brightroadfeature

Five Films That Everyone Should Know: Part 3, Bright Road

Lists of must-see films for any self-respecting fan almost always include Casablanca and
Citizen Kane, and deservedly so. But there are so many other worthy pictures which are
often overlooked. So, from film-fan to film-fan, here’s a recommendation from our must-see list.

BRIGHT ROAD (1953)
Director: Gerald Mayer
Starring: Dorothy Dandridge and Harry Belafonte
Writers: Emmet Lavery, based on a story by Mary Elizabeth Vroman
Editor: Joseph Dervin

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Bright Road is a sweet and poignant story of a caring teacher, Jane Richards (Dandridge), and a principal, Mr. Williams (Belafonte), who are challenged by a troubled, yet gentle-hearted, student named C.T. (Philip Hepburn).

C.T. has repeated every grade, and often gets in trouble for fighting, but he’s intelligent and brave.

The question here is simple: Can Richards and Williams reach through all of the child’s hurt, anger and mistrust and help the young student flourish?

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RATING: Five Whistles

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HOW TO WATCH: Amazon 

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TRIVIA: The movie is based on See How They Run, a semi-autobiographical story by Mary Elizabeth Vroman, the “first black woman member of the Screen Writers’ Guild.” (source: Encyclopedia of Alabama)

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IMAGES: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

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OTHER MOVIES TO KNOW:

* Make Way For Tomorrow (1937)

* The Narrow Margin (1952)

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ABOUT THE AUTHORS

H.J. Saunders, MA, CET

An exercise physiologist and personal trainer, H.J. has been involved in the health, fitness, and recreational industries for over 25-years. H.J. is an internationally recognized fitness innovator and crusader, developing comprehensive exercise and well-care programs for individuals and organizations ranging from neighborhood elementary schools, to multi-million dollar corporations and institutions He has also been involved with government initiatives such as The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Prevent & Decrease Overweight & Obesity, and The Physical Activity Guidelines and National Plan for Americans. Articles and interviews have appeared in local and national magazines, periodicals, and on radio and television. Shihan Saunders is a practicing 6th degree black belt and teaches Isshinryu Karate to people of all ages. H.J. is founder and president of The Youth Fitness Coalition (www.cofitness.net). He is also a member of SAG-AFTRA.

Ylana Kellar, MFA

Ylana is an actress‚ writer and singer whose credits include: Playing Alexina (Theatre of Necessity), In the Family Way (produced and directed by Rachel Gordon), and Everything’s Coming Up Ro’ses (web series created by and starring Roetta Collins‚ directed by Lee Eypper). On the other side of the camera, Ylana has associate-produced several travelogue shorts for The Missouri Department of Natural Resources Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park Visitors Center (Middlebrook, Missouri)‚ and the Lewis and Clark Confluence Tower Visitors Center (Hartford‚ Illinois)‚ all of which were produced and directed by Geralyn Abinader | gaMedia Group. Ylana currently serves on the SAG-AFTRA New York Local Women’s Committee. She is a former member of the boards of directors of New York Women in Film and Television (NYWIFT) and Women in the Arts and Media Coalition. She has produced numerous entertainment / arts based programs, and has served as a panelist and moderator for such programs as well. She is a member of SAG-AFTRA and AEA (www.ylana.net).

In their spare time H.J. and Ylana watch too many movies, read too many liner notes, and run the on-line vintage yard-sale Rita’s Retros www.ritasretros.com.