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Cora Unashamed (2000)

Regina Taylor , Cherry Jones , Deborah Pratt  |  NR |  DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Regina Taylor, Cherry Jones, Ellen Muth, Michael Gaston, Kohl Sudduth
  • Directors: Deborah Pratt
  • Writers: Ann Peacock, Langston Hughes
  • Producers: Anne Hopkins, Marian Rees, Rebecca Eaton, Ronald Colby, Stephen Kulczycki
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Unknown)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Pbs Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: February 8, 2005
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0006Z2L5Q
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #218,154 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Cora Unashamed" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Langston Hughes' haunting story of an African-American woman's confrontation with death, abortion and loneliness is set in rural Iowa in the early 1900s. Working as a domestic, she lives only for her daughter and the neglected child of her employers. Regina Taylor ("Strange Justice," "I'll Fly Away") and Cherry Jones (A Moon for the Misbegotten, Cradle Will Rock) star.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cora Triumphant September 19, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
Almost all of the "Masterpiece Theatre American Collection" dramas have been disasters. The sole exception is "Cora Unashamed." This adaptation of Langston Hughes's short story is beautifully written, directed, and cast. It packs a greater emotional punch than almost anything else that television has produced in recent years.
Cora, a black housekeeper, works for a well-placed white family in a small Iowa town, and loses her young daughter to illness. Cora finds a surrogate child in the youngest daughter of her employers, and the daughter, in turn, finds a soulmate in Cora. This friendship, as well as the young girl's romantic attachment, does not please her social-climbing mother. Matters come to a head when this child also falls ill.
The underrated Regina Taylor plays Cora to perfection, displaying the full range of the character's emotions. Cora's sense of humor, honor, and love balance her pain, hurt, and jealousy. She never loses sight of the entire woman. Cherry Jones, one of the New York stage's greatest actresses, matches her as the flawed and domineering mother. Where a lesser actress would portray a cardboard villain, Jones displays all the vulnerability and humanity that lies under the surface.
A job well done.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Faithful adaptation-and then some! May 21, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
This film, and the underrated talent Regina Taylor, does a great job of "fleshing out" Langston Hughes' classic short story. The film remains faithful to the Hughes tale and does an excellent job of giving the characters added depth. We see all of the elements that cause the bond between Cora and Jessie, the misunderstood daughter of her cruel and indifferent employers. The acting and Iowa scenery are superb. This is one adaption that does not require you to read he original first. Read it to compare, but see thins and it will really make you think of what's important in life.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can you handle the truth? August 28, 2007
This is a story about the shame that binds us, and the truth that sets us free. It's about adolescent love, classism, racism, and a love that crosses all the boundaries.

Regina Taylor is a class act, and plays her characters with dignity and grace. Playing a woman who is fully expected to sacrifice her life for the family she works for, Ms. Taylor does as fine a job in this feature as she does in the TV series "I'll Fly Away" with Sam Waterston - one of my all time favorites.

When she loses her child to whooping cough, Cora's dedication to the little white girl she cares for, who was her daughter's friend, deepens. The story becomes more tragic as the true nature of the little girl's relationship with her own mother is based on the mother's shame, lies, and secrets. The way that shame plays out causes devastating effects to unfold until you just don't think you can take it any more.

And the power of the truth reveals how liberating honesty can be.

When Abortion Was Illegal: Untold Stories

Rambling Rose
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Movie December 9, 2001
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
This movie is based on a short story by Langston Hughes. It is the best movie I have seen this year. The movie is about Cora. She is one of the only black people in her town. Cora has a little daughter and she is the housekeeper for a rich white family. After a tremendous heartbreak Cora becomes close to the youngest daugther of the family. Cora will once again suffer heartbreak. Your heart will break with her's because of the touching scenes that follow each heartbreak. You might cry but when you reach the end of the movie, you will be rewarded. This is a great movie and I recommend it highly.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Important Movie December 26, 2006
A Kid's Review
This is an important movie.

The limelight is Cora, who lost her daughter and look after another daughter unwanted by a mother who hate her because she has freckles. The mother killed that child and she refused to acknowledge, covering her evil deeds, and her husband just watch and doesn't care, or at least, a wimp. It was only when the daughter died and Cora told the truth did the mother repent. BUT IT WAS TOO LATE. There are still parents around the world still like this. Is there a cure to stop this evil before it's TOO late??????????????????????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars This movie is so touching like "The Help" July 10, 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I remember seeing thus movie on PBS/ETV. Me and my caregiver was so glued to our seats watching this great emotional touching video. Regina Taylor and all the characters was excellent in this movie. This movie reminds me of "The Help" in some ways.

Thank the Lord my caregiver was able to purchase it from Amazon brand new sealed for $12.88. The prices they are offering now $45.00 and up are a little too much.

Thank you and I do hope this review help someone.
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5.0 out of 5 stars my favorite movie I have ever seen June 4, 2014
By sen pei
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
when the first time i saw this movie, it made me cry for half hour, because of the plot. in the movie how Mrs. Art Studevant treats her daughter can remind me of my mother
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4.0 out of 5 stars Cora Unashamed December 2, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
A time When people keeped to them self's takeing care of her girl and a little white girl who is played by ( Ellen Ann Muth )
This is hoe life was.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars one of the best stories
Now here is a great heart-felt movie. About the life journey of a young woman who is in service to a family. Read more
Published 13 months ago by margaret todd
5.0 out of 5 stars Diamond in the Rough
This is a masterpiece. Beautiful story , acting and story line. I can't think of anything else to say! Wonderful
Published 13 months ago by Dana Harris
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie!
I am a teacher and use it during Black history month! Lots of great activities to go along with the movie on PBS!
Published 15 months ago by Monika Raglin
3.0 out of 5 stars Alright
I love Regina Taylor (especially in "I'll Fly Away"). The movie is heart-breaking and uplifting at the same time - it is NOT a "fairy tale". Read more
Published 17 months ago by Cher
5.0 out of 5 stars Cora Unashamed
I watched this movie a long time ago but never forgot it, it stuck with me all these years. I like how Cora stood up for herself and Jessie. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Miranda Scott
5.0 out of 5 stars Cora Unashamed
In my opinion this film hits all the right notes. It is the film version of a story by Langston Hughes, and in my opinion everyone connected to it has taken all Mr. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Cynthia Christiansen
5.0 out of 5 stars Tender and tragic
Every teacher would do well to show this in classrooms all over. The director and actors did a wonderful job with a story that needs to be told. Read more
Published on April 23, 2012 by J Picasso
5.0 out of 5 stars Physically hearttouching
This movie will leave you wanting more. I have seen this movie more that 10 times, and its better with ever time.
Published on November 22, 2009 by LeBaron Judkins
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