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The Southerner Details


The Southerner was Jean Renoir's favorite of his American films. Shot on location, the film stars Zachary Scott as a sharecropper who yearns for a place of his own. On a tiny, scraggly patch of land, Scott tries to make a go of things, along with his wife Betty Field, his grandmother Beulah Bondi, and his children Jean Vanderwilt (aka Bunny Sunshine) and Jay Gilpin. Though a proud, independent man, Scott is forced by circumstance to seek help from neighboring farmer J. Carroll Naish, whose life experience have left him bitter and vituperative. The two men become enemies, but are reunited by their mutual love of fishing. Scott suffers a setback when a rainstorm destroys his cotton crop. He is about to go wearily back to working for others (specifically, factory owner Charles Kemper, who also narrates the film) when he is convinced by his never-say-die family to persevere on his own. Director Jean Renoir also wrote the script for The Southerner--in fluent English rather than French, as mental exercise. Told at a leisurely, unhurried pace, the film is the one American Renoir effort that comes closest to his "slice of life" dramas of the 1930s. The Southerner was not a box office hit, but did win the effusive praise of critics, not to mention the Venice Film Festival "best picture" award. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

  • Release date:April 30, 1945


Awarded by
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Jack Whitney Best Sound 1945 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Werner Janssen Best Score - Drama or Comedy 1945 Nominee
National Board of Review Jean Renoir Best Director 1945 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Jean Renoir Best Director 1945 Nominee
Venice International Film Festival Jean Renoir Critics' Prize for Best Film 1946 Winner


Zachary Scott
as Sam Tucker
Betty Field
as Nona Tucker
Beulah Bondi
as Granny Tucker
Percy Kilbride
as Harmie Jenkins
Bunny Sunshine
as Daisy Tucker
J. Carrol Naish
as Henry Devers
Charles Kemper
as Tim, the Narrator
Blanche Yurka
as Ma Tucker
Norman Lloyd
as Finlay Hewitt
Nestor Paiva
as Bartender
Estelle Taylor
as Lizzie
Dorothy Granger
as Party Girl
Almira Sessions
as Customer at Store
Paul Harvey
as Ruston
Florence Bates
as Rose
Jack Norworth
as Doc White
Earl Hodgins
as Wedding Guest
Paul E. Burns
as Uncle Pete Tucker
Noreen Nash
as Becky


Jean Renoir
Robert Hakim
William Faulkner
Jean Renoir
Nunnally Johnson
Hugo Butler
Lucien Andriot
Werner Janssen
Composer (Music Score)
Eugène Lourié
Set Designer
Jack Whitney
Sound/Sound Designer