A Raisin in the Sun


Action / Drama

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN

Top cast

Sidney Poitier Photo
Sidney Poitier as Walter Lee Younger
Louis Gossett Jr. Photo
Louis Gossett Jr. as George Murchison
Ruby Dee Photo
Ruby Dee as Ruth Younger
John Fiedler Photo
John Fiedler as Mark Lindner
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1.04 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
2 hr 8 min
P/S 2 / 4
2.02 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
2 hr 8 min
P/S 2 / 8

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by bkoganbing10 / 10

The Younger Family Of The South Side Of Chicago

The tragically brief life of Lorraine Hansberry yielded a few literary gems among them A Raisin In The Sun, the first play on Broadway ever written by a black woman. Although Hansberry's childhood was a great deal more middle class than that of the Younger family who is the subject of the play, she captures the black urban experience of the civil rights era brilliantly. Some of the things written in A Raisin In The Sun were experienced by Hansberry personally, most particularly her own family's struggle to move into the white suburbs.

Columbia Pictures had the good sense to hire Lorraine Hansberry to write the screenplay and convert her play which all takes place in the Younger family apartment in the south side of Chicago for the screen. There are a few brief scenes added outside the apartment. But what really holds the interest is the dialog between the four main characters in the apartment. It's a lot like Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey Into Night with souls laid bare. The apartment itself almost becomes a character, a home but also the symbol of a kind of prison the Youngers want to break out of.

The four main characters are Walter Younger, Jr., his wife Ruth, his sister Berneatha, and mother Lena, played by Sidney Poitier, Ruby Dee, Diana Sands, and Claudia McNeil respectively who all came over from Broadway. Through McNeil's performance particularly, but the others as well, the family patriarch Walter Younger also comes alive. What has happened is that he has recently died and the family is awaiting a $10,000.00 insurance check, courtesy of his years of service with the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, the first primarily black union to organize in the USA.

Poitier is working as a chauffeur, both Dee and McNeil work and have worked as domestics, Sands is a young college student with the ideas of her time, but she's also been spoiled a whole lot. Each has their own idea of what to do with the insurance money. The conflict and what eventually does happen divides and then unites the family in the end.

A Raisin In The Sun ran for 530 performances on Broadway during the 1959-60 season and earned a flock of Tony Award nominations including Best Actor for Poitier and Best Actress for McNeil. Coming out as it did during the Civil Rights era it was as timely a literary masterpiece as there ever was. When it concluded its Broadway run, film production with just about the entire cast from Broadway commenced.

A couple of other players who would make their marks later on were in A Raisin In The Sun. Lou Gossett, Jr. years before his Oscar plays a young and naive college kid who is interested in Sands. But she's far more interested in Ivan Dixon who is from Nigeria way before he joined the cast of Hogan's Heroes.

Though it is firmly set in the times it was written in, as drama A Raisin In The Sun is positively eternal. It's as flawless a transfer from stage to film as you'll ever see.

Reviewed by SnoopyStyle7 / 10

important black cinema

Walter Lee Younger (Sidney Poitier) is a chauffeur feeling under the thumb of the ladies in his life. His wife Ruth (Ruby Dee) is pregnant and considering an abortion. His mother and sister Beneatha are also living with them in their apartment in Chicago's south side. His father is recently deceased and his mama is expecting a large insurance cheque. Walter expects to use the money to buy a liquor store but his mother has other thoughts. His sister wants to pay for her education. She has a fight with mama over religion. She brings home Nigerian Asagai who introduces her to Nigerian culture. Her integrated boyfriend George Murchison (Louis Gossett Jr.) is dismissive of any old world culture. Mama buys a house in a white neighborhood to try to pull the family back together. Mark Lindner comes to offer to buy it back to avoid racial tension.

This is an important black play and an important black movie. There are a lot of family conflicts in this story. Some of it feels like piling on especially the abortion question. I would like a more simple argument about money. I am also not impressed with Sidney Poitier. He's being whiny. Maybe he is intended to be whiny but it would be better as frustrated anger. For me, the standout is Claudia McNeil playing the mother. She is both powerful and powerless over her children. She is playing on several different levels. The sister also feels whiny but she's younger and it fits more than her brother. There are some interesting work here and an important message in the end.

Reviewed by mark.waltz10 / 10

Reaching into the deepest depths of one's soul to justify existing.

It's hard enough to make it in this world as a white man without money, let alone being a black man on the outside looking in. For the superb Sidney Poitier, he's imploding inside his insecurities of being a failure in the eyes of his family and be able to truthfully call himself a man. He's married to the hard working Ruby Dee who loves him with all her soul, but a distance she doesn't understand has grown between them. Poitiers's sister (the enigmatic Diana Sands) is also striving to better herself, attending medical school and trying to "express herself" with a variety of hobbies she dumps once bored with them. A slap across the face from family matriarch Claudia McNeil after taking the Lord's name in vain only briefly wakes her up. This is a black family in changing times losing their way, and it's up to the no-nonsense McNeil to bring them all back together.

Repeating her Broadway role and commanding every moment on screen, Claudia McNeil is award worthy as the heart and soul of her family. She loves her two children unconditionally but no longer understands them. That's why she has made Dee her confidante and training to take over as head of the family. A scene where she sentimentally talks about her dead husband reveals the truth inside the soul, admitting the man's imperfections, but loving him long after he's dead just the same.

The plot line surrounds the fight over an insurance check McNeil is waiting for, with Poitier spending somebody else's money even before they get it. Poitier wants to buy a liquor store, while McNeil wants to buy a house so the family (which includes Poitier and Dee's young son, Stephen Perry) can move out of the slums. But this creates many issues, not of which the least is the white neighbor's desperate attempts to prevent them f on moving in.

A timeless tale of how dreams exist in everybody's life, no matter the age, this has had two hit Broadway revivals since the beginning of the millennium, spawned an unofficial sequel ("Claybourne Park") and even been musicalized. It is a powerful character drama where a man is revealed to have not really grown up, the women who strive to help him even when it seems that he's beyond help. McNeil may not like what her children become, but her nurturing heart pulls the family together. A climactic breakdown in Poitiers's character may be the wake-up call he needs to become a real man, just like a wake-up call that sobers up a drunk. This is one of the all time classics and one that deserved more award attention in 1961 than it got.

Read more IMDb reviews