MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 224 this week

The Great White Hope (1970)

 -  Drama | Romance | Sport  -  16 October 1970 (USA)
7.0
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.0/10 from 1,635 users  
Reviews: 26 user | 13 critic

A black champion boxer and his white female companion struggle to survive while the white boxing establishment looks for ways to knock him down.

Director:

Writers:

(play), (screenplay)
0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 30 titles
created 11 Apr 2011
 
a list of 31 titles
created 01 Feb 2012
 
a list of 24 titles
created 29 Jul 2012
 
a list of 33 titles
created 20 Feb 2013
 
a list of 23 titles
created 8 months ago
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Great White Hope (1970)

The Great White Hope (1970) on IMDb 7/10

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

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Great White Hope.

User Polls

Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

When the champ's promoter, Rev. Sultan, decides something new is needed to boost the marketability of the boxing matches, he searches and finds the only man to ever beat the champ. The ... See full summary »

Director: Reginald Hudlin
Stars: Samuel L. Jackson, Jeff Goldblum, Damon Wayans
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

The son of a powerful Mafia don comes home from his army service in Vietnam and wants to lead his own life, but family tradition, intrigues and powerplays involving his older brother ... See full summary »

Director: Martin Ritt
Stars: Kirk Douglas, Alex Cord, Irene Papas
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Unassuming and single thirty-three year old Tillie Shlain is at that phase of her life of being known as a soon to be spinster if she doesn't marry soon. She isn't looking forward to ... See full summary »

Director: Martin Ritt
Stars: Walter Matthau, Carol Burnett, Geraldine Page
Documentary | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A film about the former US Secretary of Defense and the various difficult lessons he learned about the nature and conduct of modern war.

Director: Errol Morris
Stars: Robert McNamara, John F. Kennedy, Fidel Castro
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Life is rough in the coal mines of 1876 Pennsylvania. A secret group of Irish immigrant miners, known as the Molly Maguires, fights against the cruelty of the mining company with sabotage ... See full summary »

Director: Martin Ritt
Stars: Sean Connery, Richard Harris, Samantha Eggar
Certificate: GP Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A man who wants to move on with his life by moving to California and marry his girlfriend, finds it difficult as he still lives in the towering shadow of his aging father.

Director: Gilbert Cates
Stars: Melvyn Douglas, Gene Hackman, Dorothy Stickney
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Yugoslav partisans grimly crop the hair of a village quintet of women believed to have consorted with the occupational Nazis. Four, for various reasons, have indeed - and their seducer is a... See full summary »

Director: Martin Ritt
Stars: Van Heflin, Silvana Mangano, Jeanne Moreau
Back Roads (1981)
Adventure | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

A prostitute and a drifter find themselves bound together as they make their way through the rural South, doing what they have to do to survive.

Director: Martin Ritt
Stars: Sally Field, Tommy Lee Jones, David Keith
Norma Rae (1979)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A young single mother and textile worker agrees to help unionize her mill despite the problems and dangers involved.

Director: Martin Ritt
Stars: Sally Field, Beau Bridges, Ron Leibman
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

After mobsters murder her husband, Rose Bianco works long hours making artificial flowers, to support herself and her son. Some suspect that Rose's demand for a lavish lifestyle pushed her ... See full summary »

Director: Martin Ritt
Stars: Sophia Loren, Anthony Quinn, Peter Mark Richman
The Front (1976)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A cashier poses as a writer for blacklisted talents to submit their work through, but the injustice around him pushes him to take a stand.

Director: Martin Ritt
Stars: Woody Allen, Zero Mostel, Herschel Bernardi
Conrack (1974)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

White Pat Conroy was born and raised in Beaufort, South Carolina. In March, 1969 under the Beaufort School District, he starts a job teaching at a small poor school located on Daufuskie ... See full summary »

Director: Martin Ritt
Stars: Jon Voight, Paul Winfield, Madge Sinclair
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Eleanor
Lou Gilbert ...
Goldie
Joel Fluellen ...
Tick
...
...
Dixon
Marlene Warfield ...
Clara
...
Cap'n Dan
...
Cameron
...
Mama Tiny
...
Scipio
Lloyd Gough ...
Smitty
George Ebeling ...
Fred
...
Brady
Roy Glenn ...
Pastor (as Roy E. Glenn Sr.)
Edit

Storyline

Boxer Jack Jefferson (James Earl Jones) is the world's reigning heavyweight boxing champion. There's just one problem, he is also the first black heavyweight champion, and that bothers a lot of people. Jack's celebration is cut short, as Jack is framed for crossing a state line with Eleanor, his white fiancé (Jane Alexander in her first film role), a violation of the Mann Act. Facing a prison sentence, Jack escapes to Europe, with Eleanor in tow, encountering problems in England, and then France, and eventually landing in Cuba. In Havana, Jack agrees to enter the boxing ring for what might be the bout of his life. Both Jones and Alexander were nominated for Oscars. Written by trivwhiz

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

champion | boxer | boxing | havana | europe | See All (72) »

Taglines:

He could beat any white man in the world. He just couldn't beat all of them. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, and for language including racist dialogue | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

16 October 1970 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

L'insurgé  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Jane Alexander's first movie. See more »

Goofs

In the first scene in which we see Jefferson practicing, the sweat on his shirt changes from shot to shot in a way that wouldn't be predicted by evaporation. See more »

Quotes

Goldie: [after they convince Brady to fight Jefferson] Good. So it's fixed Cap'n Dan.
Cap'n Dan: The man's in a hurry, Fred
Pop Weaver: What about terms?
Goldie: What? We're no babies here. You know my Jackie would fight your boy for a *nickel*.
Pop Weaver: 80-20, Goldie.
Goldie: What? A world's championship?
Fred: 80-20, that's it.
Goldie: God bless America.
Pop Weaver: And Cap'n Dan to be the referee.
Goldie: You're kidding me.
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Screenplay by Howard Sackler Based on his play See more »

Connections

Referenced in Gilmore Girls: Sadie, Sadie (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Let Me Hold You In My Arms Tonight
Written and Performed by Jesse Fuller
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Well worth seeing though I wished they hadn't fictionalized the story.
30 October 2012 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

In 1968, the play "The Great White Hope" debuted. In 1969, it received the Tony award for Best Play and Best Actor. In an unusual move, Hollywood brought this film to the screen and kept the two leads--James Earl Jones and Jane Alexander.

The story is a fictionalized version a portion of the career of Jack Johnson. Names were changed (Johnson became Jefferson)--and I assume this was to avoid legal difficulties if the play and film differed from Johnson's real life. However, despite a few changes, it clearly IS the career of Jack Johnson from just before he won the Heavyweight Championship through his legal troubles because he had the temerity to sleep with a white woman during an era of rabid racism.

The second half of the film concerns Jefferson's exile. After a trumped up charge for violating the Mann Act (intended for prosecuting the prostitution trade), he and his friends flee the country. During this time, work is hard to come by and slowly Jefferson's spirits begin to fail--and he begins lashing out at everyone. First, it's his trainer and friends and then he becomes vicious towards his white girlfriend--very, very, very vicious. This part of the film is harder to watch and seems a bit slow, though I admire how the film didn't try to portray the man as an angel or just stoically accepting his fate, as Johnson's life did spiral out of control following his legal problems. He became an emotional mess--just like Jefferson.

Overall, this is a good film about race prejudice but it's not perfect. I would have rather they'd just dropped the 'Jefferson' stuff and simply made a biography of Johnson. Also, there is a lag in the film's tempo and the film drags a bit in portions of the second half. Still, it's a powerful film and you'll see Jones at his very best.

By the way, at the 53 minute mark, you see Mr. Jefferson and his entourage watching the guards outside Buckingham Palace. In the distance, you can see MODERN buses and cars--not ones from the early 20th century. It's probably not apparent on smaller televisions, but on the 58" one I saw this film on, it was VERY clear--and must have been even more obvious to folks who saw it in the theaters! Also, in case you were wondering, at the outdoor beer hall in Germany the German soldier kept shouting 'Kameradschaft'. This translates to 'to Comradeship' or 'camaraderie'.


1 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Im Serious..... a_spike_lee_joint
A biography? No! gelman@attglobal.net
Error in time dsal_63
VERY SAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:( hot_in_pink_hate_red
Why not showing his greater fight ? Jean-Bagin
The man at vaudeville in hungary sebeljub
Discuss The Great White Hope (1970) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?