Convicts

1991

Drama / Western

3
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 32%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 32% · 250 ratings
IMDb Rating 5.8/10 10 741 741

Top cast

Robert Duvall as Soll Gautier
James Earl Jones as Ben Johnson
Lukas Haas as Horace Robedaux
720p.WEB
856.02 MB
1280*720
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 33 min
Seeds 32

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by charlz-2 6 / 10

A slice of reality about a Texas convict farm

Robert Duvall gives a creditable performance as the supervisor of a convict farm in 1902 Texas who befriends a young boy (Lukas Haas). The screenplay, written by Horton Foote, contrasts the difficulties of growing up and growing old. Duvall's character is senile and suffering ill health. He alienates himself from family and associates - except for a former convict assigned to his charge, the young boy who reminds him of his youth, and a couple who live in the village store.

It's a nice set piece, and the warm colors create a real feeling of turn-of-the-century South. While Duvall's character could have been fleshed out more, he does an excellent job as a man intent on dying on his own terms with help from his young charge

Reviewed by SteveSkafte 7 / 10

It was cane land once, and it'll be cane land again.

"Convicts" is very much a third act sort of film. All the dialogue and character interaction that occurs within it comes out of the long wind-down of a late southern day. And, by extension, the life of its main character, Soll (Robert Duvall).

This is the first collaboration of director Peter Masterson and writer Horton Foote. Six years earlier, the worked together on "The Trip to Bountiful", a film that seems almost action-packed in comparison to this one. Masterson is not necessarily a good director. In fact, he's just barely this side of adequate. The slow pace leaves a lot of room for cinematographer Toyomichi Kurita, who infuses the film with just the right sense of fragile light & warmth.

Because this is essentially a filmed play, with little in the way of editing or directing prowess, it all comes to the acting. As far as I'm concerned there's no flaws here. Robert Duvall and James Earl Jones, two of the best American actors (both born in January 1931), create characters that are wholly real, uninterested in anything besides living. Lukas Haas, a young actor who I was familiar with from "Testament" and "Witness", plays a character very much like his other early roles. He is quiet, withdrawn, slightly scared and sad, somehow. These are qualities that seem natural from him.

Perhaps a title like "Convicts" is a disservice to this film. That title, along with the opening scene, seem to create an image of a far more high-strung western type picture. If slow-paced stage productions don't interest you terribly, you'll want to pass on this one as well. Otherwise, this might be exactly the film you wish they made more often.

Enjoy.

Reviewed by bandw 7 / 10

Slight movie has some appeal

Soll (Robert Duval) is a sugar plantation owner in southern Texas, 1902. We catch up with him on the last day of his life when he is not doing so well, having become quite senile. He repeats himself, relives old events, asks the same questions multiple times (getting the same answers). As might be expected, Duval creates a believable character, but I have to admit that spending an hour and a half with Soll served mainly to convince me of how difficult it would be to deal with such a person.

I wasn't there, so I don't know what things were like in southern Texas at the turn of the century, but the atmosphere created in this movie struck me as believable. I had never understood that some of the southern plantations were sugar cane plantations, so that was interesting to see portrayed. At the time of this movie the workers in the field were leased convicts, almost exclusively black. It seems that over three decades after the Civil War the only change in plantation workers was from slaves to leased convicts, who were treated as slaves. Soll did trust one black man (played by James Earl Jones) to help run the plantation. You got the feeling from this film that a certain era was slowly nearing an end from a time when people like Soll proudly wore his Confederate uniform and convicts were treated like slaves to somewhat better times (convict leasing was abolished in Texas in 1910). Soll can be seen as a symbol for a way of life that had grown old and no longer viable.

I was impressed with how Horace, a teenage white boy in the house, was so patient with Sol. The relationship between Soll and Horace was a key element in the movie--as one man was leaving the earth a young man who was more understanding and patient was taking his place. I imagine Horace's experiences on the plantation were something for him to sort through for the rest of his life, particularly the racial issues.

The movie is based on a play and much of it gives evidence to that fact.

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