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Cry: The Beloved Country [DVD] [1951]

4.4 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Canada Lee, Sidney Poitier, Charles Carson
  • Directors: Zoltan Korda
  • Format: PAL, Black & White, Full Screen, Mono
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Studiocanal
  • DVD Release Date: 18 Jan. 2010
  • Run Time: 103 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000Z63ZO2
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 22,119 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Zoltan Korda directs and produces this South African-set drama based on the celebrated novel by Alan Paton. Set in a little village in the scorched valley of Ixopo, the story revolves around the family of Reverend Stephen Kumalo (Canada Lee). The Reverend's son, Absalom (Lionel Ngakane), has disappeared and his sister, Gertrude (Ribbon Dhlamini), is ill in Johannesburg. Kumalo leaves his poor village with his life savings in order to go to Johannesburg to try to persuade his sister and son to come home but while there he finds his son has been accused of the murder of the son of a farmer. As both fathers suffer, they slowly become friends. Sydney Poitier co-stars.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I lived in South Africa from 1970 to 1974. I read this book while there and when I went back this February for a holiday, I took that same copy with me and read it while there. So I watched this film with great interest and some hope that it would be faithful to the book. I wanted the 1951 version since it was made just 3 years after the formal and legal introduction of apartheid. As a film it suffers from patchy acting, poor cutting from scene to scene, and dodgy sound. Is it true to the book? Yes of course it starts and finishes as does the book; but significant scenes are omitted. Scenes that are needed to explain the narrative and the lives of the characters. Am I glad I saw it with all its imperfections? Yes I am. The lack of a modern day gloss, and knowing when it was made, makes it real to me. And in addition, knowing that Canada Lee and Sidney Poitier had to be smuggled in under false pretences, adds a special piquancy.
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As movie-making it is dated, though it certainly retains its power. What makes it well worth watching though is that it was made only four years after the book was written, just after the National Party had come to power and before they had managed to impose Apartheid, so the images are straight from the times and not created in a studio with an historical perspective. Watch this one, watch the later one, and read the book. It remains a great piece of literature as well as an historical insight.
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Format: DVD
Have watched the the VHS Tape many times, and am moved sometimes to tears.
It is wonderful to see the two fathers(1 a Zulu an 1 and one a white farmer), brought together by a common tragedy.
Have seen the remake, but is NOT a patch on the original b/w film of 1951.
I wouldn't buy it !!
Father Michael Edwards
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Format: DVD
Rev. Stephen Kumalo (James Earl Jones) travels to the big city only to be ripped off, find his sister is working as a prostitute, and his son is accused of murder. After having a bad day he encounters the father (Richard Harris) of the man his son killed. They lament for the situation in South Africa as we see the murder as a microcosm of their situation of despair.

The film which had a great performances desperately attempted to created a feeling of despair and sympathy for a murderer. In fact I thought it tried too hard, creating instead what seemed like a faux-drama.
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I never tire of watching this film. I had it on video and was delighted to find it on DVD. As close to Alan Paton's book as it could possibly be. Well acted by all and thought provoking. A wonderful book and a wonderful film. Could not be bettered even by the more recent remake with James Earl Garner.
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Amazing film, remember seeing it at the cinema in Putney when it came out - got it for the kids to watch as they'd been covering apartheid at school.
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This early version of the book is in black and white which adds to the drama of the storyline. The acting is superbe. Very emotional.
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