The Southerner
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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 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… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"It may be trenchant realism, but these are times when there is a greater need. Escapism is the word."
‑ , Variety
"Jean Renoir's 1945 examination of dirt farmers in the American south is probably his finest Hollywood film, which is to say a masterpiece."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"Essential viewing."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"Jean Renoir is perhaps the greatest of all film directors. He is certainly the most lovable."
‑ Dan Callahan,
"Renoir's most successful American film, loose, free-flowing, honest."
‑ Derek Adams, Time Out
"The land is pictured as being so real that you can almost taste it."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"A remarkably naturalistic portrayal of one family's struggle to start a farm in the South."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"A rich, unusual and sensitive delineation of a segment of the American scene well worth filming and seeing."
‑ Bosley Crowther, New York Times
"Made while Frenchman Renoir was in Hollywood in exile, this rural portrait is a better film than Swamp Water, showing the helmer's penchant for meticulous attention to detail and lyrical realism, for which he received his only directing Oscar nomination"
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"You can almost feel the land and sense the spirit guiding this most heartfelt of movies."
‑ , Film4
More reviews for The Southerner on Rotten Tomatoes