- SKU: 25425414
- Release Date: 09/02/2014
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Go Tell It on the Mountain
In this poignant adaptation of James Baldwin's novel about a few generations in the life of an Afro-American family, a young boy's efforts to gain some approval from his Bible-thumping, disciplinarian father takes center stage, and the family's background is told in a series of flashbacks. The story begins in 1935 with young Southerner Gabriel Grimes (Paul Winfield) as he runs away from home and takes on the identity of a Baptist lay preacher. Childless by his timid first wife, Gabriel has an illegitimate son by Esther (Alfre Woodard), an irresistible temptress. Unfortunately, the son comes to no good, forcing an embittered Gabriel to move to Harlem and start over with another wife, and eventually, two more sons. But the man has by this time gone over the edge and is filled with a rage against the vicissitudes of his life (he cannot get ahead in the church and is forced to work as a day laborer just to keep food on the table). He takes out his anger on his family and is so single-mindedly fanatical about religion that he forces his sons to join regular home Bible study to the exclusion of all other activities -- especially those promoted by the white-dominated society outside of Harlem. When his timid but intelligent son John (James Bond III) wins a writing honor, Gabriel makes him give it back -- and in general, his fanaticism and anger turn life into intermittent misery for the talented and sensitive son who loves writing. John's desire to please his father is all the more touching when the impossibility of pleasing him is so obvious. ~ Eleanor Mannikka, Rovi
A Gathering of Old Men
Gathering of Old Men was based on the novel by Ernest J. Gaines, who'd previously written The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman. Like Pittman, Gathering builds its narrative upon a tapestry of deep-bred racial intolerance in the South. When a bigoted white Louisiana tenant farmer is killed, black sharecropper Louis Gossett Jr. is the most likely suspect. Plantation manager Holly Hunter, fearing a lynching, rallies Gossett's friends to form a united front to ward off any vigilantes. Sheriff Richard Widmark arrives to arrest Gossett, whereupon his old friends, in Spartacus fashion, all confess to the killing. Even threats of violent retaliation cannot dissuade these elderly black men from displaying their pride to the white powers-that-be. Adapted for television by Charles (A Soldier's Story) Fuller, it was first broadcast on May 10, 1987. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Captive Heart: The James Mink Story
In this made-for-TV movie set in the 1850s, James Mink is a wealthy Canadian businessman who is married to a white woman. When their daughter is duped into marrying a slave trader, the Minks set out for the American South to track down their missing daughter and bring her home. ~ Iotis Erlewine, Rovi