Southerner, The
	
		
				
			
	
	




	
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Southerner, The

Language:

English   Country: USA   Year: 1945

Southerner, The
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Director:

Jean Renoir

Starring:

Zachary Scott; Betty Field

Genres:

Drama

Synopsis:

The Tucker familly battles hardships including, disease, a flood and a jealous neighbor, as they try to make a go of being cotton farmers. Black & White.

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User Reviews

 

(Average=4.25 out of 5; Total Number=8)


A Southern Family Sets Up A Farm In This Jean Renoir Film (rating=4)

"The Southerner," directed by Jean Renoir in 1945 from George Sessions Perry's novel "Hold Autumn in Your Hand," is an interesting example of the pastoral films of post-War Hollywood. The film is one of those films honorable the indomitable spirit of man as it follows the Tucker family in their efforts to set up a self-sufficient farm in the South. San (Zachary Scott), Nona (Betty Field), their children and their spunky granny (Beluah Bondi) have to put up with poverty, weather, disease and even the hostility of their neighbors as everything goes wrong. If a storm is not wrecking their crops, then one of their neighbors sends a cow to eat their vegetable patch. Renoir was one of the first directors to do location shooting for non-Western films, having first gone to the Deep South for 1941's "Swamp Water." But whereas the locale of "The Southerner" is certainly realistic, the same came not be said for the actors. There is an inherent urban sophistication to Scott, so that it just does not seem right that he is out there catching a fish with his bare hands or offering up a hillbilly prayer to God. Renoir needed the same sort of earnest characterization of the great unwashed you find in John Ford's "The Grapes of Wrath." However, certainly this is an earnest effort from Renoir and he comes out slightly ahead on the overall balance sheet. Besides, Bunny Sunshine is in this film.

TOUCHING (rating=5)

A sincere film, real, poignant, believable, and excellently acted all around. It tells the story of the hardships lived by a poor family in the country. For sure in my top ten list! Unforgettable!

Jean Renoir's Film About A Southern Family Living On A Farm (rating=4)

"The Southerner," directed by Jean Renoir in 1945 from George Sessions Perry's novel "Hold Autumn in Your Hand," is an interesting example of the pastoral films of post-War Hollywood. This film is one of those films honoring the indomitable spirit of man as it follows the Tucker family in their efforts to set up a self-sufficient farm in the South. San (Zachary Scott), Nona (Betty Field), their children and their spunky scene-stealing granny (Beluah Bondi) have to put up with poverty, weather, disease and even the hostility of their neighbors as everything goes wrong. If a storm is not wrecking their crops, then one of their neighbors sends a cow to eat their vegetable patch. Renoir was one of the first directors to do location shooting for non-Western films, having first gone to the Deep South for 1941's "Swamp Water." But whereas the locale of "The Southerner" is certainly realistic, the same came not be said for the actors. There is an inherent urban sophistication to Scott, so that it just does not seem right that he is out there catching a fish with his bare hands or offering up a hillbilly prayer to God. Renoir needed the same sort of earnest characterization of the great unwashed you find in John Ford's "The Grapes of Wrath." However, certainly this is an earnest effort from Renoir and he comes out slightly ahead on the overall balance sheet. Besides, Bunny Sunshine is in this film.


Summary

During World War II, Jean Renoir fled Nazi-occupied France for America and tried his hand at making Hollywood films. This period is generally (and unfairly) dismissed as fallow ground in Renoir's career, but even most of his critics agree thatThe Southerner is not just the best of his five American films, but a fine example of Renoir's humanistic vision. Transplanting the poetic realism of his French masterpieces of the 1930s to the rural American South, Renoir presents a year in the life of a family of migrant workers who decide to follow their dream of farming their own land. Hawk-eyed Zachary Scott gives the performance of his career as the easygoing but determined father who risks everything to give his family something to call their own, with J. Carroll Naish as his bitter, hostile neighbor. The seasonal structure and episodic nature of the film focuses on the hardships the family faces, finding the rhythm of life between setbacks and victories and the soul of his lovingly created characters through their bent but unbowed spirit. Renoir adapted George Perry Sessions's novelHold Autumn in Your Hand with uncredited help from William Faulkner. This was Renoir's personal favorite of his American films and the only one to enjoy commercial success.--Sean Axmaker