The River Niger

Some rivers can't be dammed...some people won't be broken.
291 ratings
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Format:  DVD
sku:  ALP 5471D
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The River Niger for $3.18
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DVD Details

  • Rated: Not Rated
  • Run Time: 1 hours, 42 minutes
  • Video: Color
  • Encoding: Region 0 (Worldwide)
  • Released: November 27, 2007
  • Originally Released: 1976
  • Label: Alpha Video

Performers, Cast and Crew:

Starring , &
Performer: , , , &
Directed by
Edited by
Composition by
Cinematography by
Produced by

Entertainment Reviews:


User Ratings: 88
A touching family drama, an exploration of black identity and a moving parable about love Full Review
Spirituality and Practice
Jan 18, 2004
The play was award-winning, but as a film, The River Niger is a washout. Full Review
Los Angeles Free Press
Nov 14, 2019
Rating: 2/4 -- The River Niger, a film about a series of crises in an American black family, has good intentions and several very well-acted scenes. But its direction is a mess. Full Review
Chicago Sun-Times
Jul 9, 2018

Description by

James Earl Jones is Johnny Williams, an African-American housepainter and war veteran who would rather daydream and write poetry than work. His marriage to Mattie (Cicely Tyson), a brutal struggle for survival on the mean ghetto streets, is complicated by the revelation that she is dying of cancer and the return of "war hero" son Jeff. Angry with the "white man's" military-industrial complex and frustrated by his parent's grand expectations, Jeff has actually been kicked out of officer training school. Hearing that he is back on the street, Jeff's unruly friends invade Johnny's home and pressure his son to join them in a robbery. Violence erupts, tearing the tightly knit family apart.

Based on a Tony Award winning play by Joseph A. Walker first performed by New York City's Negro Ensemble Company in 1972, The River Niger is a touching and poignant snapshot of a mid-20th Century African-American family. Director Krishna Shah soaks up the authentic locations and memorable characters with observational camerawork that captures the ambience of live theater. Featuring superlative performances by James Earl Jones, Cicely Tyson and Louis Gossett Jr, The River Niger delicately balances lyrical flights of dialogue with the harsh realities of impoverished urban living.


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Product Info

  • Sales Rank: 12,463
  • UPC: 089218547194
  • Shipping Weight: 0.25/lbs (approx)
  • International Shipping: 1 item

Film Collectors & Archivists: Alpha Video is actively looking for rare and unusual pre-1943 motion pictures, in good condition, from Monogram, PRC, Tiffany, Chesterfield, and other independent studios for release on DVD. We are also interested in TV shows from the early 1950s. Share your passion for films with a large audience. Let us know what you have.
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