Sounder (1972) - Rotten Tomatoes

Sounder (1972)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Set during the 1930s, Sounder is the tale of a family of black sharecroppers struggling to survive the Great Depression. After suffering months of poverty, the father (Paul Winfield) steals in order to support his family. He is sent to jail, leaving the mother (Cicely Tyson) to care for the family and farm, which is made even more difficult when one of her sons, (Kevin Hooks), begins pursuing an education. Adapted from William Armstrong's novel, Sounder was nominated for numerous Academy Awards.


Cicely Tyson
as Rebecca Morgan
Paul Winfield
as Nathan Lee Morgan
Kevin Hooks
as David Lee Morgan
Janet MacLachlan
as Camille Johnson
Carmen Mathews
as Mrs. Boatwright
James Best
as Sheriff Young
Yvonne Jarrell
as Josie Mae Morgan
Eric Hooks
as Earl Morgan
Ted Airhart
as Mr. Perkins
Inez Durham
as Court Clerk
Myrl Sharkey
as Mrs. Clay
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Sounder

All Critics (17) | Top Critics (5)

Director Martin Ritt soaks us in the heat, the beauty, the racism and the buzzing cicadas of Louisiana.

Full Review… | April 3, 2007
Denver Post
Top Critic

Ritt's film must respond to the needs of an entertainment industry, and in its desire to be uplifting, leaves its characters one-dimensional without ensuring that the one dimension is heroic.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

If Sounder, an inteligent enough movie, avoids all the major pitfalls of its type, it also lacks the excitement that may have come from plumbing greater depths and discovering a few tougher, less accessible insights.

Full Review… | May 9, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

It is one of the most compassionate and truthful of movies, and there's not a level where it doesn't succeed completely.

Full Review… | October 23, 2004
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Painfully honest, unpretentious, and blessedly simple.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

The family's solidarity in the face of intimidating odds -- poverty, racism, injustice -- gives the movie a humanistic, optimistic center.

Full Review… | July 17, 2014

Audience Reviews for Sounder


16081: As I watched Sounder a thought, and feeling, came over me. I'm saddened a bit because I don't believe the majority of today's youth could sit through a film like this. Tell me I'm wrong. A wonderful film that shines a light in the dark. Warms my heart. So glad I picked it up.

John Redshaw
John Redshaw

This tale of a poor black family in the post slavery period is a good but not great early attempt to investigate the continuing influence of racism in the deep South. Likely stirring it its time, it has been eclipsed with far better more modern works.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

good film

erika bruhns
erika bruhns

Super Reviewer

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