I Saw That!

One woman's opinions about popular entertainment.

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Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Amateur boxing coach, Christian (but not so heavenly-minded that I'm no earthly good) singer, writer, self-defense advocate, childfree. feminist www.smartwomenboxingtraining.org

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Bright Road (1953)

I had heard about this movie for years.  Finally, I got a chance to see it uncut on one of my favorite cable channels, Turner Movie Classics.  It was a little sad to watch Dorothy Dandridge, knowing about her tragic history.  She's been acknowledged as one of the first Black movie sex symbols.  Ms. Dandridge may have gone farther if she had received help for her personal problems, and if she didn't have to deal with the blatant racism that was going on during her career. 

Jane Richards (Dandridge) is a new teacher in a grade school that is predominately Black.  She takes particular interest in a male student, C.T. (Philip Hepburn) who doesn't seem to be interested in class.  She learns the student has been held back several times due to failing grades.  The other teachers are cynical about her believing she can make a change in the kid's life, and the principal (Harry Belafonte, in his first film) doesn't have high hopes regarding her efforts, either.  Jane works with C.T., encouraging his interests.  But her efforts become in danger of being undone when tragedy strikes Tanya (Barbara Randolph), the student whom C.T. is most close to at school.

This is a rather simple story, and some of the acting is not on point.  But it's an interesting look at Blacks in a small southern town in the middle of the last century.  It highlights what is known from history - that Black people had to be more cohesive and supportive of each other as segregation was a fact, and people of color were shut out of the mainstream.

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