Lorraine Hansberry adapts her Broadway success, and most of that production’s cast make the transition to the screen in this penetrating drama about a working-class black family living in a tiny Chicago tenement. When matriarch McNeil receives a settlement on her late husband’s insurance, a struggle breaks out in the family. McNeil wants to buy a home away from their dangerous neighborhood and fund her daughter’s (Sands) medical-school education. Her son, Sidney Poitier, wants to buy into a liquor store and build his own business. Poitier makes an ill-advised deal, and jeopardizes the family’s way out of the ghetto.
A Raisin in the Sun includes the feature-film debut of Louis Gossett Jr. who would go on to win an Academy Award for his performance as the tough-talking, warm-hearted drill sergeant in An Officer and a Gentleman (1982).
Sidney Poitier (Walter Lee Younger), Claudia McNeil (Lena Younger), Ruby Dee (Ruth Younger), Diana Sands (Beneatha Younger), Louis Gossett Jr. (George Murchison), Stephen Perry (Travis Younger), Joel Fluellen (Bobo), Ivan Dixon (Asagai), John Fiedler (Mark Lindner), Roy Glenn (Willie Harris), George DeNormand (Employer (uncredited)), David Susskind (On-screen Trailer Narrator (uncredited)), Bob Sweeney (Insurance Company Agent (uncredited)),
Director: Daniel Petrie
Producer: Philip Rose, David Susskind
Director of Photography: Charles Lawton Jr.
Editing: William A. Lyon
Script: Lorraine Hansberry
Art Direction: Carl Anderson
USA / Columbia / 128 minutes / 1961