Oprah Winfrey Presents: Their Eyes Were Watching God

Oprah Winfrey Presents: Their Eyes Were Watching God

Halle Berry
Director: Darnell Martin Cast: Halle Berry
Halle Berry
, Michael Ealy
Michael Ealy
, Ruben Santiago-Hudson
Ruben Santiago-Hudson
Darnell Martin


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Originally telecast March 6, 2005, by ABC, this "Oprah Book Club" TV movie is adapted from Zora Neale Hurston's novel Their Eyes Were Watching God, a certified classic of African-American literature. Covering the first 30 years of the 20th century, the film is set in Eatonville, FL, a largely black community and the home of free-spirited Janie Crawford (Halle Berry). Forced into marriage with a much older and much wealthier man at age 16, Janie endures both this unhappy union and a second equally dismal marriage, trapped not only by the bonds of matrimony but also by the rigid patriarchal society of the period. Her only happiness is manifested in her ongoing illicit romance with a younger, none too reliable gent known as Tea Cake (Michael Ealy) -- much to the shock and dismay of her very proper neighbors. Devotees of the original novel expressed displeasure over the film's sketchy portrayal of the protagonist, a multidimensional character reduced to an impulsive hedonist for the purposes of the screenplay (though Halle Berry's towering performance more than compensates for the weaknesses of the scripts). More than that, the fans of the Hurston original bemoaned the loss of the novel's pronounced racial content, which harshly criticized the caste system within the Southern black community of the early 20th century, whereby a light-skinned woman was regarded as "superior," and thus more desirable, than her darker-skinned sisters. No one, however, could find fault with performance of the great Ruby Dee as Nanny, nor the film's lush production trappings.

Product Details

Release Date: 11/29/2005
UPC: 0786936299366
Original Release: 2005
Source: Walt Disney Video
Region Code: 1
Time: 1:53:00
Sales rank: 21,255

Special Features

Closed Caption

Cast & Crew

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Their Eyes Were Watching God
1. Introduction / Opening
2. An Arranged Marriage
3. Change and Chains
4. Mayor Joe Starks
5. Tea Cake
6. Steppin' Out
7. On The Road
8. Lake Okeechobee
9. Hurricane!
10. Tea Cake's Sickness
11. "Bless His Heart"
12. "I'm Watching God" / Ending

Customer Reviews

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3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Ubepolite More than 1 year ago
I have read the book twice, and although key elements are missing from the movie; I love the movie. I think the character Janie comes across clearly enough to make a person want to read the book. In no way does the movie take the place of the book, but that never happens anyway. I do, however, wish the character Tea Cake would have been depicted a little better. Overall I think Oprah tried her best, considering the fact that she couldn't make a four hour long movie. By all means watch the movie, then go read the book and I ensure you that your soul will be fed.
Guest More than 1 year ago
the movie "their eyes are watching God" is a very good movie!!!!! Michael Ealy Oh My GOD what else can you saw but that man is so fine and those eyes will melt the coldest heart. and that kiss........ I'm married and if my husband would ever kiss me like that i would die. you could feel the passion and the chemistry that they shared on that scene keep up the good work Michael and Halle!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Unfortunately, Oprah's touch is not golden when it comes to this movie. She chooses to ignore crucial themes present in the impressive novel in favor or presenting a "kiss to change all kissing" which really just trivializes all that Hurston was trying to accomplish as a novelist. Amazingly, Oprah succeeds in removing all of the racial and gender commentary present in the novel. And, about that kiss, did you all forget that Tea Cake beat Janie? Does that lackluster kiss erase abuse?
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love the movie I have not yet read the book, but the entire cast played a role that made me feel part of the movie, I recommended it to everyone to see it, it is a beautiful love story and it show that age has nothing to do when it comes to enjoying life. Then again this movie was part of Oprah's work and it shows...
Guest More than 1 year ago
I first saw this movie a couple of months ago on ABC and since then I cant stop thinking about it. I am 16 but I paid close attention to every detail to the movie. I have been waiting so long for it to come out on DVD and am so excited its finally coming. Its a great movie and at the end I cried for over a hour after it was over. I loved Halle Berry and Michael Ealy they were great!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago