John Berry

Claudine

Claudine

Diahann Carroll is radiant in an unforgettable, Oscar-nominated performance as Claudine, a strong-willed single mother, raising six kids in Harlem, whose budding relationship with a gregarious garbage collector (an equally fantastic James Earl Jones) is stressed by the difficulty of getting by in an oppressive system. As directed by the formerly blacklisted leftist filmmaker John Berry, this romantic comedy with a social conscience deftly balances warm humor with a serious look at the myriad issues—from cycles of poverty to the indignities of the welfare system—that shape its characters’ realities. The result is an empathetic chronicle of both Black working-class struggle and Black joy, a bittersweet, bighearted celebration of family and community set to a sunny soul soundtrack composed by Curtis Mayfield and performed by Gladys Knight & the Pips.

Film Info

  • John Berry
  • United States
  • 1974
  • 92 minutes
  • Color
  • 1.85:1
  • English
  • Spine #1052

Special Features

  • New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Audio commentary from 2003 featuring actors Diahann Carroll, James Earl Jones, and Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs; filmmaker George Tillman Jr.; and Dan Pine, son of screenwriters Lester Pine and Tina Pine
  • New conversation on the film between filmmaker Robert Townsend and programmer Ashley Clark
  • Illustrated audio excerpts from a 1974 AFI Harold Lloyd Master Seminar featuring Carroll
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Danielle A. Jackson

New illustration and design by Alphaville

Purchase Options

Released Oct 13, 2020

Special Features

  • New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Audio commentary from 2003 featuring actors Diahann Carroll, James Earl Jones, and Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs; filmmaker George Tillman Jr.; and Dan Pine, son of screenwriters Lester Pine and Tina Pine
  • New conversation on the film between filmmaker Robert Townsend and programmer Ashley Clark
  • Illustrated audio excerpts from a 1974 AFI Harold Lloyd Master Seminar featuring Carroll
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Danielle A. Jackson

New illustration and design by Alphaville

Claudine
Cast
Diahann Carroll
Claudine
James Earl Jones
Roop
Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs
Charles
Tamu Blackwell
Charlene
David Kruger
Paul
Yvette Curtis
Patrice
Eric Jones
Francis
Elisa Loti
Miss Kabak
Credits
Director
John Berry
Original screenplay by
Tina Pine
Lester Pine
Produced by
Hannah Weinstein
Executive producer
J. Lloyd Grant
Music by
Curtis Mayfield
Cinematography
Gayne Rescher
Musical score performed by
Gladys Knight & the Pips

From The Current

Claudine: A Happy Home
Claudine: A Happy Home

During a pivotal time for Black cinema, John Berry’s beautifully lived-in drama offered a portrait of an African American family that stood in opposition to a long history of harmful stereotypes.

By Danielle A. Jackson

How Curtis Mayfield and Gladys Knight Created a Sound for Working-Class Black America
How Curtis Mayfield and Gladys Knight Created a Sound for Working-Class Black America

The deeply introspective music in Claudine brings layers of emotional authenticity and nuance to a portrait of Black love and family.

By Mark Anthony Neal