Sommersby (1993)

PG-13   |    |  Drama, Mystery, Romance


Sommersby (1993) Poster

A farmer returns home from the Civil War, but his wife begins to suspect that the man is an impostor.


6.2/10
19,507

Awards

2 wins.

Reviews & Commentary

Add a Review


User Reviews


19 March 2002 | cada123
8
| More believable than generally given credit for.
In events occuring before the time line in the story, Homer meets and gets to know his double, Jack Sommersby, in a Civil War prison. When Jack dies, Homer decides (for reasons barely hinted at) to impersonate Jack and take up his life where it had left off before the war six years earlier.

Viewers who have trouble accepting this story's basic premise and its subplots must not understand denial, the strongest defense mechanism of all. Laurel believes the returning soldier to be her missing husband because she wants to -- as does her son, and indeed the whole town (with a few menacing exceptions). This new guy is nicer than the other one. He is good to his wife, his kid, and his poor struggling neighbors, inspiring them all to work together to save the community at large from certain starvation if things do not change. In short, they all *need* this Jack Sommersby; therefore, he must *be* Jack Sommersby.

When folks are in denial -- does anybody not believe in mass hysteria? -- discrepancies are often overlooked, and reality is suspended. If that is hard to swallow, then consider that some folks were well aware of Homer's impersonation (if not his true identity), but chose to ignore it because it was in their best interests to do so.

The courtroom situation is another area where viewers have remarked on non-reality. But this may be chalked up to historical artifact. With today's high levels of movie/TV courtroom drama, and even genuine courtroom TV, this century's viewing audiences are far more sophisticated than the actual participants of court proceedings of the mid-19th Century, even among many lawyers and judges of the era. I had no trouble believing the courtroom of a small, largely uneducated community might have gone just the way it did in this movie... ...except for one thing, where all belief is suspended: the black judge, presiding over a southern courtroom, just after the Civil War. If there actually were any black judges in existence then, my guess would be that, like the few practicing black MD's, they were restricted to cases involving blacks, Native Americans, etc -- and not the trial of a white (and formerly rich) landowner.

Yet this plot device does not get in the way of my enjoyment of the movie over all. The judge strives mightily to be impartial, even with those townspeople who would not be so with him. Their rabid hatred of his race cries out for justice; therefore, the judge appears to provide it, with almost comic relief, precisely at a point when the tension demands it.

A haunting, well-told tale for those who appreciate depth of character over high-paced action for its own sake.

Critic Reviews



Details

Release Date:

5 February 1993

Language

English


Country of Origin

France, USA

Filming Locations

West Virginia, USA

Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,104,624 7 February 1993

Gross USA:

$50,081,992

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$140,081,992

Contribute to this page

IMDb Picks: What to Watch on Netflix Now

Need some help finding the best things to watch on Netflix? Let our editors help you find what's trending and what's worth your time.

See the full list

6 Great Shows Returning in May

Whether you're ready for the return of your favorite show or need to catch up, May is packed with an array of returning series.

Watch the video

Around The Web

 | 

Provided by Taboola

More To Explore

Search on Amazon.com