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Sounder
List Price: $9.95

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Product Description

Martin Ritt (Hud) directed this wonderful 1972 drama about a family of African American sharecroppers in rural Louisiana during the Great Depression. When the father is sent to jail for stealing food to feed his family, the others regroup in order to survive. Cicely Tyson brings grace and strength to her role, and director Martin Ritt pushes the story well past nostalgia toward an understated but obvious look at burgeoning self-determination among blacks (even the roots of future militancy). If Ritt, a white director, can't get any closer to the characters' experience than he already does, he is still a fine storyteller and this is a terrific tale. --Tom Keogh

Customer Reviews:

  • SOUNDER
    THIS IS AGREAT MOVIE, THAT DESERVES TO BE BROUGHT TO DVD OR HD DVD,THIS IS ASHAME AND A DISGRACE TO THE ACTORS AND MOVIE BUFFS AROUND THE WORLD....more info
  • Great classic
    Father and son bonding with the family dog is spectacular. Good family movie that will not disapoint you. Hard times in Depression era Louisiana forces a father to go through great lengths to support his family. The end result was that you can't keep a man down for too long as long as he has a family behind him....more info
  • THE STRUGGLING TIMES OF A BLACK-AMERICAN FAMILY OF SHARECOPPERS!
    I REMEMBER WATCHING THIS MOVIE ON TV, WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL! IT GIVES YOU A REAL GLIMPSE ,OF HOW HARD IT WAS FOR THE BLACK AMERICAN PEOPLE. THIS IS A STORY ABOUT A FAMILY OF SHARECOPPERS, WHO STRUGGLE JUST TO SURVIVE, AND PUT FOOD ON THE TABLE, AND PAY WHAT THEY, OWE. THE OLDEST SON, IS TRYING SO HARD TO FILL HIS FATHER'S SHOES, WHEN HIS FATHER IS SENT TO JAIL, AND TO A WORK CAMP, FOR STEALING FOOD. THE LOCAL SHERIFF AND CERTAIN TOWN PEOPLE, ARE VERY PREJUDICE AGAINST THIS POOR FAMILY. THE MOTHER (CICELY TYSON},IS A STRONG WOMAN, WHO IS A WIFE, AND MOTHER, TRYING TO HANDLE IT ALL, WITH NO ONE TO HELP HER, BUT HER CHILDEN. ALL THE ACTORS IN THIS MOVIE DID A OUTSTANDING JOB! AWESOME! I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS MOVIE! MY GRANDFATHER { MY MOTHER'S FATHER}, WAS A SHARECOPPER, AND THEY HAD A HARD GO OF IT ALSO! THIS IS A VERY GOOD MOVIE, AND I LOVED ALL THE OUTDOOR SCENES, AND I LOVED THE DOG, AND ALSO THE MULE WHO GROUND SUGAR CANE ALL DAY!...more info
  • Excellent Movie, Poor DVD Quality
    One of my all-time favorite films, Cicely Tyson's performance was worthy of an Oscar. Though she didn't win. Her running to greet the return of her husband Nathan(Paul Winfeld)just released from prison, still stands out as a great cinematic moment.

    A moving and sensitive portrayal of a black sharecropping family in the 1930s south, this Academy Award nominated film of 1972, deserves far better than this poor DVD offering. The film easily rates 5 stars, but the DVD is about the quality of 1. Shame on 20th Century-Fox for leaving this classic in the hands of an independent. And how can anyone complain about the director Martin Ritt?(Hud, The Great White Hope, Conrack, Norma Rae, Cross Creek)just to name a few.

    A beautiful story, acted and directed with a 1930s down home feel, the only problem with this movie is the poor transfer onto DVD. I would say wait until 20th Century-Fox finally does it justice, with its own high quality DVD release; but that may never happen. So for now, we're stuck. Unfortunately. ...more info
  • A giant of a movie that reaches deep into your heart.
    A simple tale, simply told with great heart and soul for the main family headed by Cicely Tyson and Paul Winfield, who made names for themselves in this movie (Oscar nominations). Pity, neither were really rewarded with subsequent roles that acknowledge their efforts in this movie, with the exception of Tyson's tour de force in "The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman." This movie tells the tale of a family's struggle in sharecropping, partcularly after the father (Winfield) is jailed for stealing food to feed his family after a failed hunt towards that end. Ensuing endeavors include his family's efforts to meet the demands of their sharecropping while their father's in jail, the eldest son's (Kevin Hooks) journey to visit his dad in jail and his difficulties in obtaining knowledge of his whereabouts, and that son's ultimate first dealing with a mature decision when having to choose between accepting an invitation to attain an education at a school he encounters in his journey to find his father, or to stay home with the dad he's missed so much. The greatest injustice to this movie is that it came out the same year as "The Godfather" and "Cabaret", two movies that swept the Oscars that year denying "Sounder" any richly deserved praise by Hollywood. That aside, this is a great family film that will affect members of all ages....more info
  • Sounder
    Excellent movie with wonderful music by Taj Mahal and great acting by Cicely tyson and paul Winfield....more info
  • Sounder
    This is a a wonderful movie about a man that's separated from his family down in the southern states. It's wonderfully acted, and the son is perfect for the part. I can watch this over, and over. My kids love it too. The one thing I don't like is how much your website sells it for. After all, what DVD is worth thirty dollars if it isn't a multiple disc set? I got this at Wal-Mart for seven dollars, so why pay thirty? Get real guys, and start shopping around. This isn't a rare DVD, you can find it anywhere. If a movie store can rent it, then they can order you one for way cheaper too....more info
  • Disappointing DVD transfer
    This great movie deserves better treatment on DVD. The "extras" are worthless, the picture transfer is rather faded and flat, and the movie is presented in "pan and scan" format instead of the original widescreen. Dolby Mono.

    This is a great movie with great music. Can't somebody see their way to giving it the DVD treatment it deserves?

    On the plus side, it is cheap, and if you love this movie, you can look past these flaws....more info

  • a Classic
    a CLASSIC of American Cinema in the golden age of American Cinema. Beautiful perfomances and able to be watched and understood by the whole family - full of thoughts on family, morality, justice, endurance and love. ...more info
  • Negative Reviews for this film are misleading!
    Just re-watching this film recorded on my DVR after many years - simply excellent portrayal - agree w/ those who rated this movie 4*-5*, well deserved. The lower ratings should be ignored - a number relate to the 'poor' DVD transfers, and although I agree that quality transfers are desirable these should not bear on the overall rating of the film's quality (perhaps several rating categories are needed?). Finally, the rating of 1* by Cynthia Ward should be not only ignored but abolished from the entire list of reviews - don't know if she had a 'personal' reason to rate this film undeservedly or just wants to promote her book? But just the simple comment of better acting & a better director reflects utter ignorance; Martin Ritt, the director of this film, also made the following movies - 'The Long, Hot Summer', 'Black Orchid', 'Hud', 'The Spy Who Came in from the Cold', 'Hombre', 'The Great White Hope', 'Conrack', & 'Norma Rae' - just to mention some of his output. Bottom line - give this film a viewing & completely ignore Ward's rating - you'll be pleasantly pleased. ...more info
  • Definitive Depression-Era Family Drama With Powerful Performances from Tyson, Winfield and Hooks
    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)....more info
  • Wonderful Classic
    A well done version of a time honored classic. My only issue with this movie is that it may prevent many children from reading a great book. (Yes, I am a teacher!) It's a great story about a family supporting one another, even during the hardest of times. Do your best to ignore bad reviews from people not even aware that "Sounder", was a book, first. It was also a Newberry winner, an award given for exceptional children's literature. I would highly recommend this video for family viewing as well as classroom use. I generally use the movie as an added resource when my class reads the book.
    Yes, dvd quality could have been better, but I am not allowing that to alter my rating....more info