Their Eyes Were Watching God

Synopsis: Sassy Janie Starks looks unlike to get anywhere in pre-Great War Easton, Florida, but lands the best colored catch, lively shopkeeper Joe Starks, who even becomes town mayor. However her refusal to oblige his expectations of decency turn love into bitterness. After his death, she prefers to enjoy 'freedom' again, with cocky outsider 'Tea Cake' as playmate, and not just at chess. They even face the risks of seasonal labor.
Genre: Drama, Romance
Director(s): Darnell Martin
Production: ABC
  Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 wins & 23 nominations.
113 min

(woman) I remember when I first read

this book, I fell in love with the story,

It was one of the most beautiful,

poignant love stories

I'd ever read,

This is a story about a woman

allowing herself to be a full woman

and not subjected to the definition or

identity others have carved out for her,

The first time Janie and Tea Cake kiss

reinvents the whole idea

and notion of kissing,

I would have to say

that if you can get a kiss like that,

you can die a happy woman,

When this movie airs, Zora Neale Hurston, wherever she is, is gonna give a shout

(woman) There's two things

everybody got to find out for theyselves,

They got to find out about love,

and they got to find out about livin',

(woman) Now, love is like the sea,

It's a movin ' thing,

And it's different on every shore,

And livin',,,


I just come back from buryin' the dead,

(man) Is that Miss Starks?

Sure enough Iooks Iike

Miss Starks' Iooksome features,

Yes, 'cept Miss Starks

wouldn't be wearin' no coveralls,

That Tea Cake,

That's what happens when you run off

with a yellow fellow Iike Tea Cake,

Oh, you just mad

'cause she ain't run off with you!

(men laugh)

Ain't no way in the world

that's Mrs, Mayor Starks,

No way in the world,


Lord, we been worried sick about you!

Go to hell,

- What you say?

- I said afternoon, Iadies,

Jasper, Run get Miss Phoebe, You tell her

her friend Miss Janie come back,

(boy) Yes, ma'am,

I told you she'd come runnin' back here,

Crawlin' back, Didn't I?

(plays slow tune)

(women's voices outside)

(woman #2) What's she doin' with Iong

hair down her back, Iike some young gal?

(woman) Where's Tea Cake,

that's what I want to know,

Weren't she a widow woman, almost 40?

That young boy

weren't never gonna marry her,

I covered up your furniture an' all,

I thank you,

You sure Iook good,

Shoot, you Iook Iike your own daughter,

Girl, you talkin'

Iike you think I brought you something,

I ain't brought home nothing but myself,

That's a gracious plenty,

Your friends wouldn't want nothing better,

Girl, go on and bring me them rations

you done brought in here,

- Thank you,

- Janie,

Here you go,

If that Tea Cake ever shows his behind in

Eatonville again, he gonna wish he hadn't,

He knew that you had just Iost Joe, so he

took advantage of you, and your money,

He ain't wasted none of my money,

And if he was here,

But he gone,


He dragged you down to his Ievel,

and then,,,

- Y'all think he did me wrong,

- Janie, we all know he did you wrong,

Well, I ain't stunned what they think,

You don't care what I think neither, do you?

You Ieft this town,

Me and Tea Cake had us a real Iove,

You got the nerve to come back up in here

with no shoes on your feet,

and nothing but overalls on your back,

making everything we believed in

Iook Iike dirt,

- Me and Tea Cake had a real Iove,

- How could you do that?

- Y'all couldn't see that,

- I used to Iook up to you,


The only way you,

and this whole town, ever seen me

was as Mrs, Mayor Starks,

Sittin' out there on that porch,

Silk dresses on,

All high an' mighty.

Just as Iadylike as you please,

That might have been the Janie y'all knew,

But that wasn't the Janie I ever was,

(Janie) You see,

I ain't never known my poppa, or my ma,

My grandmomma raised me,

I was born sorta knowing things,

Like how the trees and the wind talk,

I told the seeds when they was fallin ',

"I sure hope y'all fall on soft ground, "

That year,

something about me was different,

It's like my life was starting

right at that moment,

Hey, Johnny T aylor,

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Zora Neale Hurston

Zora Neale Hurston (January 7, 1891 – January 28, 1960) was an influential author of African-American literature and anthropologist, who portrayed racial struggles in the early 20th century American South, and published research on Haitian voodoo. Of Hurston's four novels and more than 50 published short stories, plays, and essays, her most popular is the 1937 novel Their Eyes Were Watching God. Hurston was born in Notasulga, Alabama, and moved to Eatonville, Florida, with her family in 1894. Eatonville, the first all-black town to incorporate in America, would become the setting for many of her stories and is now the site of the Zora! Festival, held each year in Hurston's honor. In her early career, Hurston conducted anthropological and ethnographic research while attending Barnard College. While in New York she became a central figure of the Harlem Renaissance. Her short satires, drawing from the African-American experience and racial division, were published in anthologies such as The New Negro and Fire!! After moving back to Florida, Hurston published her literary anthropology on African-American folklore in North Florida, Mules and Men (1935) and her first three novels: Jonah's Gourd Vine (1934); Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937); and Moses, Man of the Mountain (1939). Also published during this time was Tell My Horse: Voodoo and Life in Haiti and Jamaica (1938), documenting her research on rituals in Jamaica and Haiti. Hurston's works touched on the African-American experience and her struggles as an African-American woman. Her novels went relatively unrecognized by the literary world for decades, but interest revived after author Alice Walker published "In Search of Zora Neale Hurston" in the March 1975 issue of Ms. Magazine. Hurston's manuscript Every Tongue Got to Confess (2001), a collection of folktales gathered in the 1920s, was published posthumously after being discovered in the Smithsonian archives. Her nonfiction book Barracoon was published posthumously in 2018. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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