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Sounder (1972)

Cicely Tyson , Paul Winfield , Martin Ritt  |  PG |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Cicely Tyson, Paul Winfield, Carmen Best, James Best, Spencer Bradford
  • Directors: Martin Ritt
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: KOCH Vision
  • DVD Release Date: November 25, 2008
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001E1HCRI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #49,733 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Sounder" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Based on the Newbery Award-winning book by William H. Armstrong...
The beloved family classic starring Cicely Tyson and Paul Winfield

Nathan Lee Morgan (Winfield), an African-American sharecropper, steals food from his neighbor to feed his starving family and is arrested, leaving his wife, Rebecca (Tyson), and their children to endure the hardships of poverty and prejudice in the Depression-era South. Directed by Martin Ritt, Sounder is a powerful story of a boy, his dog and a family's triumph over adversity.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 stars isn't nearly enough. August 2, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
"Sounder" is a film of sublime beauty- one of the most powerful films for anyone to see. Even though the title made no immediate sense to me (it's the name of the family dog), the plot and script is choice and proves what I've always believed regarding most scripts: less is more. Films which feature close, reverent African-American families are still rare in the 21st century, and this was a *1972* release- which broke ground when it was nominated at that year's Academy Awards for lead actor (Paul Winfield), lead actress (Cicely Tyson), screenplay (Lonne Elder III), and best picture. Only director Martin Ritt was not nominated- which was a travesty, but the Academy is historically famous for bonehead decisions. At any rate, I was happy to see a film which shows family supporting each other- even in the event of the father's absence. I won't say why that happens, but it's only temporary, and his third act return- staged against a long stretch of open farm field and spotlighting a barefoot Tyson and limping Winfield running into each other's arms- is a bewitching, magical, sequence in the film. Everyone is a standout, including Kevin Hooks's pre-teen who needs to grow up overnight and to Carmen Matthews as the neighbor who supports and tries to help the family. Even more amazing is that this is a G-rated film; your whole family- black, white, or brown- will absolutely cherish it. Nice to have in any recording, it needs to be released to DVD.
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31 of 35 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing DVD transfer March 20, 2003
By A Customer
This great movie deserves better treatment on DVD. The "extras" are worthless, the picture transfer is rather faded and flat, and the movie is presented in "pan and scan" format instead of the original widescreen. Dolby Mono.
This is a great movie with great music. Can't somebody see their way to giving it the DVD treatment it deserves?
On the plus side, it is cheap, and if you love this movie, you can look past these flaws.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sounder April 2, 2002
A Kid's Review
Format:VHS Tape
This heartwarming movie is one you'll never forget. Sounder is certainly one of Martin Kitt's(Director) best. Both children and adults will feel elated after seeing this movie. Based on the best-selling book, by William Armstrong, this film will blow you away.
When Nathan Lee Morgan, played by Paul Winfield, has to steal food from a local neighbor for his family, and gets arrested, the whole family has to pull through life, and survive without the man of the house. The Morgans are black sharecroppers during the depression. The family consists of the oldest son, David Lee(Kevin Hooks), the father Nathan Lee, the mother Rebecca(Cicely Tyson), David's brother and sister, and of course, Sounder the family huntin' dog. This story portrays how horrible life for blacks was. In this great dramatic and adventurous story, you will learn about what blacks had to go through just to feel equal.
The actors and actresses were wisely picked for this movie. The whole Morgan Family 'walks the walk and talks the talk'. By this, I mean that the actors/actresses had the perfect southern accent, and the perfect southern hospitality. Whether it was dramatic or funny, the actors did a phenomenal job portraying their character.
The moral to this story, I think, is that all people should be treated equally, no matter what race or color of skin. Back in the early 1930s, blacks were treated very unequally. They weren't allowed to go to the same church, and were accused of many things that they never even did. This movie explains all of this, and shows how the Morgan Family survives these everyday rules.
The setting of this story is in Louisiana in 1933. As sharecroppers, the Morgan's don't own much but their own clothes and some food.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a timeless film February 2, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
this film still has strong quality and values in times of need.Cicely Tyson does a wonderful job at holding her family together.this is one of the best family films captures pain,struggle,joy&love all at once.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sounder VHS September 19, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
After reading Sounder with my students I decided to let them watch the movie. This movie is wonderfully done and my students loved seeing the book come to life. This is a great movie to add to your collection.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Here's a film that portrays two aspects of American history that pull at your heartstrings: the Great Depression and Racism. Cicely Tyson and Paul Winfield star in this story about a family of black sharecroppers who endure the hardships of poverty and prejudice when the father is imprisoned for stealing food to feed his starving family. Nominated for four Oscars, this 1972 classic film is beautifully told and teaches many valuable lessons about honesty and love even in the face of adversity. Director, Martin Ritt pulls outstanding performances from the entire cast and recreates 1930s south in a believable and wonderful tale. In spite of all the hardships, the film is filled with lightness, music and laughter and makes for good entertainment. Ranny Levy, KIDS FIRST!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A GIANT OF A MOVIE. REACHES DEEP INTO YOUR HEART. April 7, 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
all time favourite
Published 5 hours ago by delgado, hamisi
1.0 out of 5 stars I hate this version -More Hollywood whitewash
Please watch the original with Cicely Tyson (c. 1972). There's a strange phenomenon where the film industry must remake so many such movies to 'soften' and infuse political... Read more
Published 20 days ago by W. Jackson
5.0 out of 5 stars powerful
a well written story top of the line acting a heart warming masterpiece a must have for any collection...get it!!!!!!
Published 1 month ago by HUBERT M MCINTOSH II
4.0 out of 5 stars Sounder
We enjoyed a movie with SEVERAL FAMILY VALUES that are rarely seen in entertainment today. Safe for all ages to watch.
Published 1 month ago by Abigail
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie. . . .
This is one of my favorites. Sometimes hard to watch but with a very satisfying ending. This is a great portrayal of family co-hesiveness in times of trouble, a family as it... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Patricia A Freese
4.0 out of 5 stars Slice-of-life drama...
...about a black family of sharecroppers in Louisana in the 1930s. That pretty much sums up 1972's "Sounder. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Von Rochester
2.0 out of 5 stars Rating misleading
This was rated G but constantly said "Damn" which meant I couldn't show it in a classroom. I liked the movie otherwise.
Published 8 months ago by Book
1.0 out of 5 stars Slow but good
It was GREAT in its day, but it's pretty slow -moving for the times esp for kids. It still makes an impression
Published 8 months ago by Ripple
5.0 out of 5 stars touching
full of magic, poetic moments this is a movie to see and resee. Country life, Family troubles, day by day act are around the mother (wonderful Tyson) and the dog When this movie... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Romeu França
4.0 out of 5 stars Timeless
This was a movie I'd seen when I was younger and I didn't understand it. Now that I'm grown it makes a lot of sense and something that I can share with my children and... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Monica Brown
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Topic From this Discussion
full screen or letterbox
Yes, 2:35:1 means that it is truly a widescreen release. They did a great job with the transfer. The movie was filmed in what we projectionists call 'scope', hence the 2:35:1 being the ratio. The other ratio commonly used was 1:85:1 which we called 'flat'. It was a little closer to fitting onto a... Read More
Dec 30, 2008 by J. Petrey |  See all 3 posts
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