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Bright Road

4.6 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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(May 10, 2012)
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Editorial Reviews

A year before they shot to stardom in Carmen Jones, Dorothy Dandridge and Harry Belafonté made this inspiring film about a gifted educator and a lost boy. Dandridge plays Jane Richards, a fourth-grade teacher concerned about young C.T. (Philip Hepburn), a student whose indifference to school has even the principal (screen-debuting Belafonté) calling him a backwards child. Troubles as typical as a schoolyard brawl and as tragic as a classmate's death drive C.T. further into his shell. But Jane perseveres, hoping to help her student develop - the same way a caterpillar, in a cocoon C.T. guards, turns into a butterfly. One of the few mainstream films of its era to have a largely African-American cast, Bright Road boasts impressive talents behind the camera as well as on the screen, including director of photography Alfred Gilks, lensing his first feature-length film since winning an Academy Award(r)* for An American in Paris.

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Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Dorothy Dandridge, Philip Hepburn, Harry Belafonte, Barbara Ann Sanders
  • Directors: Gerald Mayer
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Warner Archive
  • DVD Release Date: May 10, 2012
  • Run Time: 68 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007RKFXLM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,061 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
BRIGHT ROAD is the first movie which presented colored people as beautiful and intelligent role models. This also marked the first time I saw myself in a movie because I was 9 years old at the time and looked like the students in this Hollywood version of an all black school elementary school. We all hoped that other un-stereotyped pictures would follow but that did not happen until years later when blacks produced black films.

This classic film was also my introduction to Dorothy Dandridge and I have been in love with the beautiful screen goddess ever since.
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I have periodically checked on Amazon to see if the movie Bright Road was available and was found to be disappointed each time. I was pleasantly surprised to find the movie on DVD the last time I checked.

I first saw this movie in 1953 when I was nine or ten years old depending on the month I saw it. At that time I felt it was the best movie I had ever seen. This movie is tame by today's standards, but I still find it to be worth five stars. I remembered parts of this movie from sixty years ago and was reminded of other parts when I viewed it again today.

The story takes place in a school setting. Dorothy Dandridge plays the role on a new teacher and facing the frustration of dealing with an indifferent student while Harry Belafonte plays the role of the principal. It is also the story of the troubled student, C.T. Young having to deal with the death of his new-found friend, Tanya.

Who knows. Perhaps this movie played a part in my choosing to become an elementary teacher for 32 years. After all these years I still find this movie to be an unsung nugget that is sure to be an uplifting experience for the entire family to enjoy.
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What a great family movie. I would definitely recommend it for family viewing. And, as usual, the acting by Dorothy Dandridge was superb. It would be nice to know whether or not she performed any other movies like this. Surprised Bright Road has not been colorized. Perhaps, in the near future, it will be.
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This movie represents Classic African-American Life in its purest form. It does not get into the racism of the era which was obvious but instead focuses on how African Americans did the best with what they had. It shows the positive side of how a disenchanted people utilized their resources and pulled together as a community.
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Format: DVD
BRIGHT ROAD (1953) is a fine drama that's based on a Ladies Home Journal short story called "See How They Run." It stars Dorothy Dandridge as teacher at a rural segregated school. At times she does voiceover.

Harry Belafonte, making his film debut, plays the school's principal. Belafonte is given a spotlight to display his folk-singing talent. He sits and simulates strumming guitar while sweetly singing "Suzanne (Ev'ry Night When the Sun Goes Down)." Guitar is being played by Harry's long-time accompanist, Millard Thomas, who co-wrote the lyrics to this adaptation with him.

It's interesting to note that this film debuted just eight days after Belafonte and Thomas entered the studio to record their first RCA Victor LP, MARK TWAIN AND OTHER FOLK FAVORITES, a classic of the folk genre.

Central focus of "Bright Road" is on a severely introverted boy named C.T. (Philip Hepburn). He comes to class late, feigns disinterest in studies and tells whopping lies as a shield against any intrusions into his personal life. Dandridge's Miss Richards believes in him, and finds that C.T. has an interest in nature and art. He's been watching a caterpillar weave a cocoon and hopes to present its emerging butterfly to a classmate sweethear named Tanya (Barbara Randolph), but events get in the way. Yet even as the butterfly is about to be born, C.T. is also emerging from his self-imposed cocoon.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is not the most expensive production, to say the least, but it is worth viewing for the insight it provides concerning life in a small school in a small town, complete with a struggling teacher and struggling students. It's heartwarming and interesting.
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Wonderful movie, I think this is my favorite movie with Dorothy Dandridge. Sweet and moving film on the African-American school children life in a small community around the 1940-1950's. I recommend this movie highly, I was glad to have this DVD in my library collection.
AAC
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Format: Amazon Video
This was a motivational film about an optimistic teacher who tried to help a student who needed extra encouragement. I wanted more sparks between Dandridge and Belafante. I also wanted an explanation for the troubled boys behavior. I liked the fact that Dandridge refused to give up on any student who needed help. We need more teachers like that. I felt that some of the acting was wooden. Nevertheless, Dandridge was excellent. A must see for DD fans.
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