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Down in the Delta 1998

PG-13 CC
4.6 out of 5 stars (75) IMDb 6.9/10

Sometimes The Best Place To Be...Is The Place You Least Expected. Down In The Delta brings together an outstanding cast of stars in an uplifting story of family, community and friendship!

Starring:
Alfre Woodard, Al Freeman Jr.
Runtime:
1 hour, 52 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama
Director Maya Angelou
Starring Alfre Woodard, Al Freeman Jr.
Supporting actors Mary Alice, Esther Rolle, Loretta Devine, Mpho Koaho, Kulani Hassen, Anne-Marie Johnson, Wesley Snipes, Justin Lord, Richard Yearwood, Sandra Caldwell, Colleen Williams, Richard Blackburn, Philip Akin, Mary Fallick, Sandi Ross, Barbara Barnes-Hopkins, Marium Carvell, Quancetia Hamilton
Studio Lionsgate
MPAA rating PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By thesavvybamalady VINE VOICE on April 17, 2000
Format: DVD
I wasn't able to see this film initially due to me moving back south, but the minute I saw it on video, I rented it, the minute I saw it on sale, I bought it and don't regret it. I am not surprised that this film is not up there as one of the best family films ever made. Here you have a movie made by one of the most talented and versatile women in this country, a cast of some of the best black actors around, and when the movie comes out,it gets little notice. Go figure. When I first saw this movie, I fell in love with it. The fact that this guy took the very object that his father was sold for and it stayed in that family from generation to generation. Beautiful. I think that the movie should be viewed in schools,churches,wherever you have an audience.
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By A Customer on October 18, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
Once again, Alfre Woodard shows us why she's one of the top American actresses. I do not understand why she isn't in more big-budget films. Just remember, this is the actress that lit up the stage twenty years ago in Ntozake Shange's For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide. . . ."
Down in the Delta is a splendid film, rich in character development, themes, and filmmaking. Angelou is to be applauded.
We need more films like this!
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Format: DVD
"Down in the Delta," directed by Maya Angelou, tells the story of Loretta (played by Alfre Woodard), a single mother who lives in Chicago and faces economic hardships. She and her kids move to the family's rural ancestral home to live with her uncle (Al Freeman, Jr.). This change of setting has a profound impact on the family.
Those familiar with Angelou's fine books will probably see similar themes explored in this film. Solid performances are turned in by the excellent ensemble cast. I was especially impressed by Mpho Koaho as Loretta's young son. And veteran performer Esther Rolle turns in particularly moving performance as Loretta's Alzheimer's-afflicted aunt.
This film does a good job of exploring a variety of interconnected relationships in this multigenerational context. The film celebrates family ties and family tradition, as well as one's capacity to overcome adversity.
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Format: VHS Tape
Any evening would be a good evening to enjoy this movie. My teenage daughters, my wife and myself were very pleased with this movie. It is a strong black movie with a excellent cast. Alfre Woodward was at her best as a Chicago mother going "down in the delta" to help save herself and her family.I would suggest this movie to anyone who enjoys movies stressing strong families, no profanity, no sex, and some of the finest actors I have seen in a long time. Big ups also to the director Maya Angelou.
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Format: DVD
I haven't felt this good about a movie in a long time. Not since "A Trip to Bountiful" anyway. I don't know how I missed it on the big screen. Thank god for DVD. (Too bad Bountiful is not out on DVD yet. )
It is a beautifully-made family movie without sex, violence and foul language (or even harsh language for that matter). If you want any of that or fast-paced action (Wesley Snipes in not cast in his usual role) you will not get it here. In fact, I don't know why it wasn't rated G.
I wont bother to repeat the story since it has been covered by other reviewers here. Maya Angelou has made a slow-paced but even-tempoed film that chronicles a family's struggle to stay together. In her subtle way she almost succeeds in making us fail to notice that this is an African-American film with barely a white face seen except in flash-back sequences. Her subtlety also extends to portraying strength in her female characters even when they are flawed. It is enlightening to watch how she blends societal contrasts so effortlessly - the contrast between the haves and the have-nots and the one between urban and rural America.
All in all, this is a good movie to watch with your family.
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By A Customer on July 24, 2003
Format: VHS Tape
I watched this movie the first time just because of the cast. I've always thought Alfre Woodard was wonderful, and don't get me started about Mary Alice, Al Freeman Jr., and Esther Rolle! I just loved it, and I caught it again when it ran on cable a while back. I've told everyone I know to see it. It's what so-called traditional family values are all about: caring and integrity and your family heritage, and, most of all, LOVE!
It was also good to see Wesley Snipes step out of his usual bada*** roles into something different--he pulls it off pretty well.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
DOWN IN THE DELTA (for Showtime Films, Dir. Maya Angelou, Writ. Myron Goble, 1998, 115 minutes) is one of my favorite cable TV family films of the late 1990s. It is hard to believe I shied away from reviewing it for so long, since I always pair it whenever I watch it with my equally treasured masterpiece by Maurice Jamal, Dirty Laundry (see my review).

DELTA was a film of firsts for me when I first saw it in 1998: the first time I ever saw my now-favorites Al Freeman and Loretta Devine. The first time I ever saw an "old South family homestead"-oriented film. The first time I ever saw the gorgeous Alfre Woodard in a less-than-flattering role. Oddly enough, this was only the second time I had seen Wesley Snipes, the first time having been in Demolition Man.

Alfre plays Chicago alcoholic Loretta Sinclair, struggling to find work when all she wants to do is party. The immortal Mary Alice plays Loretta's mother Rosa, who struggles to raise Loretta's young son Thomas (the charming Mpho Koaho) and her autistic daughter Monica (Anne-Marie Johnson). Having become fed up, Rosa issues an ultimatum to her daughter: either Loretta takes the children and goes down to the Delta to live the summer with her Uncle Earl (Al Freeman) ~ or Rosa will call Social Services.

Since Woodard's character is meant to be sympathetic and reasonable when sober, she goes along with the plan. The locations are beautiful and I got a real sense of the South, the Delta, where I have never been. Trouble with this film is because of budget issues, they filmed outside Toronto!!
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