Conrack (1974)

Based on Pat Conroy's autobiographical novel The Water is Wide, this drama is set on a remote South Carolina island where Conroy came to teach impoverished, nearly illiterate African-American children. At first the children resent the… More

Directed By:
Rated: PG
Running Time:
Release Date: March 27, 1974
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Critic Score: 73% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Richard Schickel
TIME Magazine

The spirit behind Conrack is so relentlessly idealistic in tone and uplifting in intent that one feels vaguely guilty for not responding to the film generously and forgivingly.

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Nora Sayre
New York Times

Despite Mr. Voight's skill, the teacher's character never jells.

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TV Guide

As a former Group Theatre actor, [Ritt] understands the problems of actors and has been able to elicit outstanding performances from people one would not expect depth from.

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Variety Staff

Few will totally resist the surefire appeal of this latest variation on Pygmalion mythology.

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Don Druker
Chicago Reader

It misses by less than a mile, but it misses.

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Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Spirituality and Practice

An unusually human movie that ought to be talked about by everyone concerned with the real meaning of education, communication, and a full rich vision of life

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Time Out

The potentially dubious aspects of the subject are mostly exorcised, in part by a strong script (adapted from the book by real-life teacher Pat Conroy), but largely by the engaging and persuasive performance Ritt draws from Voight.

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Adrian Turner
Radio Times

Martin Ritt's movie is often sentimental and hectoring, ramming home the contrast between Voight's comfy, secure rebellion against the Vietnam War and the utter destitution and backwardness of his pupils.

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The whole cast are inspired and the production values outstanding.

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