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Sidney Poitier: One Bright Light
Sidney Poitier One Bright Light
Actors: Akihito, James Baldwin, Janet G. Bostwick, Marlon Brando, Stanley Burnside
Director: Lee Grant
Genres: Educational, Documentary
NR     2000     0hr 55min

The first black American to receive an Academy AwardŽ for "Best Actor," Sidney Poitier forever altered the racial perceptions held by both motion picture audiences and Hollywood executives. American Masters? retrospective ...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Akihito, James Baldwin, Janet G. Bostwick, Marlon Brando, Stanley Burnside
Director: Lee Grant
Creators: Deborah Richardson, Karen Bernstein, Mary Beth Yarrow, Prudence Glass, Susan Lacy, Tamar Hacker
Genres: Educational, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Educational, Biography
Studio: Winstar
Format: DVD - Black and White,Color
DVD Release Date: 02/29/2000
Original Release Date: 02/02/2000
Theatrical Release Date: 02/02/2000
Release Year: 2000
Run Time: 0hr 55min
Screens: Black and White,Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 4
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Bonita L. Davis | 11/18/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Throughout his career, Sidney Poitier captured the hearts and minds of his audience through his outstanding acting abilities. A Raisin In the Sun, Lillies of the Field and Guess Whose Coming to Dinner? are movies in which h gave memorable performances that touch us even today. Who is this man, Poitier? One Bright Light introduces us to this man who was more than just an actor on stage or in the movies. Sidney Poitier tells about his life and rise through the film industry. His colleagues and family members also share with us tidbits regarding his life. Poitier tells of his life beginning on a small island called Cat in the Carribean and blossoming in the United States. Premature at birth, Sidney was expected to die but a clairvoyant woman predicted that this weak baby would walk among kings. Sidney shares with us is first experience of going to a movie. He had no idea as to what a movie was but after the showing his imagination ran wild. He declared that someday he would go to Hollywood to work as a cowboy. The road to Hollywood would be a long one. Identify with a young Sidney at the age of 15 encountering segregation for the first time in Florida. Share with him his determination to become an actor in New York even though he was a dish washer. Witness his growth through his varied roles. Invaritably he bought to the screen a dignity, strength and defiance of a Black man never before portrayed on the screen. Poitier's presence in Hollywood paved the way for other Black actors. He would never allow the news media to stereotype him as just a "Black" actor. He demanded respect for all of his abilities and refused to be pigeonholed. His presentation and uncompromising stance comes through this video and you can't help but feel his presence. Poitier is far more than an actor, activist and director. He stands as one of the great actors of the 20th century cinema. His story will enrapture and capture you in its humor, simplicity and dignity."
Sidney Poitier Truly Is "One Bright Light"...
LadyWriter214 | California, USA | 09/10/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

""Sidney Poitier: One Bright Light" is the life story of one of the best actors of our time from his childhood on Cat Island in the Bahamas to a fearful experience with the KKK to having spent freezing nights in snow storms atop a building in New York where he "lived" for a time to failing auditions before becoming one of the best actors of our time to helping to "overthrow" a government whose governance was not conducive to the betterment of life for citizens it governed and the establishment of a new and better government for the people of the Bahamas to his becoming a husband and father and living to watch changes he helped to bring about taking root in our world.

Sidney Poitier is a man who made his mark on the world and on the world of acting through personal sacrifice and by standing firmly on principle. He ensured that he spoke out on social issues that concerned him and he ensured that, as an actor, the roles he played were meaningful and thought provoking. He brought about changes in scripts so that they were written with realism rather than based on stereotypical roles seen in films that came before him in which African-Americans were portrayed unrealistically. And, he accepted groundbreaking roles in films. One of these being "A Patch Of Blue," one of the best Sidney Poitier films ever made. It co-starred a wonderful actress, Elizabeth Hartman, who, with Sidney portrayed the first interracial kiss between a Black man and a White woman on the big screen. The film demonstrated that love and humanity have no racial boundaries.

"Buck and The Preacher" which Sidney Poitier directed and in which he played the title role also starred his friend and fellow civil rights activist, the multi-talented Harry Belafonte. The film told the story of a group of former slaves whose desire it was to move out west to build lives for themselves as free people and the obstacles they faced in doing so. Sidney Poitier and Harry Belafonte worked hard to ensure that the details depicted in the film were true to history. It turned out to be one of the best films ever made, in my opinion.

The movie, "In The Heat Of The Night" demonstrated the racism and racial profiling faced by Black people in the old south. One of the most talked about scenes in this film involved a White landowner who, during a conversation with Sidney Poitier's character, Virgil Tibbs, slaps Tibbs. Tibbs reacts by slapping the White landowner back. The White landowner says something to the effect that "there was a time when I could have had you shot for that." Lee Grant who made "Sidney Poitier: One Bright Light" also starred in "In the Heat of the Night" with Sidney.

"To Sir With Love" is another of my favorite Poitier films as are "The Love of Ivy," "Lilies of the Field" for which Sidney Poitier won an Academy Award in the Best Actor category for his wonderful portrayal of Homer Smith; "A Raisin In The Sun," "The Defiant One" with Tony Curtis, and "No Way Out" with Richard Widmark, to name a few.

"Sidney Poitier: One Bright Light" is a beautifully made documentary about one of the most talented actors of our time who also helped to bring about positive social change, Sidney Poitier. It is poignant and funny and memorable. This documentary and Sidney's autobiography, "The Measure of A Man," are two must haves. I highly recommend them both.

Dixie J. Myers | McALLEN, TX USA | 09/03/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is about the "great actor" and the things I didn't know about him BUT am delighted to know now. He is a credit to his profession and his art and comes through with all of it!"
Sidney Poitier: One Bright Light
John Farr | 07/25/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"A touching, highly personal tribute to the groundbreaking film actor, Lee Grant's "One Bright Light" depicts how Poitier broke down color barriers in films like "In the Heat of the Night" and "The Defiant Ones," and changed the way mainstream American audiences viewed race. Also focusing on Poitier's efforts as civil-rights activist and humanitarian, "Light" demonstrates that the actor's ability to convey essential goodness and strength onscreen comes from the fact that this is who and what the man really is. An inspiring tribute, suitable for older kids."