A Raisin In The Sun is a groundbreaking drama celebrating the human spirit, featuring an electrifying performance by Academy Award-winner Sidney Poitier (Best Actor, Lillies Of The Field, 1963).
The Younger family, frustrated with living in their crowded Chicago apartment, sees the arrival of a $10,000 insurance check as the answer to their prayers. Matriarch Lena Younger (Claudia McNeil) promptly puts a down payment on a house in an all-white suburban neighborhood. But the family is divided when Lena entrusts the balance of the money to her mercurial son Walter Lee (Poitier), against the wishes of her daughter (Diana Sands) and daughter-in-law (Ruby Dee). It takes the strength and integrity of this African-American family to battle against generations of prejudice to try to achieve their piece of the American Dream.
Director Daniel Petrie's highly acclaimed drama is a seminal portrait of African American life in the mid-1950s, based on Lorraine Hansberry's groundbreaking play, that achieved critical and commercial success at a time when the viability of a black audience or a white crossover audience was not considered a possibility. Lena Younger (Claudia McNeil), the stalwart matriarch of an impoverished black family, dreams of owning a nice home in a tidy, integrated suburb. In the meantime, she shares a small apartment on Chicago's South Side with her underemployed adult son, Walter (Sidney Poitier); his emotionally resilient wife, Ruth (Ruby Dee); their child, Travis (Stephen Perry); and her daughter, Beneatha (Diana Sands). Though there's plenty of love in the family, the close quarters breed desperation and discontent. But Lena's prayers are finally answered when she receives a $10,000 insurance policy her husband left behind. The money becomes a symbol for freedom for each member of the Younger family: Lena sees it as a ticket out of the ghetto and into a home of her own, Walter sees it as a chance to regain his dignity and start his own business, while Beneatha dreams of medical school. Their internal struggle threatens to tear the Younger family apart in this moving and claustrophobic vision of life in the bigoted and oppressive environment of a 1950s tenement. Petrie's film features strong and captivating performances from the cast, reprising their 1959 Broadway roles.
A RAISIN IN THE SUN is a penetrating drama which relates the plight of a poor black family living in a tiny Chicago tenement and their struggle to survive in the prejudiced and tense surroundings.
Essential Cinema |
Personal Triumph |
Race Relations |
Stage Play |
Tear Jerker |