You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Sidney Poitier

Icons of the Century

Is there an actor alive who possesses more forceful emotional clarity and passionate intelligence than Sidney Poitier?

His ardent disenchantment as a priest in 1951’s “Cry, the Beloved Country” was a pitch-perfect reading of South Africa’s hope and despair. You could almost smell the anger, fear and desperation he felt as a convict on the run, handcuffed to a white man in”The Defiant Ones.” He was tougher than any of the classroom hoodlums in “Blackboard Jungle,” but Glenn Ford’s hapless liberal, “Teach,” caught his eye with an appeal to decency amid brutal, dead-end conditions.

His life and movie characters seem bound up in the same theme: a smart, uncompromising man looks hard at the world and compels it to rise to his moral expectations.

More Scene

  • Tiffany Haddish

    MTV Movie and TV Awards: The 10 Standout Moments

    Is there an actor alive who possesses more forceful emotional clarity and passionate intelligence than Sidney Poitier? His ardent disenchantment as a priest in 1951’s “Cry, the Beloved Country” was a pitch-perfect reading of South Africa’s hope and despair. You could almost smell the anger, fear and desperation he felt as a convict on the […]

  • Michael B. Jordan

    'Black Panther,' 'Stranger Things' Reign at 2018 MTV Movie and TV Awards (Full List)

    Is there an actor alive who possesses more forceful emotional clarity and passionate intelligence than Sidney Poitier? His ardent disenchantment as a priest in 1951’s “Cry, the Beloved Country” was a pitch-perfect reading of South Africa’s hope and despair. You could almost smell the anger, fear and desperation he felt as a convict on the […]

  • Brandon Flynn, Timothy Granaderos, Alisha Boe,

    Alisha Boe Says Brock Turner Case Was Her 'Bible' for '13 Reasons Why' Season 2

    Is there an actor alive who possesses more forceful emotional clarity and passionate intelligence than Sidney Poitier? His ardent disenchantment as a priest in 1951’s “Cry, the Beloved Country” was a pitch-perfect reading of South Africa’s hope and despair. You could almost smell the anger, fear and desperation he felt as a convict on the […]

  • Yara ShahidiMTV Movie & TV Awards,

    Yara Shahidi, Noah Schnapp, More Talk the Dangers of Social Media at MTV Awards

    Is there an actor alive who possesses more forceful emotional clarity and passionate intelligence than Sidney Poitier? His ardent disenchantment as a priest in 1951’s “Cry, the Beloved Country” was a pitch-perfect reading of South Africa’s hope and despair. You could almost smell the anger, fear and desperation he felt as a convict on the […]

  • A Night in the Writers' Room

    'Vida,' 'One Day at a Time' Showrunners Recount Being Called Racial Slur in Writers' Room

    Is there an actor alive who possesses more forceful emotional clarity and passionate intelligence than Sidney Poitier? His ardent disenchantment as a priest in 1951’s “Cry, the Beloved Country” was a pitch-perfect reading of South Africa’s hope and despair. You could almost smell the anger, fear and desperation he felt as a convict on the […]

  • A Night in the Writers' Room

    Parity Takes Center Stage at Variety's 'A Night in the Writers' Room' Drama Panel

    Is there an actor alive who possesses more forceful emotional clarity and passionate intelligence than Sidney Poitier? His ardent disenchantment as a priest in 1951’s “Cry, the Beloved Country” was a pitch-perfect reading of South Africa’s hope and despair. You could almost smell the anger, fear and desperation he felt as a convict on the […]

  • American Black Film Festival opening night

    Trevor Jackson Was Originally Told He Was 'Too Young' to Star in 'Superfly' Remake

    Is there an actor alive who possesses more forceful emotional clarity and passionate intelligence than Sidney Poitier? His ardent disenchantment as a priest in 1951’s “Cry, the Beloved Country” was a pitch-perfect reading of South Africa’s hope and despair. You could almost smell the anger, fear and desperation he felt as a convict on the […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content