Last Updated on: October 18th, 2023

Beloved (Touchstone Movie)

“Beloved” is a powerful and haunting drama film released in 1998, directed by Jonathan Demme and based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name by Toni Morrison. The movie tackles the profound themes of slavery, trauma, and the search for identity and freedom.

Set in the years following the American Civil War, the story revolves around Sethe (portrayed by Oprah Winfrey), a former enslaved woman who has escaped to Ohio to start a new life with her daughter Denver (Kimberly Elise). However, their lives are disrupted when a mysterious young woman named Beloved (Thandie Newton) arrives at their doorstep, seemingly appearing out of thin air.

As the narrative unfolds, it becomes clear that Beloved is not just an ordinary stranger. She is the reincarnation of Sethe’s deceased infant daughter, whom Sethe had named Beloved and killed years ago to spare her from the horrors of slavery. Beloved’s arrival reopens old wounds and stirs up long-buried memories of Sethe’s traumatic past, causing the family to confront the painful legacy of slavery and the deep emotional scars it has left on their lives.

The film delves into the complexities of memory, guilt, and the impact of the past on the present. It explores the lasting effects of slavery on African American families, highlighting the profound struggles they faced to reclaim their humanity and rebuild their lives in a society still grappling with the remnants of a dark history.

Oprah Winfrey delivers a standout performance as Sethe, infusing her character with both strength and vulnerability. Thandie Newton’s portrayal of Beloved is haunting and enigmatic, adding an ethereal and otherworldly element to the story. The film’s supporting cast, including Danny Glover as Paul D and Beah Richards as Baby Suggs, bring depth and authenticity to their roles, contributing to the film’s emotional impact.

“Beloved” is an emotionally charged and visually stunning work of art that tackles difficult subject matter with sensitivity and courage. Jonathan Demme’s direction skillfully weaves together the past and present, utilizing flashbacks and dream-like sequences to convey the haunting legacy of slavery.

While “Beloved” received mixed critical and commercial reception upon its release, it remains a touchstone film for its unflinching portrayal of the horrors of slavery and the indomitable spirit of those who sought to reclaim their lives and find healing amidst the pain. It stands as a testament to the power of storytelling and its ability to shed light on the darkest chapters of history while offering hope and resilience for a better future.

Additional Details


  • Oprah Winfrey: Sethe
  • Danny Glover: Paul D.
  • Thandie Newton: Beloved
  • Kimberly Elise: Denver
  • Hill Harper: Halle
  • Beah Richards: Baby Suggs
  • Lisa Gay Hamilton: Younger Sethe
  • Jason Robards: Mr. Bodwin
  • Harry Northup: Sheriff
  • Jude Ciccolella: Schoolteacher
  • Wes Bentley: Schoolteacher’s Nephew
  • Irma P. Hall: Ella
  • Dorothy Love Coates: M. Lucille Williams


  • Director: Jobathan Demme
  • Producers: Edward Saxon, Johnathan Demme, Gary Goetzman, Oprah Winfrey and Kate Forte
  • Screenplay: Akousua Busia, Richard LaGravenese and Adam Brooks

Movie Trailer:

About the Author

Craig Smith
I am founder and editor of My passion for all things Disney goes pretty far back to my first trip to Walt Disney World in the mid-80's. I have since returned to the magical place more than 20 times. I started this site when I came to the realization that I spent a significant portion of my day reading articles about Disney and watching Disney content with my 8-year old, so it made sense that I would start sharing some of what I read and see and building a little community around it. Other interests include 80's nostalgia, vintage toys, video games, LEGO, Star Wars and tech gadgets. Other sites include DMR and