7.0/10
1,954
29 user 11 critic

The Great White Hope (1970)

PG-13 | | Drama, Romance, Sport | 16 October 1970 (USA)
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)
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

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

People who liked this also liked... 

Certificate: M 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 7.7/10 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
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

In 1940s Texas, an elderly woman is determined to visit her childhood home for one last time.

Director: Peter Masterson
Stars: Geraldine Page, John Heard, Carlin Glynn
Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A shy, withdrawn English schoolteacher falls for a flashy showgirl.

Director: Herbert Ross
Stars: Peter O'Toole, Petula Clark, Michael Redgrave
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A widowed doctor of both Chinese and European descent falls in love with a married American correspondent in Hong Kong during China's Communist revolution.

Directors: Henry King, Otto Lang
Stars: William Holden, Jennifer Jones, Torin Thatcher
The Front (1976)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In 1953, 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
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Anthology film about three owners of a yellow Rolls-Royce. A British diplomat buys the car for his French wife. A mobster's girlfriend has an affair in Italy. A US woman drives a Yugoslav partisan to Ljubljana on the eve of Nazi invasion.

Director: Anthony Asquith
Stars: Ingrid Bergman, Rex Harrison, Shirley MacLaine
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A grandmother seeks a governess for her 16 year old granddaughter, Laurel, who manages to drive away each and every one so far by exposing their past, with a record of three in one week! ... See full summary »

Director: Ronald Neame
Stars: Deborah Kerr, Hayley Mills, John Mills
Split Second (1953)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Two escaped killers take hostages and hide in a Nevada mining ghost town without knowing that an atom bomb is scheduled to be tested there the next morning.

Director: Dick Powell
Stars: Stephen McNally, Alexis Smith, Jan Sterling
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Film screenwriter Jake Armitage and his wife Jo Armitage live in London with six of Jo's eight children, with the two eldest boys at boarding school. The children are spread over Jo's three... See full summary »

Director: Jack Clayton
Stars: Anne Bancroft, Peter Finch, James Mason
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Lou Gilbert ...
Joel Fluellen ...
Tick
...
...
Marlene Warfield ...
Clara
...
...
District Attorney Al Cameron
...
Mama Tiny
...
Scipio
...
Smitty
George Ebeling ...
...
Franklyn 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

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The original Broadway production of "The Great White Hope" by Howard Sackler opened at the Alvin Theater in New York on October 3, 1968, ran for 546 performances and won the 1969 Tony Award for the Best Play. James Earl Jones won the 1969 Tony Award for Best Actor in Play and recreated his stage role in the movie version. Jane Alexander won the 1969 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play and recreated her stage role in the movie version. The play author also wrote the screenplay for the movie version. 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

Reporter: Now you're the first black man in the history of the ring who's ever had a crack at the heavyweight title. Now white folks, of course, are behind Brady. He's the redeemer of the race and so on. But you, Jack Jefferson, are you the black hope?
Jack Jefferson: Well, I'm black and I'm hopin'.
Goldie: Answer him straight, Jack.
Jack Jefferson: Hey, look, man, I ain't fighting for no race, I ain't redeeming nobody. My mama told me *Mr. Lincoln* done that. Ain't that why you shot him?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Screenplay by Howard Sackler Based on his play See more »

Connections

Featured in 15th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

When the Saints Go Marching In
(uncredited)
Traditional
Arranged by Lionel Newman
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
James Earl Jones in his first starring role
13 January 2005 | by (Washington, D.C.) – See all my reviews

I first saw the play at least 35 years ago when it debuted at the Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., with James Earl Jones and Jane Alexander in the lead roles. Recently, Arena revived the play, and I thought it was dated and a dud. But the film, which has just appeared on PBS, reminded me of the power, not so much of the play which has elements of caricature, but of the acting. Jones and Alexander were both outstanding in the movie, Jones as the black heavyweight champion (Jack Johnson in thin disguise)and Alexander as his white lover. The two of them deserved the stardom that came with these roles when the play moved from the Arena Stage to Broadway. It may not even be the best movie about boxing, but it's worth seeing because of Jones and Alexander. Moreover, the virulent racism directed at Jack Jefferson (Jones's character) and the role of the Federal government in prosecuting him under the Mann act are useful reminders of the way our country was at the beginning of the 20th Century. long ago.


17 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?