An extremely powerful and uplifting story about a family of black sharecroppers, the Morgans, set in rural Louisiana during the early 1930s, Martin Ritt's SOUNDER is so simple and effective that it evokes an emotional response from viewers of all ages. Even so, SOUNDER is not a children's film by any means; it treats serious, adult issues, and features some of the most deeply felt performances and mature relationships ever captured on film. SOUNDER's title comes from the name of the Morgan family dog that young David Lee Morgan takes with him while hunting with his father, Nathan. Unfortunately, times are so hard for the Morgans that when Nathan tries to steal a ham for his family, he is caught and sent to a labor camp. David, now the man of the house, sets out on a journey to find the camp where his father was sent. On his way, he comes across an all-black school where he enrolls, learning empowering lessons about black achievement in America. Based on the Newberry Award winning novel by William H. Armstrong, SOUNDER not only improves on its source material, but it is also one of the rare films about the black experience that moves people of all races.
Robert B. Radnitz - American Producer/Writer
Walter Scott Herndon - Production Designer
Martin Ritt - American Director/Producer
Yvonne Jarrell - Actress
Taj Mahal - Jazz Music Performer
Sidney Levin - Editor
Carmen Mathews - Supporting Actress
Paul Winfield - American actor
Cicely Tyson - American Actress
Lonne Elder III - Screenwriter
James Best - American TV Actor
Janet MacLachlan - American TV/Film Actress
John A. Alonzo - American Director of Photography
Taj Mahal - Actress/Adult
Kevin Hooks - American Actor/Director
William H. Armstrong's poetic novel comes alive in this acclaimed screen adaptation. During the Depression, a black sharecropper family struggles to make a subsistence living for themselves. Adversity turns into tragedy when the father is incarcerated for stealing food for his family. Now David, the eldest son, must fill his father's shoes. It's a tall order for such a little boy. But it won't be easy for any of them now that they're facing abject poverty, endless hunger and long term separation.
SOUNDER made its world premeire at the Atlanta Film Fest on August 13, 1972. Filmed on location in Louisiana. Followed by a sequel, SOUNDER, PART 2. Additional cast members include, Rev. Thomas N. Phillips, Judge William Thomas Benett, Spencer Bradford and Myrl Sharkey.
"Working from a screenplay by the African-American playwright Lonne Elder III, Ritt builds an affecting portrait of a black sharecropper and his family as they struggle to survive the early years of the Great Depression." - 11/24/2008 New York Times