An examination of the life of actor and singer Paul Robeson, from his first major triumphs on the stage in the 1920s through his gradually increasing social activism in the 1930s and 1940s,... See full summary »
Saul J. Turell
Paul Robeson narrates a mix of dramatizations and archival footage about the bill of rights being under attack during the 1930s by union busting corporations, their spies and contractors. ... See full summary »
Bea Pullman and her daughter Jessie have had a hard time making ends meet since Bea's husband died. Help comes in the form of Delilah Johnson, who agrees to work as Bea's housekeeper in ... See full summary »
In this musical comedy, Paul Robeson stars as Joe, a Marseilles docker hired by a wealthy English couple to find their missing son. When Joe finds him, he learns he escaped of his own will,... See full summary »
Davey Fenwick leaves his mining village on a university scholarship intent on returning to better support the miners against the owners. But he falls in love with Jenny who gets him to ... See full summary »
In 1952, as the Korean War rages on, American officers land in Kyoto. Among them are Major Ceve Saville, assigned to a fighter squadron, and Lieutenant Carl Abbott. The latter neglects his ... See full summary »
Filmmaker Shirley Clarke ("The Connection") directs this powerful, stark semi-documentary look at the horrors of Harlem ghetto slum life filled with drugs, violence, human misery, and a ... See full summary »
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
Fredi Washington's scenes were reshot using dark pancake makeup because she looked "too white" in the first rushes. It was feared audiences would think Paul Robeson was embracing a white woman. See more »
Paul Robeson's Unforgettable Tour-De-Force Performance!
Before there was Denzel and Sidney Poitier, there was Paul Robeson, the pioneering African American actor whose talents were amazing. His rich, deep voice and presence in this unforgettable performance as Brutus Jones depicts his brilliance as an actor in what would be a forgettable film. The film was filmed in the 1930s in the height of the Great Depression. Even though it wasn't filmed in the South, it does give the impression that it was. His character Brutus Jones starts off as an honorable man until he gets a porter/pull-man job on the trains going from the heart of Georgia to New York City. Brutus slowly engages in shady activities which leads to prison and his escape twice to a foreign land where he becomes Emperor Jones but he's not a black and white character or an easy villain. Robeson's performance as Brutus Jones slowly unwinds and develops over the film. It's a film based on Eugene O'Neill's play of the same name. He should have been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance.
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