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The Long Walk Home

1990 PG 1h 38m DVD

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The Long Walk Home

1990 PG 1h 38m DVD
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Sissy Spacek stars as Miriam Thompson, a Montgomery, Ala., housewife who finds herself in the midst of a civil rights revolution when she helps her black maid, Odessa (Whoopi Goldberg), during the infamous bus boycott of the 1950s. When Miriam discovers Odessa is forced to walk the 9 miles to her house and back, she volunteers to give Odessa a ride -- much to the dismay of Miriam's husband and social circle.
Full Screen 1.33:1
English: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
PG - Some material may not be suitable for children. Parents urged to give parental guidance. May contain some material parents might not like for their young children.
age 13+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 13+
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age 13+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that The Long Walk Home is a nuanced film about racial tension and the bus boycotts in 1950s Montgomery, Alabama. It contains frequent use of the "N" word, and in spite of its historical accuracy, this makes for some uncomfortable viewing. There is also realistic violence, including punching and slapping, and plenty of scenes of racial hatred and intimidation. Overall it presents a very nuanced look at the tensions of the era through individual relationships, and is an excellent addition to any teen or older tween study of the Civil Rights movement.

Sexual Content

Not applicable


The film contains mild peril, frequent harsh language, intimidation, and fighting. In one scene, a teenager punches a younger boy in the face, and his bleeding and bruised face is shown. A boy is punched in the stomach, then kicked while lying down. Three boys push a girl's head into a water fountain stream and then chase her. A woman is slapped across the face. A man punches another man. A mob of men shout racial slurs at a crowd of people. A man busts out the windows of a car with a crowbar.


The film contains the use of the "N" word throughout, as is historically fitting for 1950s America. Elsewhere, there's mildly insulting language and some profanity, ranging from "stupid" to "ass" to "goddamn."

Social Behavior

The Long Walk Home offers positive messages about personal integrity in the face of great obstacles, friendship, respect, and doing the right thing.


Not applicable

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

Casual smoking and drinking are shown throughout. Women smoke cigarettes during a card game, while men and women are shown consuming after-dinner drinks or celebrating at parties.

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

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