Cry Freedom (1987) HD online
|Cast overview, first billed only:|
|Josette Simon||-||Dr. Ramphele|
|Juanita Waterman||-||Ntsiki Biko|
|Evelyn Sithole||-||Nurse at clinic|
|Xoliswa Sithole||-||Nurse at clinic|
|James Coine||-||Young boy|
|Kevin Kline||-||Donald Woods|
|Shelley Borkum||-||Woods' receptionist|
|Denzel Washington||-||Steve Biko|
|Penelope Wilton||-||Wendy Woods|
|Kate Hardie||-||Jane Woods|
The filmmakers intended to shoot in South Africa as early as October 1986, with permission from select prominent figures, including Oliver Tambo and Winnie Mandela. After interviewing Mandela, the chief production crew was tailed around by the South African gestapo all the time, and was forced to leave South Africa. Also, the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) deliberately misinterpreted Sir Richard Attenborough's decision to shoot the movie in October, and instead broadcast the "news" of his starting a revolution sponsored by Russia.
This movie was filmed in Zimbabwe, rather than South Africa, due to the political unrest and sensitivities that were present there at the time.
According to Sir Richard Attenborough, some cast members were South African exiles.
Denzel Washington was cast as Steve Biko after Sir Richard Attenborough saw him in an episode of St. Elsewhere (1982).
This movie takes place from November 24, 1975 to January 2, 1979.
Lew Wasserman, the head of MCA/Universal told Sir Richard Attenborough to "clear his shelves of his Oscars for Ghandi , as Cry Freedom was going sweep the board at the Academy awards" and indeed, early, pre-release test screenings resulted in many positive audience reactions. However, this movie proved to be a disaster at the U.S. box-office, and failed to be nominated in any of the major Oscar categories except Best Actor in a Supporting Role, for Denzel Washington.
Stephen Biko (Denzel Washington) had been the subject of a television documentary a decade earlier. This was on an episode of World in Action (1963) titled "The Life and Death of Steve Biko", which was broadcast on October 3, 1977.
The closing credits declare that this movie was "filmed principally in the Republic of Zimbabwe, and completed in Kenya, the United Kingdom, and at Lee International Film Studios Ltd., Shepparton, England, with post-production at Twickenham Studios, Middlesex, England".
This movie was nominated for three Academy Awards, two of them for Best Music, Best Music Score and Best Original Song ("Cry Freedom"), and Best Actor in a Supporting Role for Denzel Washington, but the movie failed to win an Oscar in any of these categories.
Gerald Sim (Police doctor) was the brother-in-law of Director Sir Richard Attenborough.
One of a mini-cycle of late 1980s anti-Apartheid movies. The others being A World Apart (1988) and A Dry White Season (1989). The Power of One (1992) followed in the early 1990s.
This movie was based on two books by Donald Woods, who was played in the movie by Kevin Kline. These are "Biko" (1978) and "Asking for Trouble: The Autobiography of a Banned Journalist" (1981).
The seventh of only twelve theatrical movies directed by Sir Richard Attenborough.
The opening prologue states: "With the exception of two characters, whose identity has been concealed to ensure their safety, all the people depicted in this film are real, and all the events true."
The opening title card reads: "24th November 1975: Crossroads Settlement, Cape Province, Republic of South Africa."
The acronym "B.P.C." stood for "Black People Convention".
According to the Turner Classic Movies website, "the film was released in South Africa, to a selected audience."
English actor John Thaw's previous movie had been another Africa set movie Gräset sjunger (1981).
First theatrical movie produced by a major Hollywood studio of renowned Australian actor John Hargreaves.
This movie is often shown in two eighty-minute parts, allowing for a convenient intermission in theaters, and for the two parts to be shown on multiple nights on television.
The movie features two actors who won Best Actor in a Supporting Role Academy Awards during the 1980s. Denzel Washington won for Glory (1989), while Kevin Kline won for A Fish Called Wanda (1988). Washington later won a Best Actor Oscar for Treeningpäev (2001), while this movie garnered Washington his first Academy Award nomination, which was for Best Actor in a Supporting Role.
The epilogue during the closing credits states: "'Biko' was published in 1978. Its author, Donald Woods, and his wife, Wendy Woods, served as principal consultants to this film."
Sir Richard Attenborough, Denzel Washington (Stephen Biko), Kevin Kline (Donald Woods), and Alec McCowen (Acting High Commissioner) appeared in Shakespearean movies directed by Sir Kenneth Branagh. McCowen played the Bishop of Ely in Henry V (1989), Washington played Don Pedro in Palju kära ei millestki (1993), Attenborough played the English Ambassador in Hamlet (1996), and Kline played Jacques in As You Like It (2006).
This movie was selected as one of the Top Ten Films of the Year, in 1987 by the U.S.'s National Board of Review.
The car that takes Donald Woods (Kevin Kline) to the Lesotho border bridge is a beat-up 1960 Chevrolet Biscayne convertible.
This movie was part of a cycle of movies, made during the 1980s, that featured journalists covering war. The others being Salvador (1986), Under Fire (1983), Die Fälschung (1981), Deadline (1987), The Killing Fields (1984), and The Year of Living Dangerously (1982).
Despite the fact that this was filmed in Super 35, "Filmed in Panavision" is listed in the end credits.