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The Sky Is Gray
The Sky Is Gray
Actors: Olivia Cole, James Bond III, Margaret Avery, Cleavon Little, Chez Lister
Director: Stan Lathan
Genres: Drama, Television, Educational
NR     2005     0hr 46min

Seen on PBS Written By: Ernest J. Gaines Starring: Olivia Cole and James Bond III Directed By: Stan Lathan Description: From Ernest J. Gaines, author of "The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman", comes a deceptively si...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Olivia Cole, James Bond III, Margaret Avery, Cleavon Little, Chez Lister
Director: Stan Lathan
Genres: Drama, Television, Educational
Sub-Genres: Drama, Television, Educational
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 01/25/2005
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 0hr 46min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 5
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Bonita L. Davis | 08/27/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Young James' world is limited to the Negro Quarters of rural Louisiana until a tootache forces him into a world he never imagined. A trip into town to get a tooth pulled ends up as a classroom for life's lessons and ambiguities. Set in the early 1940's, "The Sky is Gray", is the film adaptation of Ernest Gaines' short story. It is a classic piece in that a young Black boy comes face to face with the contradictions in the black and white adult world. Seen through an adolescent's eyes you will feel his surprise, raise his questions and share his hurts. This wonderful film is sensitive in its portrayal of a young boy forced to grow up in a hostile world. Gaines' black and white characters move beyond the stereotypes of southern society. Through James' eyes you see a young man confronting the slave mentality of a preacher while waiting for his dental appointment. You see James' mother attempting to maintain her dignity and pride when she knows her earnings are meager.Yet you find a woman who is willing to accept kindness, on her own terms. She makes it clear to her son that they are not beggers but working people. Most of all this film teaches us the lessons youth must be forced to learn especially if they're in an environment that is determined to keep them poor, ignorant and disenfranchised. James' mother must force him to grow up fast before he is consumed by the world. James sees the grays in this adult world but there is hope that he will be able to overcome the obstacles. This is a beautiful story about adolescence, becoming a man and learning how to live with dignity and pride regardless of your status. You will enjoy this touching story that reaches into your heart and fills you with joy for James and all young boys who must walk a similar path."
Great Liteature brought to life!
ChicDiva | Brewton, AL United States | 01/15/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I first discovered this film at my college library. I had heard of the author's ...Miss Jane Pittman but was soon delighted to discover this gem. I've watched it over and over again. Read the short story or watch the film, the film remains true to the story. And each time many messages may be spoken in this film. One message in particular: Life is what you perceive it to be not what others say it is. The moral of the story can be found throughout the film and 1 important moral can be found in the dentist office scene. Remember, "Grass is black and the wind is pink." This is one of my favorite lines as well as is this one: "It's green 'cause they say its green." Eveyone can take something from this film/short story."
Learning to find "gray" in a world of "black" and "white"
KerrLines | Baltimore,MD | 09/05/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"In a world of splashy 2 hour+ action-packed,over-produced Hollywood Blockbusters stands the small collection of 46 minute gems from THE AMERICAN SHORT STORY COLLECTION."The Sky is Gray" is one of a few short stories realized into teleplays for the t.v. in the 1970's.They are all amazing adaptations and star some of the finest stage and screen character actors of the time.

"The Sky is Gray" is Charles Fuller's teleplay adaptation of Ernest J. Gaines short story.The story concerns itself chiefly with one day in the life of a young boy,James,and his mother as they go into town to have James' tooth pulled.Now that may not sound terribly grabbing, but for the student of poignant lessons learned in brief time periods with minimal dialogue, you will rarely find one done so compellingly and with such finesse.The time in which this play occurs is the 1930's "Jim Crow Era" still in force in rural Louisiana.The world sees only two colors,black and white not only in skin but in daily life. James observes his mother (outstandingly portrayed by Emmy-Award_winning Olivia Cole....and boy is she a marvel of restraint and courage!).She is his instructor in the ways of the world;keep your head down, go to the back of the bus,don't make waves,keep silence and do not accept charity.James' most important lesson is observed when a old white woman (the veteran actress Margaret Avery) and his mother attempts to show kindness and charity to James and his mother. The tete-a-tete between two proud women from the "opposing" races is one of the most amazing displays of both women coming into the shade of "gray" in this harsh existence that was Southern America.It is this moving moment that James sees that will propel him towards manhood.

Others in THE AMERICAN SHORT STORY COLLECTION are "Rappuccini's Daughter","The Jilting of Granny Weatherall" and " The Man who Corrupted Hadleyburg"."