MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 13,806 this week

The Emperor Jones (1933)

Passed  |   |  Drama  |  29 September 1933 (USA)
6.5
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.5/10 from 600 users  
Reviews: 17 user | 19 critic

Unscrupulously ambitious Brutus Jones escapes from jail after killing a guard and through bluff and bravado finds himself the emperor of a Caribbean island.

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

(play), (screenplay) (as Du-Bose Heyward) , 1 more credit »
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

$0.00 with Prime Instant Video

WATCH NOW
ON DISC

IMDb Picks: April

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in April.

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 120 titles
created 14 Oct 2012
 
a list of 695 titles
created 18 Aug 2013
 
a list of 635 titles
created 11 months ago
 
a list of 1212 titles
created 9 months ago
 
a list of 937 titles
created 5 months ago
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Emperor Jones (1933)

The Emperor Jones (1933) on IMDb 6.5/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Emperor Jones.
1 win. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

New Orleans (1947)
Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

New Orleans - with Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Woody Herman

Director: Arthur Lubin
Stars: Arturo de Córdova, Dorothy Patrick, Marjorie Lord
Show Boat (1936)
Comedy | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Despite her mother's objections, the naive young daughter of a show boat captain is thrust into the limelight as the company's new leading lady.

Director: James Whale
Stars: Irene Dunne, Allan Jones, Charles Winninger
Black and Tan (1929)
Drama | Short | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Duke Ellington in a jazz musical short with a tragic plotline.

Director: Dudley Murphy
Stars: Duke Ellington, Duke Ellington Orchestra, Fredi Washington
Jericho (1937)
Drama | Musical | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

During WWI, action hero Robeson escapes an unjust death sentence to ramble around Arabia.

Director: Thornton Freeland
Stars: Paul Robeson, Henry Wilcoxon, Wallace Ford
Body and Soul (1925)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A minister is malevolent and sinister behind his righteous facade. He consorts with, and later extorts from, the owner of a gambling house, and betrays an honest girl, eventually driving ... See full summary »

Director: Oscar Micheaux
Stars: Paul Robeson, Marshall Rogers, Lawrence Chenault
Hallelujah (1929)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

In a juke joint, sharecropper Zeke falls for a beautiful dancer, Chick, but she's only setting him up for a rigged craps game. He loses $100, the money he got for the sale of his family's ... See full summary »

Director: King Vidor
Stars: Daniel L. Haynes, Nina Mae McKinney, William Fountaine
Short | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

In this all-black cast short, legendary blues singer Bessie Smith finds her gambler lover Jimmy messin' with a pretty, younger woman; he leaves and she sings the blues, with chorus and ... See full summary »

Director: Dudley Murphy
Stars: Bessie Smith, Jimmy Mordecai, Isabel Washington
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A woman cannot decide between two men who love her, and the trio agree to try living together in a platonic friendly relationship.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Fredric March, Gary Cooper, Miriam Hopkins
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In the depths of the Depression, two teenage boys strike out on their own in order to help their struggling parents and find life on the road tougher than expected.

Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: Frankie Darro, Rochelle Hudson, Edwin Phillips
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A formal tailcoat that gets passed from one owner to another affects each life in a significant way.

Director: Julien Duvivier
Stars: Charles Boyer, Rita Hayworth, Ginger Rogers
The Emperor Jones (TV Movie 1938)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Stars: Robert Adams, Frederick Burtwell, Irene Howe
The Emperor Jones (TV Movie 1955)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Stars: Ossie Davis
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Dudley Digges ...
Frank H. Wilson ...
Jeff (as Frank Wilson)
Fredi Washington ...
Ruby Elzy ...
Dolly
George Haymid Stamper ...
Lem (as George Stamper)
Edit

Storyline

At a Baptist prayer meeting, the preacher leads a prayer for Brutus Jones, who is leaving to become a railway porter. Jones joins the congregation in a spiritual. Once on the train, Jeff, a porter, shows Jones the ropes. Jones secretly takes up with Jeff's girl, Undine. He makes some money in a deal with a rich businessman on the train. Jones proves to be a cunning manipulator and a good liar. In a crap game, Jones stabs Jeff over a pair of loaded dice. Now doing hard labour, Jones kills a white prison guard and escapes. Shovelling coal on a ship in the Caribbean, Jones swims to an island. He is brought before the island's ruler, where Smithers, a crooked white trader, buys his freedom. Jones schemes his way into a partnership in Smithers' business, then finally control of the entire island through a touch of witchcraft, or so it seems. Brutus declares himself to be The Emperor Jones... Smithers reports on the unrest that Jones' rule is causing. One morning, the palace is empty of ... Written by David Steele

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 September 1933 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El emperador Jones  »

Box Office

Budget:

$250,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (2003 restored) | (original)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The jungle scenes were originally to be shot in the swamps of the American South, but when Paul Robeson signed for the film, he had a clause inserted in his contract that specifically prohibited filming in the South, due to that area's violent racist history and strict racial segregation. The scenes were filmed on a studio set in Astoria, Queens, New York. See more »

Quotes

Brutus Jones: They's some things I don't got to be told. I can see 'em in folks' eyes.
See more »

Connections

Version of The Emperor Jones (1938) See more »

Soundtracks

I'm Travelin'
(uncredited)
Composer unknown
Sung by Paul Robeson as a stoker on ship
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Oddly, the O'Neill Climax Is Not As Effective As Heyward's Prologue
14 July 2008 | by See all my reviews

Not a great deal of the O'Neill play is retained in this adaptation, and I thought that climax was the least effective portion of the film despite its tinted visuals and stereo sound effects. The preceding 45 minutes, enhanced by Robeson's virile presence and his superlative singing, were much more impressive. Just about every scene took place at night where Haller's noirish photography contributed to the fascinating atmosphere.

Once we arrive on the island, however, and are confronted by Dudley Digges as a stage Cockney and other theatrical contrivances, the narrative's admirably headlong pace not only slows down considerably, but the movie itself starts to fall apart—although we still have some great moments as the vain Jones takes over the kingship and attempts to bleed the natives white.


3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss The Emperor Jones (1933) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?