Native Son

1951

Drama

0
IMDb Rating 6.1 10 184

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
February 22, 2021 at 10:47 PM

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720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
991.4 MB
968*720
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 48 min
P/S counting...
1.8 GB
1440*1072
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 48 min
P/S counting...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by tmcardle-71474 5 / 10

well-intentioned, but squirm-inducing curiosity of a troubled era that may

This movie had an incredibly troubled history. Hollywood would not touch Native Son even during its brief 1940s flirtation with liberalism. A 1944 Orson Welles stage production with Canada Lee playing the teen-aged gang member Bigger Thomas, though critically successful, had been quashed by the Catholic Legion of Decency. Wright's novel was sold through the Book of the Month -- its first African-American author -- and won incredible notices. It also scared the daylights out of mainstream white culture. He sympathetically portrayed an African-American murderer (the Legion's stated complaint about the play), unambiguously showed white female desire for a black male and gave a rather jaundiced view of the left-wing, jazz-loving bohemia hidden among the youth of the very wealthy. (And by portraying the thrill seekers of the left as merely that, Wright also alienated many of his Communist and left-wing friends.) It was all too much for Hollywood. Still, a number of people tried to get a film of the play made independently with Canada Lee eventually opting to shoot in Argentina with a French director (not Welles). However, Lee couldn't get out of the U.S. (Oddly enough, he and Sidney Poitier were sneaked into Apartheid South Africa as indentured servants that year so they could appear in Zoltan Korda's masterful adaption of Cry, The Beloved Country.) At the last minute, Wright was called upon to play the lead role and he is terrible! The great writer could not act. He does the one thing a serious black actor should never do -- he pops his eyes constantly. In fairness, the production values are outstanding. This is basically a crime story with a racial subtext and Chenel nails the film noir ambiance. Unfortunately, the supporting actors are Argentinian with Americans dubbing their voices. And there's Wright, already over 40 -- too old to play bigger teenager Thomas -- popping his eyes. When I saw this screened at the AFI, Stanley Crouch, who had written a laudatory essay about the film, spoke afterwords. I seriously wondered if he had seen the movie before he wrote about it. Crouch mumbled throughout his question and answer session and the audience kept telling him to speak louder. The movie deserves preservation simply because of its historic significance but not a wide audience. Read the novel instead.

Reviewed by Sturgeon54 6 / 10

Better Than I Expected

As an admirer of Wright's written work - especially "Native Son" - I had incredibly low expectations for several reasons: there was next to no budget, the cast and crew (including the starring role) were all amateurs, the director was not American and had never made an American film before this, the film had to be shot in Argentina, and "Native Son" is such a dense, complex, psychological piece of work to begin with.

But, if you look at this as a simple B-movie melodrama with a racial subtext that was badly missing from almost all of the films of its day, it isn't bad. In film, you don't get motivation, you get action, and the novel "Native Son" was all about hidden motivations and desires. Maybe it was a bad idea to even attempt to make Wright's novel into a film, but one must give him and the filmmakers credit for trying. In the era just before the McCarthy hearings and the blacklist, a feature film released to the public that was even half as potent as Wright's novel would have been commendable.

An idea actually occurred to me while watching this: someone should make a feature film about the making of "Native Son." From what I've read, the production faced many obstacles and setbacks, both physical and ideological, and I think the story behind this would be fascinating - especially the difficulty of an author playing his own creation while trying to maintain his artistic integrity. Of course, Wright's life was fascinating in and of itself. Spike Lee, are you listening?

Reviewed by happytrigger-64-390517 7 / 10

strange but courageous production about racism

Piere Chenal was a specialist of crime movies since the 30's but never directed a masterpiece (except "La Foire Aux Chimères, still not available on DVD) but all his movies were intelligently shot and "Le Dernier Tournant" (first movie adaptation of "The Postman Always Rings Twice") was admired by Orson Welles. During WWII and after, Pierre Chenal shot in Argentina some nice crime movies. "Native Son" was adapted and played by his author, Richard Wright, and shot first in Chicago then in Argentina. The movie had some success in south American countries but did nothing in USA where 40 minutes were cut. Richard Wright never saw the final cut. Pierre Chenal didn't want that cut print to be exploited in Europe. In the 80's, a 90 minutes print was found and exploited. If you want to know more about this very strange shooting, I advise you to read the six pages comments by Pierre Chenal in the book "Pierre Chenal" (collection 24 souvenirs / seconde). You will discover a very bright director and maybe want to discover his movies.

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