The Learning Tree (1969)



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Movie Info

Autobiographical drama based on photographer Gordon Parks's 1963 novel, about the coming-of-age of a black teenager in rural Kansas during the 1920s.

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Dana Elcar
as Sheriff
Joel Fluellen
as Uncle Rob
Mira Waters
as Arcella Jefferson
Russell Thorson
as Judge Cavanaugh
Peggy Rea
as Miss McClintock
Carole Lamond
as Big Mabel
Kevin Hagen
as Doc Cravens
James 'Jimmy' Rushing
as Chappie Logan
Dub Taylor
as Spikey
Felix Nelson
as Jack Winger
George Mitchell
as Jake Kiner
Don Dubbins
as Harley Davis
Jon Lormer
as McCormack
Morgan Sterne
as Mr. Hall
Thomas Anderson
as Pastor Broadnap
Philip Roye
as Pete Winger
Hope Summers
as Mrs. Kiner
Alfred Jones
as Cap'n Tuck
Zooey Hall
as Chauncey Cavanaugh
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News & Interviews for The Learning Tree

Critic Reviews for The Learning Tree

All Critics (11) | Top Critics (3)

The Learning Tree is a sentimental, sometimes awkward, but ultimately moving film about the growing-up of a black teenager in rural Kansas during the 1920s.

Oct 16, 2007 | Full Review…
Top Critic

The restraint, the composure, the sufficiency of the sentimental gesture constitute a small gift for memory and a real victory in the first stages of this filmmaker's career.

May 9, 2005 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

It's conventional and rather toothless.

Jan 1, 2000 | Full Review…

Falls into the path of giving a message more than it does letting things emerge organically.

Aug 25, 2011 | Full Review…

Forty years ago, pioneer Gordon Parks had to step with extra care filming 'The Learning Tree' lest the door shut behind him.

Aug 5, 2009 | Full Review…

Visually beautiful and moving.

Oct 16, 2007 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Learning Tree

A Grand Classic of Black Cinema brilliantly directed by Gordon Parks!!! Being the first feature to be directed by black man for a major film studio,this film shows 1920's Kansas as a brutal,hostile racist place and the experiences four friends encounter during the era of Jim Crow in the Midwest. Brilliant performances throughout from not only debut actor and newcomer Kyle Johnson,but also from Estelle Evans and Dana Elcar.

Mister Caple
Mister Caple

Super Reviewer

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