IMDb > The Emperor Jones (1933)
The Emperor Jones
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The Emperor Jones (1933) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
6.4/10   557 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Eugene O'Neill (play)
DuBose Heyward (screenplay)
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Contact:
View company contact information for The Emperor Jones on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
29 September 1933 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
Unscrupulously ambitious Brutus Jones escapes from jail after killing a guard and through bluff and bravado finds himself the emperor of a Caribbean island. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
1 win See more »
User Reviews:
Paul Robeson's Triumph See more (17 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Paul Robeson ... Brutus Jones
Dudley Digges ... Smithers
Frank H. Wilson ... Jeff (as Frank Wilson)
Fredi Washington ... Undine
Ruby Elzy ... Dolly
George Haymid Stamper ... Lem (as George Stamper)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Brandon Evans ... Carrington (uncredited)
Taylor Gordon ... Stick-man (uncredited)

Billie Holiday ... Extra in Nightclub Scene (uncredited)

Rex Ingram ... Court Crier (uncredited)

Moms Mabley ... Marcella (uncredited)
Harold Nicholas ... Young Tap Dancer (uncredited)
Blueboy O'Connor ... Treasurer (uncredited)
Fritz Pollard ... Extra in Nightclub Scene (uncredited)
Lorenzo Tucker ... Extra in Nightclub Scene (uncredited)
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Directed by
Dudley Murphy 
 
Writing credits
Eugene O'Neill (play "The Emperor Jones")

DuBose Heyward (screenplay) (as Du-Bose Heyward)

DuBose Heyward  additional scenes (uncredited)

Produced by
Gifford Cochran .... producer (uncredited)
John Krimsky .... producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Frank Tours 
 
Cinematography by
Ernest Haller 
 
Film Editing by
Grant Whytock 
 
Art Direction by
Herman Rosse 
 
Production Management
J. Edward Shugrue .... production manager
George Knafka .... production manager (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Joseph H. Nadel .... assistant director
 
Sound Department
Joseph I. Kane .... sound engineer (as Joseph Kane)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Jack Shalitt .... still photographer (uncredited)
 
Casting Department
Fritz Pollard .... casting associate (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Rosamond Johnson .... vocal arranger (as J. Rosamond Johnson)
Max Manne .... music synchronization
Frank Tours .... musical director
 
Other crew
Gifford Cochran .... presenter
William C. de Mille .... supervisor (as William C. de-Mille)
John Krimsky .... presenter
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
72 min | 76 min (2003 restored version) | USA:80 min (original version)
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Certification:
Canada:G (Ontario) | Finland:K-16 (1936) | Finland:(Banned) (1934) | UK:A | USA:Passed (National Board of Review) | USA:Approved (PCA #1316-R, 29 August 1935 for re-release)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
About a half-hour of completely original material was added to the movie adaptation in order to give the main character, Brutus Jones, a more detailed backstory, leaving only about 45 minutes from Eugene O'Neill's play.See more »
Quotes:
Smithers:[Jones prepares to escape into the jungle] Give my regards to any ghosts yer 'appen to meet!
Brutus Jones:[pause] If dat ghost have money, I tells him never to haunt you lessen he wants to lose it!
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Black Shadows on the Silver Screen (1975) (TV)See more »
Soundtrack:
I'm Travelin'See more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
18 out of 19 people found the following review useful.
Paul Robeson's Triumph, 27 October 2003
Author: Ron Oliver (revilorest@juno.com) from Forest Ranch, CA

By murder & guile, a black Pullman conductor becomes THE EMPEROR JONES on an impoverished Caribbean isle.

Eugene O'Neill's allegorical fable comes alive in this unique and intriguing film, recently restored by the Library of Congress. The legendary Paul Robeson dominates the film as a man who abandons his wife & Baptist upbringing to worship himself, wallowing gleefully in sin & violence as long as it furthers his goal for power & riches - the chance to become an emperor of his own tiny domain is merely the latest opportunity in a serendipitous sequence to be exploited.

Robeson's athletic physique, magnificent singing voice, accomplished acting skills and over-sized personality make him the ideal choice for the complex role. Whether leading chained prisoners in song, using brains & bravado to seize his little kingdom, or slyly peering at himself in a succession of mirrors as he enters his throne room in full military regalia, Robeson is never less than fully entertaining.

Fredi Washington shines in her small role as Robeson's faithful wife. Dudley Digges is appropriately unsavory as the white trader with whom Robeson must do business in order to keep his throne.

Movie mavens will recognize a young Moms Mabley as the owner of a New York City nightclub; an even younger Harold Nicholas (of the Nicholas Brothers) as a boy tap dancer & the wonderful Rex Ingram as Robeson's Court Crier - all uncredited.

This film should be considered as a product of its times; it makes no pretensions towards political correctness.

***********************

O'Neill's play is obviously based on the historical Henri Christophe (1767-1820), the former slave who, after being involved in the bloody revolution against the French and the assassination of his predecessor, became president of northern Haiti in 1807 and its self-proclaimed king in 1811. Despotic & brilliant, King Henri enjoyed a reign of enormous brutality and opulence. He built for himself 6 châteaux, 8 palaces and the massive Citadelle Laferrière, still considered one of the wonders of the age. Christophe supported himself with a fabricated nobility consisting of 4 princes, 8 dukes, 22 counts, 37 barons & 14 knights. After a paralytic stroke left him disabled, the people rose in revolt and Christophe‘s followers fled. Naturally reluctant to face the wrath of his former subjects, Christophe shot himself with a silver bullet.

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