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839 Ratings

The Southerner

Directed by Jean Renoir
United States, 1945


Sam is a Texan cotton picker who aspires to run his own farm and create a better life for his family. Aided by his beautiful wife, Nona, Tucker begins to work a neglected plot of land, but numerous difficulties arise, including bad weather and conflicts with jealous neighbors.

Our take

Only an outsider like the great Jean Renoir, who worked in America during WWII, could so beautifully reveal American life. Renoir received his only Oscar nomination for this neglected masterpiece, which applies his warmth, empathy, and generosity to a distinctly American story.

The Southerner Directed by Jean Renoir

Awards & Festivals

Venice Film Festival

1946 | Winner: Best Feature Film (International Critics Award)

Academy Awards

1946 | 3 nominations including: Best Director

National Board of Review

1945 | 2 wins including: Best Director

The Southerner is one of Renoir’s most direct, most simple films, and certainly one of his most moving.
July 25, 2017
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The lyrical, cracker-barrel realism of The Southerner would provide a beacon for future followers – Charles Burnett, for example, has spoken of the film’s influence – but it remains in a class by itself, a pioneer piece of American neorealism.
March 04, 2016
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This total, immediate adhesion, this innocence of the spectator finally found, along with the impossibility of speaking of this film directly, and the obligation that it places on us to discourse only about him—such are the most immediate proofs of the total success of Jean Renoir.
June 02, 1950
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