Drama | English | 105 minutes
Nathan Lee Morgan, his wife Rebecca, and three kids are sharecroppers, along with their dog Sounder, living in rural Louisiana during the Depression. They barely manage, basically living in poverty. Desperate, Nathan Lee steals a ham from a warehouse; next morning the family delights in a rare delicious breakfast. Unfortunately, the sheriff nabs Nathan Lee and he is sent away for a year to a prison camp. It’s now up to Rebecca and her precocious 13-year old, David Lee, to plant and harvest the crops. David Lee, however, is intent on seeing his father at the prison camp. It’s a long way from home. On his way, David Lee visits a segregated school run by a compassionate African-American teacher, Miss Camille. She takes David Lee to her home and feeds him a hot meal. Before he leaves and heads back home, Miss Camille gives David Lee a few books about African-American history and invites him to attend her class. Shortly after David Lee returns home he receives a letter from Miss Camille informing him the Fall term is beginning and she hopes he’ll attend. Rebecca is adamant that David Lee stay and help with the farming. Nathan Lee consoles his son, pointing out that he has been offered an opportunity he should not miss taking.
Why Stream This Film?
- Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 90%
- Metacritic Score: 80
- Academy Awards: Nominated, Best Picture; Best Actor (Paul Winfield); Best Actress (Cicely Tyson); Best Screenplay (Lonne Elder III)
- Golden Globe Awards: Nominated, Best Actress (Cicely Tyson); Most Promising Newcomer (Kevin Hooks)
- National Board of Review: Winner, Best Actress (Cicely Tyson); Listed, Top Ten Films of the Year
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“SOUNDER is a story simply told and universally moving. It is one of the most compassionate and truthful of movies and there’s not a level where it doesn’t succeed completely.”
“SOUNDER is an outstanding film. The superb production depicts the heart-warming and character-building struggles of a poor black sharecropper family in the Depression era. Martin Ritt’s masterful direction, an excellent adaptation, and a uniformly terrific cast make this a film which transcends space, race, age and time.”
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