The Well (1951) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Well (1951)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

The Well is a modest but generally effective plea for racial tolerance. Based loosely on a real incident, the film tells of the disappearance of a little African-American girl in a small, segregated community. Caucasian Claude Packard (Harry Morgan, the nephew of the town's richest man (Barry Kelley), is the last person seen with the little girl. Sensing a coverup when Morgan is not immediately charged, the black community is on the verge of a riot. But when it's discovered that the little girl has fallen down a well, all racial differences are forgotten as black and white neighbors work shoulder to shoulder to rescue the child. The Well tries very hard to be equitable by 1951 standards, and is heartfelt enough to overcome its occasional lapses into stereotype and condescension.


Richard Rober
as Sheriff Ben Kellogg
Harry Morgan
as Claude Packard
Barry Kelley
as Sam Packard
Tom Powers
as Jim, Mayor
Gwendolyn Laster
as Carolyn Crawford
Maide Norman
as Mrs. Crawford
George Hamilton
as Grandfather
Ernie Anderson
as Mr. Crawford
Margaret Wells
as Schoolteacher
Roy Engel
as Gleason
Edwin Max
as Milkman
Guy Beach
as Baggageman
Bill Walker
as Dr. Billings
Sherry Hall
as Manners
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Critic Reviews for The Well

All Critics (9) | Top Critics (5)

The pace and direction of the film help maintain a great deal of tension from start to finish, and despite the obscure cast, the performances are uniformly good.

August 7, 2020 | Full Review…

It's a remarkable movie, one that both highlights the central American crisis with dramatic audacity and, with a documentary-rooted sense of nuance, reveals its underlying, endemic social framework.

August 7, 2020 | Full Review…

High drama and suspense are embodied strongly in this production.

March 26, 2009 | Full Review…

There are serious holes in this picture -- and some inflammatory recklessness, we fear. But its message of brotherhood seems well intended and that rescue operation packs real thrills.

March 25, 2006 | Full Review…

An impressive piece... brilliantly shot by Ernest Laszlo.

January 26, 2006 | Full Review…

Your eyes may fill with tears once or twice and your heart will tug at your conscience.

January 14, 2022 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Well

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The Well Quotes

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