Native Son (1951) Re-Release arrives in Virtual Theaters for its 70th anniversary.
Kino Lorber presents a new complete restoration of the 1951 film version of the novel, directed by Pierre Chenal and starring Richard Wright (the novel’s author) as Bigger Thomas. One of the most controversial novels of its day, Richard Wright’s Native Son (first published in 1940) exposed the injustices of urban Black life, witnessed through the eyes of Bigger Thomas, whose violent tendencies and moral confusion were the natural result of a lifetime of deprivation. In prison for murder and sentenced to death, Thomas reflects on the circumstances that led to his fate.
ABOUT THE RESTORATION:
When it was initially released in the U.S., Native Son was heavily censored by regional state/municipal censor boards where it played. A complete 16mm print of the original Argentinian release and an incomplete 35mm duplicate negative of the uncensored cut were combined for the current restoration, the most complete version of Native Son ever shown in the United States.
The film was remade in 1986, (starring Matt Dillon, Elizabeth McGovern, Geraldine Page, Oprah Winfrey and Victor Love). It was remade again by HBO in 2019 and was filmed in a contemporary setting.