The Autobiography Of Miss Jane Pittman

Watch The Autobiography Of Miss Jane Pittman

  • TV-PG
  • 1974
  • 1 hr 50 min
  • 7.8  (2,330)
  • 77

"The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman" is a powerful and poignant made-for-TV drama that chronicles the life of a former slave who lives through some of the most significant events of American history. The film, based on the novel of the same name by Ernest J. Gaines, is a stirring testament to the indomitability of the human spirit, and to the resilience of those who managed to find a way to live with dignity and grace in a world that seemed determined to keep them down.

The film begins with the arrival of a television crew in rural Louisiana, where they are interviewing various elderly residents about their lives and experiences. When they knock on the door of Miss Jane Pittman (Cicely Tyson), they are greeted by a fierce and formidable old woman who, despite her advanced age, seems full of life and vitality. They ask her if she would be willing to share her story with them, and she agrees, setting in motion a series of flashbacks that take us back to her childhood, when she was a young girl enslaved on a plantation in the Deep South.

The first episode in the series focuses on Jane's life on the plantation, where she is subjected to brutal treatment at the hands of her owners. We see her being beaten, whipped, and forced to work long hours in the fields. We also see her developing a bond with other enslaved people on the plantation, including a young boy named Ned (Eric Brown), who she forms a close friendship with.

As Jane grows older, we see her being forced to marry a man named Joe Pittman (portrayed by the late Roger E. Mosley) by her owners, and being separated from her children. We also witness her journey to freedom, as she escapes from the plantation and begins a new life as a free woman in the North.

Throughout the course of the film, we see Jane weathering some of the most difficult and turbulent events of American history, including the Civil War, Reconstruction, and the Civil Rights movement. We see her bearing witness to lynchings, racial violence, and economic injustices, even as she strives to build a better life for herself and those around her.

One of the most powerful scenes in the film comes near the end, when Jane attends a rally for Civil Rights in the 1960s. Taking the stage to speak, she tells the assembled crowd about her experiences as a former slave, and about the struggles that she and others have faced in trying to gain basic rights and freedoms. Her words inspire the crowd, and her passion and conviction leave a lasting mark on all those who hear her speak.

Through it all, Cicely Tyson delivers a remarkable performance as Jane Pittman, embodying the character with a fierce independence, a deep sense of pride, and a quiet resilience that is truly awe-inspiring. Her portrayal of Jane captures the complexities and contradictions of a life lived on the margins of society, and gives voice to the struggles and triumphs of a person who has lived through history.

The supporting cast is equally impressive, with standout performances from Eric Brown as Ned, Richard Dysart as the plantation owner, and Katherine Helmond as Aunt Lou, a white woman who befriends Jane and helps her to build a new life in the North.

Overall, "The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman" is a powerful and moving film that tells an important story about American history, while also exploring themes of identity, race, and power. It is a testament to the resilience and strength of those who managed to find a way to survive and thrive in difficult circumstances, and it is a tribute to the human spirit in all its forms. If you have not seen this film, it is well worth your time.

The Autobiography Of Miss Jane Pittman is a 1974 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 50 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.8 and a MetaScore of 77.

The Autobiography Of Miss Jane Pittman
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 50 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.8  (2,330)
  • Metascore