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Cry, the Beloved Country

1952 1h 43m Drama List
92% Tomatometer 13 Reviews 68% Audience Score 100+ Ratings
Stephen Kumalo (Canada Lee) is a black preacher living in South Africa, circa 1946. When his son is accused of murdering a prominent white man, Kumalo goes to Johannesburg to offer his support. With the aid of a local clergyman (Sidney Poitier), he eventually meets James Jarvis (Charles Carson), the father of the murdered youth. Enemies at first, Kumalo and Jarvis gradually learn to respect one another, a symbol of the healing that would eventually destroy apartheid. Read More Read Less
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Critics Reviews

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Kevin Maher Times (UK) Canada Lee is monumental as the minister and Sidney Poitier brings some fabulous strutting modernity to the role of his slick city sidekick. Rated: 5/5 Oct 9, 2023 Full Review Peter Bradshaw Guardian It has a crusading preacher’s urgency and moral seriousness, appropriate for a story of priests. Rated: 5/5 Oct 5, 2023 Full Review Variety Staff Variety A very moving film, full of simplicity and charm. Oct 23, 2015 Full Review Jack Hawkins HeyUGuys Canada Lee and Sidney Poitier embody race, class and creed in this dated but resonant apartheid drama Rated: 4/5 Oct 18, 2023 Full Review Eddie Harrison film-authority.com ‘…more relevant now than most well-meaning films of the time because it taps into the guilt and remorse felt by the white land-owners as well as the despair of the locals...has a profound meaning which hasn’t changed in 80 or so years… Rated: 4/5 Oct 9, 2023 Full Review MFB Critics Monthly Film Bulletin The artlessness of the film is in itself sympathetic, but it fails simply through lack of imagination, lack of grasp. The result is something protracted, confused, and lacking in drama. Jan 29, 2018 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

View All (9) audience reviews
Steve D There may be better choices now but it is an important film. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 06/29/23 Full Review Audience Member I loved this movie but its very very sad. It takes place in South Africa and so there's a lot of unique settings to me. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 01/29/23 Full Review Audience Member This movie needs to be required viewing, along with reading Alan Paton's novel by the same name, for everyone who wants to understand South Africa in the 1940s when the apartheid system was practiced but not yet as rigid or violently enforced as it would be by the 1960s. It is also an instructive human interest drama of racial reconciliation and forgiveness without dipping into sentimentality. Most importantly, as a film it is a period piece filmed on location close to the time the drama was set, so it bears an authenticity the later (1995) film can't recreate as effectively. I am very unhappy this 1951 Korda version has been removed from YouTube and isn't easily available, apart from used VHS copies on Ebay or Amazon. Bring out a new DVD please! Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/12/23 Full Review Audience Member although i saw this version second i think i prefer this version over the james earl jones version. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 01/21/23 Full Review ashley h A powerful, deep, and complex story of an interracial crime in 1940s Johannesburg. As in The Grapes Of Wrath, the spotlight is on the human struggle and heartbreak of a racially divided society instead of the inevitable political and moral overtones. The result is the story of a generation. Also, there were great performances from Canada Lee, Charles Carson, and Sidney Poitier. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Audience Member Well-acted and generally well-told story. The pacing is sometimes undermined by some rushed scenes, but this is overall quite good. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/20/23 Full Review Read all reviews
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Movie Info

Synopsis Stephen Kumalo (Canada Lee) is a black preacher living in South Africa, circa 1946. When his son is accused of murdering a prominent white man, Kumalo goes to Johannesburg to offer his support. With the aid of a local clergyman (Sidney Poitier), he eventually meets James Jarvis (Charles Carson), the father of the murdered youth. Enemies at first, Kumalo and Jarvis gradually learn to respect one another, a symbol of the healing that would eventually destroy apartheid.
Director
Zoltan Korda
Screenwriter
Alan Paton
Production Co
London Film Production
Genre
Drama
Original Language
English
Release Date (Streaming)
May 22, 2017
Runtime
1h 43m
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