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Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry

1.8 out of 5 stars 55 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Claudia McNeil, Janet MacLachlan
  • Language: English
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: King Bee
  • Run Time: 115 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 1.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000H58IZW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #397,671 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
My fourth-grader and I read this wonderful book together and I hyped her on watching this movie, which came out when I was in the fourth grade in the seventies. How disappointing! What a rip-off! This video takes edited scenes as a montage at the beginning and then starts in the middle of the story. Entire scenes critical to character development and plot are lost--the beautiful relationship between the siblings, Stacie's relationship to TJ, how the Logans got their land and why they were so different than the other sharecropping families, the role of Mama and Big Ma in keeping the family together, etc. You'd be lost watching this movie if you hadn't read the book. My daughter and I were eagerly awaiting the scene when Cassie gets her revenge on Lillian Jean, which is shown only as a ending montage of scenes. How unfortunate--with DVDs out now, there's no reason for this movie not to be available in its entirety. I should have heeded the warnings of the other Amazon reviewers!
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A Kid's Review on April 1, 2004
Format: VHS Tape
Our class read the book Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor. After that we watched the movie in class. We had to write an Essay about both the movie and the book. We would not recomend this film because the plot is out of order and the characters are not portrayed well. We would reccomend reading the Newberry Award winning book instead.
1 Comment 22 of 23 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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This movie was made by someone on a diet of white bread and packaged vegetables - bland, blander, blandest. Whereas the book is moving, if a bit over-reliant upon the narrator Cassie overhearing everything and all the children getting into the action, yet again, the movie makes you want to yell obscenities. One example will do. The book is set in the Depression-era Deep South, rural Mississippi - it didn't get any worse for blacks - and the sharecroppers are desperately poor. Yet the characters all look as though they're just shopped off the rack at the country store. There's no fire, no emotion, no tension.

I urge another attempt at a movie of this book because it could be outstanding - the plot is there for people to do something wonderful.
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I wish I could get ahold of the original uncut version of this. In the editing process, events have been placed in the wrong order and much of the emotionalism we should feel has been eliminated. My students are very disappointed in the film adaptation. It does not do the book justice at all. Is there any way to find the original?
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The TV-movie version of Mildred Taylor's award-winning novel Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry can't help but be a major letdown, particularly to any English teachers who (like me) have used the movie as a classroom supplement to the magnificent, sprawling novel. Rarely have a great book's gifts been so squandered in an adaptation.
The story recounts the struggles of a poor black Mississippi family in the 1930's and their attempt to hold on to their family's piece of land despite the machinations of white bigots all around them. This is a story that should be sensitively and delicately adapted, which is the exact opposite of director Jack Smight's typically sledgehammer TV style.
For no good reason, the movie begins in the *middle* of the novel's story and then works its way backward and forward to encompass the novel's material. Thus, the novel's delicate character build-ups, which had rich payoffs in the novel's climax, are mostly laid waste here.
Many of the novel's subtlest yet most powerful images are destroyed here, simply by inadequate camera placement. One example is the incident where Mr. Morrison, the family's burly helper, moves a bigoted white man's car out of his path with his bare hands, while the white man looks on astonishment. The novel exquisitely describes the incident, culminating in Mr. Morrison nonchalantly driving off while the cowardly bigot spews epithets at him. In the movie, the camera, which has been inexplicably swooping in and out of scene for most of the movie, sits in the same, dull stationary position throughout this scene. No close-ups of the bigot's or the children's surprised faces. And then the white man drives off on his own before Mr. Morrison does, neatly killing the entire point of the scene.
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Format: VHS Tape
I have just finished watching this book at school because we have been studying the book. The book is very good; it is gritty, down to earth and tells it like it is (in some parts it is quite violent). But the film is very disappointing. The acting is wooden, the children all look wrong (Cassie is supposed to be 9 but she looks 15) and constantly have cheesy grins on their faces. The film is too sentimental and cheesy. The film also cuts out a lot of the swearing and violence as well as other parts of the story. For example, John Henry Berry is badly burnt and in the book he is still alive and the children see him badly burnt but in the film he is buried under the rubble of his house and you do not see him.

This film not only badly acted, overly sentimental and inaccurate, it is also quite unfaithful to what is a quite short book. Do not watch this!!!
Comment 10 of 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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I loved the book and the movie. It shows how a family w/ not alot of money can/could survive. It also shows how young children have to listen to all the racism, and also be abused because of the wrong skin color. It shows to be strong and that no matter what someone thinks of you, does not matter. What matters is that you a proud of who you are.
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