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  • A Raisin In The Sun [DVD] [2003]
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A Raisin In The Sun [DVD] [2003]


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Product details

  • Actors: Sidney Poitier, Claudia McNeil, Ruby Dee, Diana Sands, Ivan Dixon
  • Directors: Daniel Petrie
  • Writers: Lorraine Hansberry
  • Producers: David Susskind, Philip Rose, Ronald H. Gilbert
  • Format: Subtitled, PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Arabic, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Italian, Greek, Norwegian, Polish, Swedish, Turkish
  • Dubbed: German, Italian
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 10 Nov. 2003
  • Run Time: 128 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000C24UY
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 38,035 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

A RAISIN IN THE SUN is a groundbreaking drama celebrating the human spirit, featuring an electrifying performance by Academy Award(r) winner Sidney Poitier (Best Actor, Lilies of the Field, 1963). The Younger family, frustrated with living in their crowded Chicago apartment, sees the arrival of a $10,000 insurance check as the answer to their prayers. Matriarch Lena Younger (Claudia McNeil) promptly puts a down payment on a house in an all-white suburban neighborhood. But the family is divided when Lena entrusts the balance of the money to her mercurial son Walter Lee (Poitier), against the wishes of her daughter (Diana Sands) and daughter-in-law (Ruby Dee). It takes the strength and integrity of this African-American family to battle against generations of prejudice to try to achieve theirpiece of the American Dream.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jenny J.J.I. on 25 Jun. 2007
Format: DVD
Some stories leaves a great impression on you and this is one of them. The 1961 film version of "A Raisin in the Sun" reassembled the stage cast, with leading actors Claudia McNeil, Ruby Dee and Diana Sands as well as Poitier. The plays black director was replaced by Columbia Pictures with a white one, but Hansberry wrote the screenplay adaptation of her own work, saying, "Nobody's going to turn this thing into a minstrel show" (Goudsouzian). Hansberry originally toughened the plays script, adding scenes that emphasized the hopelessness of the ghetto environment, for example, one in which Mama Younger's is overcharged while shopping at an inner-city supermarket and one that shows Walter Lee seeking advice from a white store owner about opening his own business and misinterpreting the businessman's personal frustrations as racism. Columbia rejected this material, as well as eliminating black slang like "bread" for "money," saying that additional polarizing issues lessened the white audience's sympathy for the Younger family. The studio was cautious, because bringing the play to the screen was a financial risk, since there would be no bookings, and no revenue, from the South.

Both the play and later the film version of "A Raisin in the Sun" came at a critical time for black Americans. "In 1960, Negroes were quietly asking for their rights. By 1969, blacks were demanding them. The decade moved from the traditional goal of cultural and academic assimilation to one of almost absolute separatism and the evolution of a black cultural aesthetic" (Bogle). Some critics viewed the play as a "soap opera made successful by American's collective guilt over the Negro Question" (Mapp).
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Mary Whipple HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on 29 Jun. 2004
Format: DVD
With perhaps the best cast ever assembled for this play, David Susskind's 1961 production of Raisin in the Sun is a classic film and a landmark achievement during the American civil rights struggles of the early 1960s. Starring a young Sidney Poitier as Walter Lee, Claudia McNeil as his mother Lena Younger, Ruby Dee as his wife Ruth, and Diana Sands as his sister Beneatha, the film closely follows the script of the play, and director Daniel Petrie wisely confines the setting almost entirely to one room, as it is on stage. This intensifies the emotions and interactions of this three-generation family, which share a small, two-bedroom apartment in South Chicago, and makes their longing to break free obvious both visually and emotionally.

Sidney Poitier as Walter Lee is the "giant...surrounded by ants" as he dreams of escaping his job as a chauffeur and investing in a liquor store. Poitier's body language and subtle gestures as he argues about how to spend his mother's ten thousand dollar life insurance check powerfully convey his longings. The close-up of Poitier's slow transition from an insolent and angry young man to a tearful and repentant son in one scene with his mother is unforgettable. Claudia McNeil, as the mother, is stalwart, strong, and full of pride. Ruby Dee, as the devoted wife, trying to decide whether to have an abortion in order to lighten Walter Lee's load, is simultaneously resolute and resigned. Diana Sands, as Beneatha, the agnostic medical student, reflecting the beginning of the "Roots" and "Black Power" movements, provides some comic relief as she practices African "home-from-the-hunt" dances.
At the heart of the play is the issue of discrimination against black people and the limitations on their dreams, and the filming in black and white is appropriate.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tony.... on 3 Feb. 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I watched this film last night,
What can I say a classic in every sense.
Ruby Dee was Very very good, A true actor from the old school, I really felt for her character.
its a shame this film is not shown in British schools , I suppose the subject matter is very sensitive even in 2011 here and the States.

But the story line is still some what relevant today.

The glass ceiling is still unattainable for some in society.
The film was staged as a play. Actors were true to form. I also liked the fact that the producers and or writers had done their research and even the African/Nigerian
music on the record player was real yourba chants and not made up nonsense.

I for one enjoyed the film on many levels.
I will watch it again, and this time with my children.

The film conveyed a very subtle and at times heart wrenching observation of the civil rights movement.

5 stars not at all enough.
"Lansbury" produced a true modern classic tale.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 5 Mar. 2001
Format: VHS Tape
This is an excellent movie. The writing is excellent, especially for the three female roles. Mr. Poitier is so good at playing the volcano that is about to errupt. The female cast are very good, funny and touching and they make the most of these very rich female roles: the strong religious mother, the supportive and loving wife and the idealistic and rebelious sister. And all this with no sex and no physical violence. The film is full of gems that make one reflect long after the end: E.g. when Mr. Asagai says that hopes and dreams of a family should not depend on something that arises by accident (the insurance payout), or when the mother forces her 'liberated' daughter to admit that there is "...still a god in my mother's house".
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