath', 1939). Ritt bought the film rights, sold Fox producer Robert B. Radnitz on the project, and hired African-American screenwriter Lonne Elder III to work with Armstrong in adapting 'Sounder' to the screen. Shot on location in East Feliciana and St. Helena parishes (just north of Baton Rouge), 'Sounder' stars Paul Winfield as Nathan Lee Morgan, Cicely Tyson as his wife, Rebecca Morgan, and Kevin Hooks as David Lee Morgan, their 13-year-old son who must assume the role of paterfamilias after his father is sentenced to a year in a work camp for stealing a ham to feed his starving family. (The title of book and film derive from the name of David's beloved dog, Sounder.) Beautifully photographed by John Alonzo ('Vanishing Point'; 'Harold and Maude'), 'Sounder' boasts a pitch-perfect script that avoids bathos; terrific acting; a great period blues soundtrack by Taj Mahal (who also has a small role in the film); and an uplifting message of black pride, determination, and endurance. Nominated for a Golden Globe and four Academy Awards (including Best Picture), 'Sounder' garnered excellent reviews—although some critics found the film too safely "liberal" because it was a family-oriented period piece. VHS (1998) and DVD (2002).
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10/10
Breathtaking cinematography and excellent performances
Pelrad11 March 1999
For the breathtaking cinematography alone, this film is one not to be missed. It is surprising that such a simple film could have one's eyes glued to the screen for its entire duration. The father of a sharecropper family during the Great Depression in Louisiana steals food for his family in desperation and is sent to jail. The local law enforcement officers refuse to allow his wife to visit him and then, when he is sent away to a work camp, they will not disclose its name to his family. Finally, however, a sympathetic woman finds out and the eldest son goes on a journey to find his father. At the end of his travels, he meets a beautiful, kind, and learned school teacher who asks him to return in the fall to attend school. Excellent performances by all. (10 out of 10)
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One scene makes it a thing of beauty.
movibuf196217 June 2003
'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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10/10
Nothing political about it
cagordon2217 January 2009
This is a great movie. It's what you call a slice of life, and the life that's investigated is that of a desperately poor, horribly downtrodden African-American family in Depression-era Louisiana. Love it for what it is.

When I was watching this in the movie theatre for the first time in 1972, I was seated with my other high school friends behind 3 rows of a Southern Baptist Sunday School class, that was amply chaperoned by about 2 adults for every 5 children. Near the beginning of the film, as the family and Ike are passing a clapboard church that has a white congregation, David asks his father why black and white people go to different churches when God is the same God to everyone.

Ike pipes up and says once, when he was in another town, he accidentally stumbled into a white church on a Sunday morning, and was lucky to get out alive. So he asked God, "why did fellow Christians practically try to kill me just for coming to worship You with them?" And God replied to Ike, "Son, at least you got INSIDE a white church - I've been trying to do that for 2000 years!!" And with that, the entire 3 rows of Southern Baptist Sunday School, children and adults, stood up and walked out of the theatre! The truth hurts. This is a truthful beautiful movie. So glad I stumbled upon it today - just as Nathan Lee was coming home. Sigh.
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9/10
Beautiful film with great heart
barryrd18 January 2010
Director Martin Ritt and the cast and crew of this movie have left a great legacy in this simple but moving story of a family's love for one another in the face of great adversity. The family does not succumb to bitterness or hatred but they persevere with hope and great faith in what they can overcome. The story: during the Depression, a family breadwinner is arrested and sent to a year's hard labour for a minor misdemeanour. I saw this movie almost 40 years ago and it made a deep impression. Almost everyone I spoke to who saw it admired it and the reviews were excellent but for some reason, it has been forgotten. I saw the movie again on Martin Luther King Day and rediscovered a story with great universal appeal. The landscape cinematography of Louisiana enhances the movie. Cicely Tyson and Paul Winfield are the stars of the film along with Kevin Hooks as the eldest son. The music is stark with the lyrics of a spiritual and the strumming of a stringed instrument. We witness the cruelty of a heartless town and the courage of a friend who is moved to help. In the end, wounded and battered, the family carry on with great love and respect for one another. This movie is a strong statement because of the great character acting. It is a great testament to the human spirit.
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You Learn What You Are Made of When Life Throws Those Curve Balls.
tfrizzell12 May 2004
1933 Depression-era Louisiana is seen through the eyes of an adolescent African-American boy (Kevin Hooks) in this methodical and smartly realized cinematic drama. Poverty and near starvation almost become tragedy when Hooks' father (Oscar nominee Paul Winfield) is arrested for stealing a hog and butchering it. Immediately he is sentenced to one year in jail (probably dodging much worse punishment) and it is up to wife Cicely Tyson (in her Oscar-nominated role) and her three young children to make the money needed to survive as Winfield is shipped from prison to prison. And through it all Hooks dreams of a better life via an education. The film's title refers to the family dog/game hunter who gets injured early on and yet finds a way to persevere much like his family (this is a great element of symbolism found within the movie). A brilliant screenplay by Lonne Elder III (who received an Oscar nomination as well) and intelligent direction by the always good Martin Ritt make "Sounder" one of the lesser-known gems of the 1970s. 4 stars out of 5.
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10/10
sounder the movie is an all time great , top ten any list
chriscasti30 January 2006
this is a wonderful movie that portrays the racial divide in the south with honest and poignant scenes. the minorities in the movie are treated as second class citizens but the movies message is heartfelt. Young Kevin Hooks is well cast (he is now a director and also was a cast member on "the white shadow") and Paul Windfield and Cicely Tyson have such on screen chemistry it is rapture. a must see film that if it does not touch your heart you do not have one. absolutely a film white racist(young) should see to maybe change their mind about black folk and minorities in general . Sounder is the "old yeller" of its time and deserves a DVD release .
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10/10
Definitive Depression-Era Family Drama With Powerful Performances from Tyson, Winfield and Hooks
EUyeshima1 June 2006
Warning: Spoilers
There is a viscerally powerful moment in this 1972 film classic that still gets to me. It's the look of desperately aching relief on Rebecca Morgan's face and the palpable sound of her breathless anticipation as she runs down the long dirt road to embrace her husband Nathan Lee for the first time since he went to prison. I almost get as tear-drenched as she does. Whether tenaciously holding her family together or dealing cautiously with the powerful white community, Cicely Tyson plays Rebecca with a searing combination of emotional eloquence and subtle nuance. Yet, her performance is not the dominant factor of the film, as director Martin Ritt, a specialist in human dramas set in the South, has directed a wondrous ensemble piece focused on a family of black sharecroppers in Depression-era Louisiana. Based on a children's book by William H. Armstrong and adapted by Lonne Elder III, the movie is blissfully free of stereotypes or dramatic manipulation.

The plot is compact. Nathan Lee takes his son David Lee raccoon hunting with their aptly named dog, Sounder (he howls when he sees them). The family hits particularly hard times when Nathan Lee steals a ham for his family and is carted off to a prison camp for a year. David Lee sets out to find him and happens upon a school run by Camille, a kindly but firm teacher. She teaches him about important African-American figures in history, and he becomes desperate to go to school. David Lee returns home, and soon after, a maimed Nathan Lee returns as well. Not wanting to take advantage of Camille's offer to stay with her to go to school, David Lee is convinced by his father that school is the only thing he should pursue.

It is a rare thing, a family drama that does not patronize to its audience and remains compelling to adults, and it is especially shameful that the film rarely resurfaces for new generations to enjoy. Beyond Tyson, Paul Winfield is equally affecting as Nathan Lee, and in the pivotal role of David Lee, Kevin Hooks (now a successful TV director) brings strength to his plaintive performance. Effective in smaller roles are blues musician Taj Mahal as family friend Ike (he also provides the evocative period music), Carmen Mathews as the conflicted Mrs. Boatwright and Janet MacLachlan as Camille. Intriguingly, Hooks directed a 2003 Disney remake and cast Winfield as the teacher in his last role before his death. In need of a makeover and a treatment deserving of the film's quality, the 2002 DVD has a decent though not outstanding print transfer and a bare minimum of extras (photo galleries, cast biographies).
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8/10
Well-made Movie That Is Based On A Book(SPOILERS)
I_Am_The_Taylrus23 February 2007
Warning: Spoilers
SPOILERS

Obviously, the book is always better, and this is no exception. The book Sounder is better than the movie Sounder, but this is a brilliantly done movie that can warm your hearts. Let me just say this, though, this is not close to the book at all, kind of like My Side Of The Mountain. I mean, the father and Sounder die in the book, but in the movie they do not. Great, I spoiled the book. Anyway, there is something else in this movie. In the book, the officer totally demolishes the cake for the boy's jailed father. In the movie he just stabs like four holes into the cake, and he did not obliterate it. Also, I am kind of glad that Sounder did not die in the end. I hate it when a dog dies in a movie or a book or anywhere.

Here is the plot of this movie. This film focuses on an African-American family that live in the middle of nowhere. This takes place when the African-Americans were treated unfairly. Then, one day, the father is arrested for stealing a ham, or at least that is way he is arrested in the book, I do not know how he is arrested in the movie. Anyway, a police officer shoots their dog named Sounder. The oldest boy in the family goes on a journey to find his father after he is transferred to a different prison. On the way of his journey he meets a school-teacher he helps him read. He does not find his father. He goes back home. Sounder, who ran off when he was shot, eventually comes home. Then his father comes home, but he is injured. In the end the boy goes to a school for the first time.

Overall, this is a very well-done and heartwarming movie. Why the novel and the movie is called Sounder is anybody's guess. I mean, it does not really focus on Sounder. Also, I am glad that they did not make Sounder's wound from the bullet as gruesome as it was in the novel. I mean, in the novel, he was missing an ear, an eye, and he had a huge wound in his face. In the movie it is not so bad. Actually, the wounds are not even noticeable in the movie. It is like he was not even shot. Anyway, this a nice movie to watch with your family.

8/10

Recommended Films: Homeward Bound.
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9/10
A Very Sweet Little Film!
Gunn12 October 2009
Warning: Spoilers
This is one of the Best 1970s movies I've seen. I can't believe it took me 37 years to catch it. It is a very simple film, yet it says a lot about the human spirit and will make you feel warm inside. The acting is perfection from the entire cast. Kevin Hooks is brilliant as David Lee Morgan, a devoted, hardworking son of a sharecropper family who hits upon hard times. The always solid Paul Winfield as Nathan Lee Morgan, a father of three and a devoted wife (Cicely Tyson). He steals food from a smokehouse to feed his family and gets in deep trouble. Cicely Tyson is superb as the mother and both she and Winfield received well-deserved Oscar nominations. Sounder, of the title, is the family's hound dog, who reflects the survival instincts of the Morgan family. This wonderful, hardworking family has very little to be sure, but one vital thing they have is love. This film will make you think twice if you think you have it bad. It was nominated for Best Picture and was beat by "The Godfather", but it is truly a gem!
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9/10
A touching story of courage and endurance...
johnfos1 June 2005
This movie was nominated for four Oscars and I would agree that it is a very deserving movie. It's a touching story of courage and endurance, from the award-winning novel by William Armstrong, which has been successfully translated to the big screen with excellent cinematography and acting.

The story is about a poor African-American family of Louisiana share-croppers struggling to survive during the early days of the Great Depression. 'Sounder' is the name of their faithful dog, whose bark I can still hear in my head as I write!

After watching the movie I put on Gregory Peck's classic 'To Kill a Mockingbird' again. Both movies seemed to fit together quite well and explored similar themes of difficult race relations in the Deep South and an inadequate legal system.

If you liked 'Sounder' you may also like 'Fried Green Tomatoes'.
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Cicely Tyson is stunning in this underappreciated classic which deserves better than just being considered schoolbook material.
Councillor300426 January 2019
"Sounder" is one of the essential American dramas set in the deep South during the Depression era of the early 1930s, and while it has been released more than 45 years ago, it's one of those rare films which absolutely feel like they haven't aged a single bit ever since their release. It has been way ahead of its time, considering that movies with pre-dominantly African-American cast members were reserved for action and blaxpoitation films back in the days, and it also broke ground for the fact that it was the first film to feature two Oscar-nominated performances from African-American actors (namely Cicely Tyson and Paul Winfield). Both of them absolutely deserved their nominations, though in the case of Cicely Tyson, her breathtaking, vibrant and emotionally devastating performance leaves no room for arguing that anyone else should have won the Oscar for Best Actress that year. Another standout is Kevin Hooks, who gave one of the best child performances I have seen in any film from the 1970s. "Sounder" has become famous for one incredibly emotional scene, a scene everyone knows which one is meant when seeing it, and it's a scene which absolutely turns this into something beautiful. The film relies mainly on character development and thus may be considered too slow by some audiences, which may also be the reason why it's so rarely mentioned anymore nowadays, but in my opinion, it's one of the best films dealing with racial tensions, and one of the best films from the early 1970s.
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10/10
Morgan Family Values
bkoganbing18 January 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Sounder is the story of a Depression Era Louisiana black family named Morgan who are sharecroppers. But if it can be done they want a lot better for their kids. The parents are Academy Award nominees for Best Actor and Actress, Paul Winfield and Cecily Tyson.

This is the Great Depression, but in a sense nothing has changed for these people since Reconstruction. The sharecropping system came about with the southern white aristocracy trying their best to keep black people enslaved economically. If we can't own them any more then at least you can keep them bound to the land like the serfs of old economically. You can also bind the poor whites that way too and you install the segregation system to keep them from recognizing the poor of whatever pigmentation have a common economic interest. That's what the Morgans face in 1933 Louisiana.

Interesting also that this was set in the time and place it was in because this was the Louisiana of Huey P. Long who did in fact recognize that poor do have a common interest. He was a demagogue and a rogue, but in his way and as much as the society of segregated Louisiana would let him he tried to make small improvements in the lot of black people in Louisiana. That school where Myrl Sharkey teaches by the standards of the other southern states is a pretty modern one and the teacher spouts some revolutionary ideas.

Because he didn't like seeing his kids go hungry Winfield steals some food and is caught and does a year on a prison farm. During that year Tyson pulls her family together and they get through to the harvest or in the case of the cotton, cropping time. A whole lot like Sally Fields's family in Places In The Heart.

The oldest boy Kevin Hooks is a bright kid and on a trip to visit his father in prison (he has to because they won't allow women to visit the male prisoners)he detours and shows up at Myrl Sharkey's school and makes that miraculous discovery that there's a great big world out there that he'd like to find out about.

I wish I knew what happened to Myrl Sharkey. Sounder is her one and only film credit. In any event she's got a collection of books that bowls over young Mr. Hooks. When he asks her are there any books about living people she pulls out a copy of something by W.E.B DuBois and reads a passage from Souls Of Black Folk. Just the look on Kevin Hooks's face is some of the best acting without dialog you'll ever see.

Sharkey is following one of Dr. Dubois's tenets about educating and training the 'talented tenth' the best and brightest of us. Which is what she recognizes in Hooks. The question is can she get him to school or will the demands of the sharecropping life prove too much.

Sounder is the name of the family dog who was wounded when the law comes to get Winfield. He goes off to lick his wounds and in doing so becomes a symbol for a childhood that is cast away. Sometimes Sounder while wonderful family viewing is mistakenly thought of as just another boy and his dog film. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Besides the acting nominations for Winfield and Tyson, Sounder was also nominated for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay. Unfortunately 1972 was the year of The Godfather so like a lot of other good films Sounder got crowded out by the Corleone saga that year in the final awards.

Still this is one excellent and nearly flawless film. I suggest viewing it back to back with Places In The Heart because they're both about poor farming families in the Depression at the same time with the same issues facing them.
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9/10
Beautifully Made Film
shark-4319 February 2002
This film is so beautifully made with strong, amazing lead performances from Cicely Tyson and Paul Winfield. A real treat - heartbreaking portrait of life during the Great Depression but with pure tenderness and a true example of the human spirit. Martin Ritt does a marvelous job with his steady direction. A wonderful film.
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10/10
I just simply...
aeowen-0339826 March 2019
...love this movie, much above any others I have watched before.

I knew I had seen this before, think it was either on PBS back in the 80s, or on one of the movie channels like HBO, something like that. But this movie astounded me, it shook something in me that I never forgot it.

A true and honest period piece from 1972, Sounder told the story of an African-American sharecropper family back in the 1930s. The movie is warm, vibrant, and just makes you feel good all over; well, it did me. Both Paul Winfield and Cicely Tyson make the film very believable, and so much of it rang very true of the era back then. Not an element of racism is found or portrayed, which makes this very refreshing. There is not one thing I could spell wrong with it. Just that I love it. So very enjoyable. Worth watching again and again, over and over. Not disappointing one bit.

A recommended watch. Ten of ten stars.
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8/10
it's excellent!
vesuvi-700043 January 2018
I'd never heard of this title... but recorded it because of Cicely Tyson and Paul Winfield being among the cast. When I finally got around to watching it I was delighted to see that it was set in Louisiana (where I hail from) back in 1933. I wondered to myself if I'd see any familiar sites? I did! I went to elementary school a very short distance from the courthouse (which was shown a couple of times).

I won't give away any of the plot... but it is a gripping tale of sharecropper's family... focusing on the eldest son, in particular. Much of it is difficult to watch, because of the unfairness of the era... but we must remember these things as not to repeat them.

Ultimately, I was moved emotionally... and there's also a fair amount of luscious cinematography to savor... along with some occasional kernels of humor... as well as some very hopeful lessons.
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9/10
A Great movie, my first time viewing.
charliesedaka19 November 2017
I don't know much about movies, don't watch many but this is a great film. The scene where the boy (David) and Sounder meet the schoolteacher Ms Johnson is especially poignant, and of course, he hears her quoting Du Bois. The shaming of Clarence, a schoolboy, after he claims to have saved his sister from drowning, is another great scene.

All in all, its a truly great film.
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10/10
This really is a moving movie
drie146613 February 2007
This was one of the best movie I have seen. I shows you what Afican Americans came from and where we gotten now. They went through so much and still came out on top.If other people saw this touching movie they would view what hey have differently.When Nathan was arrested away you would think this would go down hill. When you the was see that was just a minor hing but it help get one of his children a better education. When look a your life and then look at theirs you see thats we (afican American)have really gotten some where in life and hopefully this is not the end of our growth maybe we can continue rising to the top of charts.This movie changes lives.
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7/10
excellent acting and a nice slice of life
MartinHafer15 February 2006
The title to this movie is a misnomer, as "Sounder" is the family dog and it doesn't play that prominent a role in the film. Instead of a dog flick, it concerns the trials and tribulations of a Black-American family early in the 20th Century. Most of their problems concern racial prejudice but poverty helped contribute to their struggle as well. Overall, the movie really stands out for excellent acting as well as excellent writing--the characters have a lot of life and seem very realistic. My only quibble is that the story itself seems secondary--life WHAT occurs is far less important than the journey itself. While this is not a major complaint, it does blunt, somewhat, the overall impact of the film. There are, as a consequence, better films about the African-American experience BUT it is still well worth watching--especially for kids who might be too young for some other movies (like Rosewood or Glory).
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5/10
read the book first!
deheras11 May 2006
This film seems great until you read the book on which it's based. The movie completely waters down the power of the book in the interest of box office. The book is a lean, mean profile of sharecroppers in the south a few decades after the Civil War. None of the characters are given names except for the dog, Sounder. I would think that the later movie (directed by Kevin Hooks, who played "the boy" in the original movie) is much better and accurate to the text. "Sourland" is a follow up to "Sounder" (the book) and makes you really think. I recommend both highly. I taught this book for a number of years to 6th grade students in East LA. Their reaction after reading the book was that the movie is much to easy on the subject of race and brings in too many "feel good" moments such as a "typical" American picnic with fried chicken and baseball which detracts from the historical reality of the period (the movie moves up the book a few decades). The music included was very "edgy" back in '72 but is passe and distracting now. If you're renting this movie thinking you're going to educate your child on the struggle of blacks in America, don't bother. It's too cleaned up. Read the book with your kids. It's not a book for 3-8th graders to read alone without guidance.
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8/10
Taj Mahal (the bluesman) is in it !
jtpatton200017 January 2006
Saw this movie in the theater as a kid in '72 and loved it then for the faithful eponymous coonhound. "Where the Red Fern Grows" is another great coonhound movie. Just yesterday, one of the television movie channels showed "Sounder" without commercial interruption. I fell in love with it all over again. It is refreshingly simple and slow-paced, just like farm life. I believe it accurately portrays the era. The acting is just great- understated, but emotional. There is no easy stereotyping- few of the "white" characters are vicious racists. The heart and soul of this movie is the intense affection and devotion of the sharecroppers for each other. The great musician, Taj Mahal, does an outstanding job with the soundtrack, and as a supporting character, "Ike". If you are a country blues fan, you should see this movie for that reason alone. If you can enjoy a movie that rolls along slowly and doesn't try to beat you over the head with its message, watch "Sounder".
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7/10
Civil rights
fmwongmd19 September 2019
Before it became fashionable the root cause of black oppression is well portrayed in this affecting film be Cicely Tyson and Paul Winfield
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9/10
Truly Touching on Every Count
Hitchcoc26 December 2016
This is the intense story of a family of black sharecroppers. It is the classic tale of what happens in the South, dominated by whites with power. The father ends up in jail for stealing food because his family is starving. Of course, there is no compassion for him and the family waits for his return. See this movie for the performances of Paul Winfield, Cecile Tyson, and Kevin Hooks. The cinematography is stunning, capturing the beauty that is the place where all this happens. Even in the face of the most trying and tragic events, there is a kind of hope in the air. The camera draws back and gives us natural beauty. See this movie because there won't be many like it.
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