Uncle Tom's Cabin (1987)

Avery Brooks, Kate Burton, Bruce Dern, Paula Kelly,
The life of an aging black slave, Tom, and the people with whom he interacts.
  • 6.2 /10.0 IMDB Rating:
  • DatePublished:
  • 2021-10-24 Added:
  • Harriet Beecher Stowe, John Gay, Writer:
  • Stan Lathan, Director:
  • Jeffrey A. Nelson, Producer:
7 / 10

Satisfactory Version of the Classic Tale!

Uncle Tom's Cabin was brought back to life with a stellar cast including Danny Glover, Kate Burton, Phylicia Rashad, Bruce Dern, Paula Kelly, Edward Woodward, and Samuel L. Jackson just to name a few. I don't remember much of the story itself apart from reading it a long time ago. In the 1980s, television movies were a class apart. They were inspired by actual true crime or literature like Uncle Tom's Cabin into a movie with television stars. Anyway, the television movies of the past have long disappeared onto cable stations and PBS programming if possible. The quality of this television movie is worth watching for students. I now remember why television movies stopped being so good. It was because major television networks had the audiences to watch them. It's a lot cheaper to do reality series or program unfortunately. The audiences of the eighties have a lot more choices now. The major networks ruled prime time with the finest quality. Sometimes, quality should not be outnumbered by quantity.

8 / 10

A gripping story of history and freedom.

I remembered watching this movie in a high school English class and thought it was kind of inspirational and gripping, a story about black slave Tom and the people he encounters and his struggles for freedom.

Slavery is one of the darkest chapters in American history, but this movie delicately captures the drama in one slave's life and how he strives to interact kindly and courageously with others despite his situation. It doesn't rely on overly violent and graphic scenes like many mainstream movies with slavery or war themes (12 Years A Slave coming to mind) to be entertaining. Instead, this movie relied on the drama, history, character development and the depiction of how precious freedom is to be captivating.

I thought the acting wasn't bad and there were a few scenes that might give you a chuckle, like the scene where a slave owner gets punched and shoved into a puddle. There are some disturbing scenes as well, but not overly excessive. Lastly, the plot flow had some momentum to it, which made the film engaging mostly throughout.

It was an educational and appreciated film and one I recalled where my high school class did enjoy sitting through.

Grade B

6 / 10

This is what a TV movie should be...

This is what a TV movie should be...

Uncle Tom's Cabin has a good story, it has a message that still resonates, and it has good actors.

In truth the story has been chopped up and glued back together. I'm sure that there are better version out there, but for a TV movie this is one worth seeing.

Basically, this is one of those 1980's TV movies that for the most part has been forgotten (along with a majority of the decade's movies). If you can find a copy for cheap I'd recommend adding it to your collection.

Rating 6 of 10

7 / 10

Simple and Dated Adaptation but Effective

Can you imagine that I am a British woman of colour, in my 40s and this is the first time I've actually taken the time to find out what the actual story was about. My first reference to Uncle Tom's Cabin was from the dance scene in the King and I with Yul Brynner. That was over 30 years ago. This film is a simple adaptation. Dated. Would be considered in this day and age to be very politically incorrect however, in comparison to the reality and the truth of the days depicted, it is tame enough to watch. At the same time I was still emotionally invested enough to understand even more the brutality of slavery. Some very good acting all round. Famous faces that we know to this day. It was truly better than I expected and so sad.

9 / 10

Great performance

This is a great TV movie adaption of Uncle Tom's Cabin (with Captain Sisko of DS9 portraying Tom majestically including several great vocal solos) that restores Uncle Tom to Harriet Beecher Stowe's character of a noble savior figure rather than the modern pejorative slur that came from later adaptions of the novel. A great film for a family movie night.