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The Well

4.5 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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(Feb 20, 2007)
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The Well

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Editorial Reviews

Townsfolk divided by racial tension must unite to save a girl trapped in a well.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Gwendolyn Laster, Richard Rober, Maidie Norman, George Hamilton, Ernest Anderson
  • Directors: Leo C. Popkin, Russell Rouse
  • Writers: Russell Rouse, Clarence Greene
  • Producers: Leo C. Popkin, Clarence Greene, Harry M. Popkin
  • Format: Black & White, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • 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: Image Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: February 20, 2007
  • Run Time: 86 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000KGH05M
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #126,859 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Well" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
A Black child slowly walks across a field picking flowers. As she appears in full view, she seems to drop off the bottom of the screen. The camera now move up and focuses down on a small well that she has fallen into. Dimitri Tiompkin's music profoundly enhances this scene and the rest of the movie. When she is reported missing, the police determine that the last person to see her was a white man (the actor is Henry Morgan, later known as Harry Morgan from Dragnet and MASH). The scenes of racial turmoil, interspersed with the scene of the field where the girl fell into the well, produce a feeling of disquieting intensity in the viewer. Even 40 after seeing The Well for the first time, I still get chills watching it.
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Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
I can remember at age 9 sitting home in my living room all alone watching this movie. It caught my eye because of the racial issues involved. The disapperance of a black child caused a huge uproar in a small town. She was last seen talking to a white man who was later accused of kidnapping her. The turn of events are really interesting. I purchased this movie last year and watched it again for the second time. This is a very captivating classic. I am glad I was able to add it to my video collection.
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Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
I saw this movie for the first time 30 years ago. It was excellent. I have seen it many times since then. It sends you through a range of feelings from anger to absolute joy. It is a study of human emotions. I highly recommend the film. I guarantee you will enjoy it.
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Format: VHS Tape
This is a pretty fascinating little film. The other reviewers have pretty much told the story , so I won't be repetitive on that.
But what is really interesting is the portrayal of the Black characters. The film aviods rank stereotypes of the time and most of the Black characters are shown as decent, intellligent, and well-spoken (aside from the thuggish rioters, who are not the main characters). Similarly, it's also good that the film makes differences between the wild White rioters and the decent White characters who try to stop the madness. Overall, a very anti-racist film for it's time that deserves to be better known. Yeah, some of the dialogue and actiong are corny by modern standards, but it's still a good film that is really more about good vs. evil than Black vs, White.
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Format: DVD
All of the previous reviews here were based on the VHS release of this movie, so I'll offer a few comments regarding the DVD. First off, the cover photo on the Image Entertainment release has absolutely NOTHING to do with what happens in the film. It's a publicity shot of the actors designed to catch your attention, but it gives the suggestion that the story is some sort of romantic melodrama, which this movie definitely is NOT.

As for the picture and sound quality of the DVD, the film obviously has not undergone any restoration. There are multiple scratches (resulting in vertical white lines) running through a good portion of the movie, and quite a few specks and splotches as well. Nonetheless, the overall picture quality is quite acceptable; in fact, the defects in the film almost enhance the vintage feel of the story.

The comments by other viewers are mostly accurate. Yes, the acting and dialogue do occasionally show the marks of a low-budget production. However, there's a certain emotional undercurrent and sense of urgency in this movie that really makes for some tense viewing. All in all it's a riveting film and quite ahead of its time in its exploration of race relations.

I disagree with the person who stated that THE WELL is good for only a single viewing. In my opinion this is an extraordinary little film that not only holds up as a thought-provoking drama but remains important to see as a notable part of motion picture history. It belongs in anyone's collection of classic movies.
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Format: VHS Tape
This movie was filmed on location in Marysville and Yuba City, CA in 1950. The towns were supposed to portray a town in the deep south such as Georgia or Mississippi. The students in the class room scenes were kids from the Marysville Elementary School, first grade. I know because I was in the scenes. As extras, we were paid the sum of $15.00. Another scene was taken next to the school where a black lady was almost run down by a car. The school students were in another scene playing on playground equipment at the park. Many of the historic buildings shown in both Yuba City and Marysville are still standing today, 1999.
For an enjoyable movie with a good ending, watch it!
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Set in a small Midwestern town, this is the true story of a black child who has disappeared -- setting off race riots when a white man is suspected.

Cast includes Richard Rober, Henry (Harry) Morgan, Barry Kelly and Gwendolyn Laster as the missing child. My old Milwaukee neighbor -- noted black character actor George Hamilton -- plays her grandfather.,

"The Well" -- one of several powerful race relations movies of the 1930s and '40s -- was preceded in 1934 by the original version of "Imitation of Life," along with 1949's "Pinky," "Home of the Brave" and "Lost Boundaries" and 1950's "No Way Out." All sent a powerful message prior to the 1960s Civil Rights Movment.
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