Southerner

The Southerner

Director: Jean Renoir

Cast: Jean Renoir, Zachary Scott, Betty Field, Beulah Bondi

     
 

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The Southerner was Jean Renoir's favorite of his American films. Shot on location, the film stars Zachary Scott as a sharecropper who yearns for a place of his own. On a tiny, scraggly patch of land, Scott tries to make a go of things, along with his wife Betty Field, his grandmother Beulah Bondi, and his children Jean Vanderwilt (aka Bunny Sunshine) and Jay

Overview

The Southerner was Jean Renoir's favorite of his American films. Shot on location, the film stars Zachary Scott as a sharecropper who yearns for a place of his own. On a tiny, scraggly patch of land, Scott tries to make a go of things, along with his wife Betty Field, his grandmother Beulah Bondi, and his children Jean Vanderwilt (aka Bunny Sunshine) and Jay Gilpin. Though a proud, independent man, Scott is forced by circumstance to seek help from neighboring farmer J. Carroll Naish, whose life experience have left him bitter and vituperative. The two men become enemies, but are reunited by their mutual love of fishing. Scott suffers a setback when a rainstorm destroys his cotton crop. He is about to go wearily back to working for others (specifically, factory owner Charles Kemper, who also narrates the film) when he is convinced by his never-say-die family to persevere on his own. Director Jean Renoir also wrote the script for The Southerner--in fluent English rather than French, as mental exercise. Told at a leisurely, unhurried pace, the film is the one American Renoir effort that comes closest to his "slice of life" dramas of the 1930s. The Southerner was not a box office hit, but did win the effusive praise of critics, not to mention the Venice Film Festival "best picture" award.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Michael Costello
One of Jean Renoir's handful of American films, The Southerner is a moving portrait of the struggle of a Southern sharecropper to hold on to his small patch of ground. Zachary Scott stars as the Texas cotton farmer who buys a small piece of land with a rundown farmhouse and tries to make a go of it against long odds. Renoir's favorite of his American films, it's one of the most realistic depictions of the harshness of rural life ever committed to the screen. Draining the film of sentimentality, he reverses the warmly comic stereotypes of rural character, surrounding Scott with a community of farmers whose ignorance, pettiness, and selfishness make his life even more difficult than his hardscrabble acreage. Renoir displays a documentarian's fascination with the full range of agricultural activities, so much so that the farm itself becomes a character in the film. While seemingly too well-bred to handle the role, Scott was raised on a Southern farm and helped the director with accuracy of detail. Mississippi-born William Faulkner, who did uncredited work on the script, provided a similar function. The excellent cast includes J. Carrol Naish, Betty Field, Beulah Bondi, and Blanche Yurka.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/09/2016
UPC:
0738329203016
Original Release:
1945
Source:
Kino Classics
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[B&W]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital Stereo]
Time:
1:32:00
Sales rank:
17,266

Special Features

"A Salute To France" (1944, 35 min.) directed by Jean Renoir and Garson Kanin, this drama (starring Burgess Meredith) was produced to foster relation with France during wartime. "The River" (1938, 31 min.) according to Renoir, Pare Lorentz's Depression-era documentary had a strong stylistic influence upon The Southerner.

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Zachary Scott Sam Tucker
Betty Field Nona Tucker
Beulah Bondi Granny Tucker
Percy Kilbride Harmie Jenkins
Bunny Sunshine Daisy Tucker
J. Carrol Naish Henry Devers
Jay Gilpin Jot Tucker
Charles Kemper Tim, the Narrator
Blanche Yurka Ma Tucker
Norman Lloyd Finlay Hewitt
Nestor Paiva Bartender
Estelle Taylor Lizzie
Dorothy Granger Party Girl
Florence Bates Rose
Jack Norworth Doc White
Rex the Dog Actor
Jean Vanderwilt Daisv
Noreen Nash Becky
Paul E. Burns Uncle Pete Tucker
Paul Harvey Ruston
Earl Hodgins Wedding Guest
Almira Sessions Customer at Store

Technical Credits
Jean Renoir Director,Screenwriter
Lucien Andriot Cinematographer
Hugo Butler Screenwriter
William Faulkner Screenwriter
Robert Hakim Producer
Werner Janssen Score Composer
Nunnally Johnson Screenwriter
David L. Loew Producer
Eugène Lourié Set Decoration/Design
Gregg G. Tallas Editor
Jack Whitney Sound/Sound Designer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- The Southerner
1. Chapter 1 [10:35]
2. Chapter 2 [7:01]
3. Chapter 3 [10:51]
4. Chapter 4 [14:07]
5. Chapter 5 [11:26]
6. Chapter 6 [7:12]
7. Chapter 7 [16:02]
8. Chapter 8 [3:31]
9. Chapter 9 [11:35]
10. Chapter 10 [:00]

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