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Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters' First 100 Years (1999) watch online HD

Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters' First 100 Years (1999) watch online HD
  • Original title:Having Our Say: The Delany Sistersu0027 First 100 Years
  • Category:Movie / Drama
  • Released:1999
  • Director:Lynne Littman
  • Actors:Diahann Carroll,Ruby Dee,Amy Madigan
  • Writer:Sarah L. Delany,A. Elizabeth Delany
  • Duration:1h 40min
  • Video type:Movie

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Short summary

Tells the story of Sadie and Bessie Delany, two African-American (they preferred "colored") sisters who both lived past the age of 100. They grew up on a North Carolina college campus, the ... See full summary
Tells the story of Sadie and Bessie Delany, two African-American (they preferred "colored") sisters who both lived past the age of 100. They grew up on a North Carolina college campus, the daughters of the first African-American Episcopal bishop, who was born a slave, and a woman with an inter-racial background. With the support of each other and their family, they survived encounters with racism and sexism in their own different ways. Sadie quietly and sweetly broke barriers to become the first African-American home-ec teacher in New York City, while Bessie, with her own brand of outspokenness, became the second African-American dentist in New York City. At the ages of 103 and 101, they told their story to Amy Hill Hearth, a white New York Times reporter who published an article about them. The overwhelming response launched a bestselling book, a Broadway play, and this film.

Trailers "Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters' First 100 Years (1999)"

While this movie is based on the first book the Delany sisters did together, certain parts of it - Sadie tricking her way into teaching at a school, and the sisters seeing themselves on Broadway - weren't revealed until Sadie published her own book "On My Own at 107" four years later.

The original Broadway production of "Having Our Say" by Emily Mann opened at the Booth Theater in New York on April 6, 1995, ran for 317 performances and was nominated for the 1995 Tony Award for the Best Play. Emily Mann also wrote the teleplay for this filmed production.

Diahann Carroll, who plays Sadie Delany the elder sister is actually nine years younger than 'Ruby Dee', who plays Bessie Delany, the younger sister.

User reviews


  • comment
    • Author: RED
    The autobiography on which this movie is based remains one of the most heart-rending books I have ever read. It tells the amazing stories of two sisters, both who earned devotion and respect working well into their 70's as a teacher and a dentist, then lived another 30 years with dignity. Ruby Dee steals the film with her perfectly nuanced performance as the rebellious "blacker" Bessie, the dentist. She not only expresses her anger, angst, and wisdom well; she lets you know exactly where they've come from using an economy of words. Diahnn Carroll has the feel of the older sister, the teacher, down perfectly, but I'm afraid she never makes me believe that she's over 100. No matter -- the stories are well worth telling. Amy Madigan is a bit too extreme and intrusive in acting overwhelmed and insecure in the first half of the movie as the Caucasian NY Times reporter. This, too, is only a minor distraction. The stories, all true, are the attraction and although two or three get slightly damaged in the translation, most of them make it through just fine.

    I recommend the book as essential reading to all people I recommend any books to. I cannot quite but this TV-movie in that rarefied air, but it certainly captures enough of the flavor to be highly worthwhile in its own right.
  • comment
    • Author: Dordred
    I really enjoyed watching this movie about the Delany sisters. I knew of them, but that was all. This movie opened my eyes to their bravado and courage. What a pair. What sacrifices they made to live life on their own terms. This is not only a movie for African Americans, but for all Americans. It is sort of a history lesson and a documentary rolled into one and combined with an entertaining movie biography. The acting was superior by all included and we really do get a glimpse of the hardships these two sisters went through for many years. Both sisters are quite different from each other. They came from a very loving and very strict family with high, maybe even impossible standards of perfection. It is sad to see how Sadie's father refused to allow his daughter to continue to see her boyfriend due to a possible misunderstanding. I thoroughly recommend this movie and I am glad I caught it on television the other day.
  • comment
    • Author: Aradwyn
    A powerful adaptation of the best-selling book and the smash Broadway play about the lives of Bessie and Sadie Delany, two "colored" sisters who lived past the age of 100. Wonderfully played in their old age by Ruby Dee and Diahann Carroll, respectively, they tell their story in flashbacks to Amy Hill Hearth (played by Amy Madigan), a white New York Times reporter. The flashback and present-day scenes don't have as much inspirational value in them as in the book, but really are powerful. However, certain aspects of the sisters' lives, such as the inter-racial background of their mother and the reasons behind their father's stern personality are not presented clearly. You need to read the book to fully understand these things. Which is just as well, because the book's just as great! Aside from those flaws, it's wonderfully done and performed, especially by Dee and Carroll, and a very powerful and educational movie.
  • comment
    • Author: Tar
    A wonderful film version of the best-selling book and smash Broadway play about the lives of Sadie and Bessie Delany, two African-American sisters who both lived over the age of 100 and told their story of witnessing a century of American history. Ruby Dee and Diahann Carroll give very good performances as Bessie and Sadie, respectively. Amy Madigan also is good as Amy Hill Hearth, the white New York Times reporter whose article about the sisters launched the book, etc. Many of the flashback scenes and even many of the present-day ones are very powerful, if not quite as inspirational as in the book. That is the only real drawback, combined with the fact that certain aspects of the story are not presented clearly, such as the inter-racial background of the sisters' mother and why their father was so stern. But other than that, a very well-done, excellently performed, powerful movie.
  • comment
    • Author: Gavirgas
    This was a fine example of how an interesting film can be made without using big stars and big effects. Just tell a true story about the struggles of two African American women over a turbulent century.

    This movie challenges us all to look at our own personal prejudices and see that people are people, not white, black, etc.

    Good movie with a good message.
  • comment
    • Author: Taur
    This is one of the best films that I have ever seen!!!! I give it more than a ten!!!!!! This film was very factual and gave the world a big slice of African-American life!!! All the performers, producers(especially Camille O. Cosby, Jeffrey S. Grant and Judith James) and all the others involved, did a great job!!!!
  • comment
    • Author: Sadaron above the Gods
    "Having Our Say" brings new meaning to "coming of age" as it tells the story of two black American sisters, both 100+ years old. Carroll and Dee make a delightful centerpiece for this film which, through a series of flashbacks, recounts their growing up and growing old in a racially divided America. A highly sanitized film, "Having..." is a light hearted reflection on the black experience.
  • comment
    • Author: Ylonean
    After seeing the play that this is based on, I was surprised to read that it was being made into a film for television. The entire play consisted of two old women cooking dinner and talking. How could they get a movie out of that? Well, they certainly did! As powerful and moving as the play was, this film adds voices and images that bring the past to life -sometimes warmly, and sometimes in a chilling manner that shocks our modern sensibilities.

    All of the performances are excellent -There's no one to single out because everyone involved did fantastic work. The real stars are the Delaney sisters themselves, and their personalities emerge with crystalline clarity in every scene. This American classic is long overdue for a deluxe DVD release with commentary and other bonus materials. Until then, it is at least available from the Having Our Say website.

    Don't let the subject of this film fool you. It's not just for women and/or people of color. It's a remarkable trove of insight and wisdom from two accomplished women who lived -and thrived -through precarious times and emerged with dignity and grace. We need more people like the Delaney sisters in our world.
  • Credited cast:
    Diahann Carroll Diahann Carroll - Sadie Delany
    Ruby Dee Ruby Dee - Annie Elizabeth 'Bessie' Delany
    Amy Madigan Amy Madigan - Amy Hill Hearth
    Lisa Arrindell Lisa Arrindell - Sadie in her 20s (as Lisa Arrindell Anderson)
    Audra McDonald Audra McDonald - Bessie in her 20s
    Mykelti Williamson Mykelti Williamson - Papa Delany
    Lonette McKee Lonette McKee - Mama Delany
    Richard Roundtree Richard Roundtree - Booker T. Washington
    Della Reese Della Reese - Martha Logan
    Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
    Ahmond Ahmond - Henry Delany
    Cameron Arnett Cameron Arnett - Lemuel
    Nate Bynum Nate Bynum
    Thomas Clark Thomas Clark - Lucious
    Sharlease Collier Sharlease Collier - Church goer
    Brandon Crawford Brandon Crawford - Bag Boy
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