Parents' Guide to


By Lynnette Nicholas, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Mature '70s romantic drama about Black family has swearing.

Movie PG 1974 92 minutes
Claudine Poster Image

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Diahann Caroll (who was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for this role) and James Earl Jones are dynamic in this romantic drama. Their genuine and realistic portrayals of the working poor allow viewers to witness love between two low-income black people and the effects of the welfare system during a time when the dynamic of the black family was polarized, all while showcasing a beautiful, hardworking mom who just wanted a better life for her kids and real love. The film depicts marginalized human beings candidly and compassionately. It depicts real people who may be pigeonholed by systemic oppression, but who still deserve the right to a better life.

The film also provides a succinct look into the welfare system in the 1970s. Claudine's predicament is that she's forced to choose between the government assistance that she receives that her family needs, and her love and desire to be with Roop. Her financial dependence on her government assistance and its restrictions against an adult male figure or spouse being in the home is a major obstacle. Different perspectives about the welfare systems are presented diplomatically. Charles, Claudine's oldest son, totally disagrees with the welfare system, because he believes that it pacifies the recipients of welfare and further enforces poverty. No matter how viewers may feel about the welfare system or those who are marginalized, the movie Claudine does a very effective job of showing the dreams, struggles, fears, frustrations, and desire to have love in a warm and dynamic way.

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