Charles Burnett

To Sleep with Anger

To Sleep with Anger

A slow-burning masterwork of the early 1990s, this third feature by Charles Burnett is a singular piece of American mythmaking. In a towering performance, Danny Glover plays the enigmatic southern drifter Harry, a devilish charmer who turns up out of the blue on the South Central Los Angeles doorstep of his old friends. In short order, Harry’s presence seems to cast a chaotic spell on what appeared to be a peaceful household, exposing smoldering tensions between parents and children, tradition and change, virtue and temptation. Interweaving evocative strains of gospel and blues with rich, poetic-realist images, To Sleep with Anger is a sublimely stirring film from an autonomous artistic sensibility, a portrait of family resilience steeped in the traditions of African American mysticism and folklore.

Film Info

  • Charles Burnett
  • United States
  • 1990
  • 102 minutes
  • Color
  • 1.85:1
  • English
  • Spine #963

Director-Approved Special Edition Features

  • New, restored 4K digital transfer, approved by director Charles Burnett, with 2.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Of Family and Folklore, a new interview program, featuring Burnett, actors Danny Glover and Sheryl Lee Ralph, and associate producer Linda Koulisis
  • A Walk with Charles Burnett, a new hour-long conversation between Burnett and filmmaker Robert Townsend that revisits Burnett’s films and shooting locations
  • Short video tribute to Burnett produced for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Governors Awards ceremony in 2017
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Ashley Clark

New cover by Charly Palmer

Purchase Options

Special Features

  • New, restored 4K digital transfer, approved by director Charles Burnett, with 2.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Of Family and Folklore, a new interview program, featuring Burnett, actors Danny Glover and Sheryl Lee Ralph, and associate producer Linda Koulisis
  • A Walk with Charles Burnett, a new hour-long conversation between Burnett and filmmaker Robert Townsend that revisits Burnett’s films and shooting locations
  • Short video tribute to Burnett produced for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Governors Awards ceremony in 2017
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Ashley Clark

New cover by Charly Palmer

To Sleep with Anger
Cast
Danny Glover
Harry
Paul Butler
Gideon
Mary Alice
Suzie
Carl Lumbly
Junior
Vonetta McGee
Pat
Richard Brooks
Babe Brother
Sheryl Lee Ralph
Linda
Ethel Ayler
Hattie
Julius Harris
Herman
Sy Richardson
Marsh
Davis Roberts
Okra Tate
DeForest Covan
Fred Jenkins
DeVaughn Walter Nixon
Sunny
Reina King
Rhonda
Cory Curtis
Skip
Paula Bellamy
Mrs. Baker
Wonderful Smith
Preacher
Jimmy Witherspoon
Percy
Greta Brown
Virginia
Credits
Director
Charles Burnett
Written by
Charles Burnett
Producer
Caldecot Chubb
Producer
Thomas S. Byrnes
Producer
Darin Scott
Executive producer
Edward R. Pressman
Executive producer
Danny Glover
Executive producer
Harris E. Tulchin
Associate producer
Michael Flynn
Associate producer
Linda Koulisis
Director of photography
Walt Lloyd
Editing
Nancy Richardson
Production design
Penny Barrett
Music composed by
Stephen James Taylor
Art direction
Troy Myers
Casting director
Gail Levin
Casting director
Lauren Lloyd
Costume design
Gaye Shannon-Burnett

From The Current

Charles Burnett Calls Forth the Ghosts of the Old World
Charles Burnett Calls Forth the Ghosts of the Old World

In an interview program on our edition of To Sleep with Anger, the director and his actors discuss the African-American folkloric traditions at the heart of the film.

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To Sleep with Anger: You Never Know What’s in the Heart
To Sleep with Anger: You Never Know What’s in the Heart

Steeped in African American folklore, this sublime family portrait finds Charles Burnett departing from the naturalism of his early films and embracing elements of magic realism.

By Ashley Clark

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“You Don’t Win, You Survive”: A Guide to Charles Burnett’s Shorter Films
“You Don’t Win, You Survive”: A Guide to Charles Burnett’s Shorter Films

Some of the LA Rebellion icon’s most politically and emotionally resonant stories can be found in his small-scale works, which have long stood in the shadow of his feature films.

A Great LA Auteur Gets Candid in a New Documentary Profile
A Great LA Auteur Gets Candid in a New Documentary Profile

Legendary independent filmmaker Charles Burnett joins fellow pioneer Robert Townsend for a walking tour of South Central Los Angeles, where Burnett’s most acclaimed movies were shot.

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Transposing To Sleep with Anger to Paint
Transposing To Sleep with Anger to Paint

The Atlanta-based artist Charly Palmer took on the challenge of distilling the intricacies of Charles Burnett’s family portrait into a single painting.