Native Son
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Previously filmed in Argentina in 1951, black author Richard Wright's powerful race-conscious novel Native Son was remade in this barely released 1986 version. The story involves Bigger Thomas (Victor Love), an angry Depression-era Chicago black who hopes to elevate himself through his chauffeur's job with a prosperous white Gold Coast family. The family's daughter (Elizabeth McGovern) takes advantage of Bigger's servile status by ordering him to drive her to a rendezvous with her communist-activist lover (Matt Dillon). Their "parlor liberal" attitude both pleases and… More
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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 56%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The film makers haven't listened to Wright. They appear to have been aiming at the same genteel audience that insists on seeing something sentimental and upbeat even in a television movie-of-the-week about AIDS."
‑ Vincent Canby, New York Times
"The movie understands that the story really is about the killer's point of view. It is not the story of a crime, not a docudrama, not a sociological essay."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"Transforms the novel into an all-too-genteel crime story, denuded of rage, devoid of social and historic context."
‑ Richard Harrington, Washington Post
"Ultimately, the film fails because of Silver's fears of offending the audience, the same fear that Wright himself faced and overcame."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Unfortunately, drama translates as melodrama and speechy, preachy dialogue tells us we're watching something that's good for us."
‑ Rita Kempley, Washington Post
"Well-intended but deadly dull"
‑ James Sanford, Kalamazoo Gazette
More reviews for Native Son on Rotten Tomatoes