Claudine (1974)


“How can frightened people change anything?” – Charles

“There ain’t no other kind of people, Charles. I’m scared all the time, but I do my job. If you ain’t scared, you don’t have need for guts.” – Claudine

Number of Times Seen – 1 (28 Oct 2019)

Brief Synopsis – A single mother of six living in Harlem tries to keep her life and family in order after meeting and falling for a nice sanitation worker.

My Take on it – This is another film that I knew nothing about before coming across it during my quest to watch and review all films that have been able to garner Oscar nominations for acting performances.

This film does a great job evaluating the was that the welfare system both works for and against the people it is meant to help at the same time.

The movie shows the complex kind of way that people must live in order to receive government help and be able to afford to raise their children properly.

Diahann Carroll is superb in the title role and makes us truly believe that she is a young mother of six trying to make a better life for herself and for her kids.

She was deservingly nominated for an Oscar for her performance in this film because it brings so much forth for us to savor.

Her chemistry with co-star James Earl Jones is also great and it’s quite easy to believe their relationship as it slowly buds throughout the course of the film.

They work well together towards the ultimate goal of making life better for themselves and their kids despite all of the various problems that both the government and their low class community bring forth for such a couple.

Bottom Line – Really interesting look at the way that the welfare system works because it shows the complex ways people must live in order to still get help from the system. Carroll is great in the lead and makes us truly believe that her character is a mother of six trying to find a way to make ends meet in a lower class area. She was deservingly nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress for her performance here. Her chemistry with Jones is quite realistic and its quite easy to believe that these characters are in love and want to make a better life for themselves and their families despite the various problems that keep arising. Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – The director felt that Diahann Carroll was too sophisticated to play the role of a welfare mother. However, Carroll was from the Bronx, knew women like Claudine and knew she could play that part as well as anyone else.  (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy (8/10)

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