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Cry the Beloved Country (2011)

Richard Harris , James Earl Jones , Darrell Roodt  |  PG-13 |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Richard Harris, James Earl Jones
  • Directors: Darrell Roodt
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Echo Bridge Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: October 11, 2011
  • Run Time: 106 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005GRF3DG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #64,674 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

In a land torn by hatred and injustice, James Earl Jones and Richard Harris are two fathers—one a man of peace, the other a man of power and privilege—whose lives seem destined for a violent collision. But instead, in the wake of a tragic killing, these extraordinary men form an unlikely union...and together find the kind of understanding that could heal a nation. Based on the acclaimed novel, you'll find this electrifying motion picture both entertaining and inspiring.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
72 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A MAGNIFICENT AND MOVING FILM... February 4, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
This adaptation of Alan Paton's best selling novel is superior to the 1951 version starring Sidney Poitier, though that earlier adaptation is also excellent. Here, Richard Harris gives a sharply drawn performance as a hard nosed, well to do landowner in South Africa with a somewhat negative attitude toward the native population. James Earl Jones gives a beautifully nuanced, sensitive performance as a simple, country preacher who is described by a colleague as simply the "best man he ever met".
The story takes place in 1946. The preacher temporaily leaves his flock and family to go to Johannesburg to search for his brother, his sister, and his son, Absalom. For those who are well versed in the Bible, the name "Absalom" is not without significance.
He finds all three, but too late. His brother has turned away from the church and become involved in racial politics. His sister has turned to prostitution, and his son has become involved with less than salubrious companions.
The landowner lives in the same countryside as the preacher, and he, too, has a son. As did the preacher's son, his had also migrated to Johannesburg, and was a well known city engineer, as well as an altruist dedicated to helping the native population. Unfortunately, the son ends up murdered in his own home by a gang of natives, one of whom is Absalom.
While the landowner and the preacher may have been from the same area and their paths may have crossed, they had never before spoken to one another, until their paths tragically intersected through their sons: one murdered, the other, the murderer. Their respective journeys to reach their sons serves to starkly draw the contrast between White and Black South Africa.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars James Earl Jones Shines in Noble Performance February 8, 2006
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Darrell Roodt chose carefully when it was time to direct the first film of South Africa after the abolition of Apartheid. Alan Paton's novel was first filmed in 1951, and "Cry the Beloved Country" is a tale that seems as much a part of the South African collective zeitgeist as Twain or Hemingway or Steinbeck is part of America's.

This film version is centered around perhaps James Earl Jones' most powerful screen performance. He stars as the Reverend Stephen Kumalo, a clergyman from a small town in South Africa. He is a strong man of faith and leads a congregation in matters both religious and practical. His son ran away to Johannesburg to work in the mines, and his sister went away also to join her husband. His brother, John, is also in the city, an outspoken black activist who has abandoned the ways of religion because religion is not creating justice for blacks. The film opens with Reverend Kumalo receiving word that things are not all well in Johannesburg.

Richard Harris has the role of James Jarvis, a wealthy white landowner from the same small town. His son has also gone to Johannesburg, where he works as an activist trying to improve the repressed condition of the South African Blacks who are only starting to come under the evil thumb of Apartheid.

The whites and blacks are so separate that although they are two of the most prominent figures in a small town, Mr. Jarvis and the Reverend Kumalo have not even met as the movie opens. Tragedy strikes, more than once, and without spoiling the plot I'll just reveal that it involves the two sons of these two characters.

Roodt goes out of his way to display the noble suffering of Reverend Kumalo. He never speaks a discouraging word, even when confronting terrible injustice.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Patience for this movie pays off in the end May 28, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
I remember seeing the trailers for "Cry, The Beloved Country," in the theater before it came out, later I realized I missed my chance to see it on the big screen when I saw it in the video store. I can only imagine the impact this movie would have on me if I had seen it on the big screen.
In the opening scenes the audience is treated to absolutely breath-taking images of the hills of South Africa, it is there that you are introduced to the story's protangonist Rev. Kumalo, the pastor of a small country church in South Africa. The role of Kumalo is played brilliantly by James Earl Jones.
In the opening scenes Rev. Kumalo travels to Johannesburg to come to the aid of his sister and to search for his son. While in Johannesburg, the lives of Rev. Kumalo and James Jarvis, a weathly farmer and neighbor of Kumalo played by Richard Harris, are brought together by an event (I will leave it at that) that will profoundly affect the lives of both men. Pay particular attention to the scene where Jones and Harris first meet, it is a wonderful example what is possible when two accomplished actors are put together and given the chance to ply their trades.
"Cry, The Beloved Country," does require some patience from the viewer, director Darrell Roodt builds the story slowly and deliberately, and even this level of dillegence doesn't completely pay off, but when the movie comes to it's climax I can guarantee you will appreciate the time Roodt took to set up the story in the beginning of the movie.
This is really the story of an honest man in dishonest wolrd and the effect individuals can make in the lives of others. This movie should have recieved much more attention when it was in the theaters and Jones should have recieved an Oscar nomination for his preformance.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good movie. I read the book first.
Published 1 day ago by Joyce H. Beard
4.0 out of 5 stars A great film interpretation of a literary classic.
Fabulous, if poignant story -- the story is a classic. The film's acting was superb, and the scenery of South Africa is "lovely beyond any singing of it". Read more
Published 14 days ago by Stanley Kritzik
5.0 out of 5 stars Cry The Beloved Country
This is an excellent movie about humility!
Published 21 days ago by S. Joseph
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
could be better
Published 1 month ago by delgado, hamisi
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
gift
Published 1 month ago by bl
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but not great version of an important South African novel.
This adaptation of classic SA novel has beautiful cinematography and fine acting, but the direction seems overly sentimentalized (the story speaks for itself) and a little listless... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Norman E. Groner
5.0 out of 5 stars Great price!
I read the book several years ago and never forgot it. When I saw the movie for a great price I decided to buy it along with The Dry White Season. Read more
Published 2 months ago by lgharr
5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary Story!
A powerful look at racial apartheid in South Africa, superbly portrayed by James Earl Jones and Richard Harris. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Joseph D. Allison
4.0 out of 5 stars The book is helpful
I use this movie as a reference when I read the book. It helps me to understand the main theme better. Besides, I love the ending of the movie.
Published 3 months ago by Andy Zhao
5.0 out of 5 stars On of the best movies
This is a touching movie that will have you in tears,James Earl Jones but his heart in to this roll and so did the rest of the case and it shows you how it was in Africa with... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
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