Martin Ritt (1974)

PG Certificate


Our Score
Jon Voight stars as liberal teacher Pat Conroy, who fetches up on one of South Carolina's barrier islands with a class of kids who can't read or write. Martin Ritt's movie is often sentimental and hectoring, ramming home the contrast between Voight's comfy, secure rebellion against the Vietnam War and the utter destitution and backwardness of his pupils. He gives them Beethoven, swimming lessons, nature trips and poetry; they give him grateful smiles until he's fired by Hume Cronyn. Based on Conroy's autobiographical The Water Is Wide, the film oozes sincerity yet somehow seems totally phoney.


An idealistic teacher changes the lives of impoverished pupils in an island school who have been abandoned by the establishment. Fact-based drama, with Jon Voight and Paul Winfield.

Cast & Crew

Pat Conroy Jon Voight
Mad Billy Paul Winfield
Mrs Scott Madge Sinclair
Director Martin Ritt

Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Fox-Rank