Shadrach (1998)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

In 1935, Paul leaves his mundane middle-class life to become friends with the lower-class Dabney's, once aristocratic plantation owners. When 99-year-old former slave Shadrach shows up after walking from Alabama to Virginia, he requests that his burial be on Virginia soil, a request that stirs racist attitudes.

Rating: PG-13 (adult situations/language, sex)
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Bridget Terry, Susanna Styron, Bridgett Terry
In Theaters:
On DVD: Feb 23, 1999
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment


as Little Mole

as Mrs. Whitehurst

as Mr. Whitehurst

as Joe Thorton

as Captain

as Dock Worker

as Presbyterian Ministe...

as Chapel Singer

as Earvin Williams

as Seddon Washington

as Sweet Betty

as Fautleroy

as Preacher

as Narrator
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Critic Reviews for Shadrach

All Critics (31) | Top Critics (12)

Full Review… | April 12, 2002
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Detroit News
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Top Critic

Full Review… | September 23, 1998
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Shadrach


Paul, an only child, loves visiting the Dabney family. The Dabneys have seven children, and they're a much poorer family. During Paul's tenth summer, set in the 1930s, a family member he never even met passes away, and he goes to stay with the Dabneys while his parents go off to the funeral. That's when he meets Shadrach, a 99-year-old black man that was born a slave and was sold off to Alabama, being separated from his family in Virginia. He's been gone all these years. Sensing death in his old bones, he travels back to his native Virginia, wanting to be put to rest where he belongs. Shadrach happens to be a Dabney, just like the white family he came to. Will this family be nice enough to do for him what he wants to be done? What will happen along the way?
"Shadrach" is a heartwarming and extremely realistic film. Being raised in Alabama, I can relate to the underlying plot of the film a lot. One thing that's really shocking is that Paul looks almost just like my little brother, making me kind of watch the movie as if it was through my younger sibling's eyes. Both of those facts along with the great acting by everybody, especially Harvey Keitel, made "Shadrach" really hit home for me in a way. Not to mention that it reminds me of my own childhood, when I was looked at as being middle to upper class, but almost all of my friends were less fortunate, and I never thought a thing about it.

It's a shame that "Shadrach" seems to be relatively unknown. It's just a simple drama movie with elements of a coming of age film, but it's a real good one that will hit home for certain people, maybe in more than one way. All I did was rent it after hearing that it's "a good southern movie." I'm glad I did, because now I look to purchase it one day in the future. As long as the cussing nearly every other word doesn't bother you (it shouldn't; that's just the film trying to be realistic of the times), you'll love "Shadrach". NOTE: That was my Amazon review from the year 2003. One of the most underrated movies I know of, for sure. I always love a good drama and this one delivered in every way. All the actors do a great job and if you don't mind a good tear-jerker, this is a must see. Guess it receives a few extra brownie points cause the main kid actor looks JUST LIKE my little brother looked at that age.

Jason Owens

Super Reviewer

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