Monday, November 18, 2013

Now on Amazon Prime: The Southerner (1945)

The Southerner movie poster Jean Renoir
The Southerner (1945) – Directed by Jean Renoir; Written by Hugo Butler and Jean Renoir; Cinematography by Lucien N. Andriot; Starring Zachary Scott, Betty Field, J. Carrol Naish, Beulah Bondi, Percy Kilbride, Charles Kemper, Blanche Yurka, Norman Lloyd, Estelle Taylor, Paul Harvey, Noreen Nash, Jack Norworth, Nestor Paiva, Paul E. Burns, Jay Gilpin and Jean Vanderwilt. 

By Kenny Howell

Criminally underrated American film from Jean Renoir, the legendary French director. 

This one is an English language film about the Tucker family who try to achieve the American dream by starting their own farm. They get a piece of land, but nearly everything is thrown against them in their first year. The winter is brutal, and little is left to eat. Sickness attacks their children. But they pick themselves up and keep fighting on. 

The film’s biggest strength is that it doesn’t sugarcoat the struggle, and that Renoir (Grand Illusion) really understands, despite being French, the struggle in middle America for families like this during this time period. 

This isn't Renoir's best work, but it is definitely one of his better ones. 

The Southerner is now streaming on Amazon Prime. 

Rating: ****

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