Based on Pat Conroy's autobiographical novel, this drama is set on a South Carolina island where Conroy comes to teach impoverished African-American children. At first the children resent the presence of the well-educated white man, but he eventually earns their trust. Unfortunately, his unorthodox methods anger the highly-conservative school administrator.
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Critic Reviews for Conrack
The spirit behind Conrack is so relentlessly idealistic in tone and uplifting in intent that one feels vaguely guilty for not responding to the film generously and forgivingly.
Few will totally resist the surefire appeal of this latest variation on Pygmalion mythology.
The potentially dubious aspects of the subject are mostly exorcised, in part by a strong script (adapted from the book by real-life teacher Pat Conroy), but largely by the engaging and persuasive performance Ritt draws from Voight.
Martin Ritt's movie is often sentimental and hectoring, ramming home the contrast between Voight's comfy, secure rebellion against the Vietnam War and the utter destitution and backwardness of his pupils.
As a former Group Theatre actor, [Ritt] understands the problems of actors and has been able to elicit outstanding performances from people one would not expect depth from.
An unusually human movie that ought to be talked about by everyone concerned with the real meaning of education, communication, and a full rich vision of life
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