Film reviews are subjective. I tend to rate films not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.
A Raisin in the Sun (1961) from Columbia Pictures
Not Rated. Drama, African American Actors/Issues, Comedy
Description (from the film case): 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 (Sidney 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.
My thoughts: If Sidney Poitier never played another role in his life, he was Walter Lee Younger.
There’s a whole lot of life lived in a few days for this family, and to see the growth in them is remarkable. The film hits deep where it needs to, lightens up and makes you laugh along the way, and after mercurial Walter Lee’s fire all movie, I can’t say that the quiet, sober, but decided monologue he eventually gives doesn’t put a proud tear in my eye.
Honestly, I’m sorry this story was ever remade for the screen, as I personally think movie remakes should be reserved for stories that were a good idea but were delivered poorly, not for stories that were already masterfully executed on multiple levels, as remakes that come after such works will be duly compared–but won’t be able to compare.
Here’s to a superb 1961 cast in a superb film.
My corresponding reading: A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry.
Now, mind you, I find the film to be much more engaging than its original trailer, but, hey. I try to cut older trailers some slack.