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Native Son (1986)

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Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 4
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 3

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Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 134

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Movie Info

Previously filmed in Argentina in 1951, black author Richard Wright's powerful race-conscious novel Native Son was remade in this barely released 1986 version. The story involves Bigger Thomas (Victor Love), an angry Depression-era Chicago black who hopes to elevate himself through his chauffeur's job with a prosperous white Gold Coast family. The family's daughter (Elizabeth McGovern) takes advantage of Bigger's servile status by ordering him to drive her to a rendezvous with her

PG,

Drama

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All Critics (9) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (5) | Rotten (4)

The film makers haven't listened to Wright. They appear to have been aiming at the same genteel audience that insists on seeing something sentimental and upbeat even in a television movie-of-the-week about AIDS.

May 20, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
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Transforms the novel into an all-too-genteel crime story, denuded of rage, devoid of social and historic context.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
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Unfortunately, drama translates as melodrama and speechy, preachy dialogue tells us we're watching something that's good for us.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
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The movie understands that the story really is about the killer's point of view. It is not the story of a crime, not a docudrama, not a sociological essay.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
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Ultimately, the film fails because of Silver's fears of offending the audience, the same fear that Wright himself faced and overcame.

August 20, 2010 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Well-intended but deadly dull

January 11, 2004
Kalamazoo Gazette

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Foreign Titles

  • Native Son (1951) (DE)
  • Native Son (1951) (UK)
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