The Southerner [Blu-ray] [1945]

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Special Features

  • "Salute to France" (1944, 35 min.) directed by Jean Renoir and Garson Kanin, this drama (starring Burgess Meredith) was produced to foster relations with France during wartime.
  • "The River" (1938, 31 min.) according to Renoir, Pare Lorentaz's Depression-era documentary had a strong stylistic influence upon The Southerner.


The Southerner
The Southerner was Jean Renoir's favorite of his American films. Shot on location, the film stars Zachary Scott as a sharecropper who yearns for a place of his own. On a tiny, scraggly patch of land, Scott tries to make a go of things, along with his wife Betty Field, his grandmother Beulah Bondi, and his children Jean Vanderwilt (aka Bunny Sunshine) and Jay Gilpin. Though a proud, independent man, Scott is forced by circumstance to seek help from neighboring farmer J. Carroll Naish, whose life experience have left him bitter and vituperative. The two men become enemies, but are reunited by their mutual love of fishing. Scott suffers a setback when a rainstorm destroys his cotton crop. He is about to go wearily back to working for others (specifically, factory owner Charles Kemper, who also narrates the film) when he is convinced by his never-say-die family to persevere on his own. Director Jean Renoir also wrote the script for The Southerner--in fluent English rather than French, as mental exercise. Told at a leisurely, unhurried pace, the film is the one American Renoir effort that comes closest to his "slice of life" dramas of the 1930s. The Southerner was not a box office hit, but did win the effusive praise of critics, not to mention the Venice Film Festival "best picture" award. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Zachary Scott
    Zachary Scott - Sam Tucker
  • Betty Field
    Betty Field - Nona Tucker
  • Beulah Bondi
    Beulah Bondi - Granny Tucker
  • Image coming soon
    Bunny Sunshine - Daisy Tucker
  • Percy Kilbride
    Percy Kilbride - Harmie Jenkins
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