Conrack (1974)

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Movie Info

Based on Pat Conroy's autobiographical novel The Water is Wide, this drama is set on a remote South Carolina island where Conroy came to teach impoverished, nearly illiterate African-American children. At first the children resent the presence of the well-educated white man and everything he does falls flat, but then he begins designing lessons that relate directly to their lives and finally piques their interest and earns their trust. Unfortunately, his unorthodox methods do not win him points with the highly conservative school administrator who wants "Conrack" (the kid's pronunciation of Conroy's name) ousted.

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Critic Reviews for Conrack

All Critics (11) | Top Critics (5)

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.

Aug 27, 2013 | Full Review…

Few will totally resist the surefire appeal of this latest variation on Pygmalion mythology.

Jan 14, 2008 | Full Review…
Variety
Top Critic

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.

Feb 9, 2006 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

Despite Mr. Voight's skill, the teacher's character never jells.

May 9, 2005 | Rating: 2.5/5 | Full Review…

It misses by less than a mile, but it misses.

Jan 1, 2000 | Full Review…

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.

Aug 27, 2013 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

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