A Raisin In The Sun


A substantial insurance payment could mean either financial salvation or personal ruin for a poor black family.

ACTORS : Sidney Poitier, Claudia McNeil, Ruby Dee, Diana Sands


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A Raisin In The Sun, Walter Lee Younger is a young man struggling with his station in life. Sharing a tiny apartment with his wife, son, sister and mother, he seems like an imprisoned man. Until, that is, the family gets an unexpected financial windfall…

This first filmed version of A Raisin in the Sun is still a worthy classic today

A Raisin In The Sun, In continuing to review African-Americans in film in chronological order for Black History Month, we’re now at 1961 when Lorraine Hansberry’s compelling play-“A Raisin in the Sun”-is adapted by her for the big screen with much of the cast-Sidney Poitier, Ruby Dee, Diana Sands, Ivan Dixon, Louis Gossett Jr., Claudia McNeil, and John Fiedler-reprising their roles. Having seen this before in the late ’80s, not to mention the recent 2008 TV movie version starring Felicia Rashad and Sean Combs, this version has lost none of its power. Poitier has never shown greater range in his profession than here and Ms. McNeil is a great tower of strength as the matriarch of the household. And Ms. Dee and Ms. Sands add their own worthy contributions to the material. And Fiedler, as the only Caucasian in the cast, brings his own reluctant characterization to the proceedings. It’s also nice to see such supporting performances as those of Dixon, Gossett, and Joel Fluellen add to the overall atmosphere. So on that note, this version of A Raisin in the Sun comes highly recommended. P.S. Other people of color that appeared here: Roy Glenn as Willie Harris, Ray Stubbs as a bartender, and Stephen Perry as the child Travis Younger.

First Great Black Film


A substantial insurance payment could mean either financial salvation or personal ruin for a poor black family. A colored man wants to be somebody but feels that the colored woman (his wife) is bringing him down.

The film is an interesting exploration of race and class. On the one hand it features an all-black cast, which is a notable achievement for 1961. Yet, at the same time, it shows the plight of the black woman — even the black man, who feels oppressed, pushes the women in his life down rather than raise them up.

There should only be one feeling between men and women, but this belief is because all the women in novels have been written by men.

The Nigerian, who speaks fluent English, tries to pick up a young American woman, calling her “one for whom bread is not enough”. He raises the interesting point that languages do not translate well, but his fluent English clearly suggests he is a man who knows the sense of his words.

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