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: GP Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 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
Claudine (1974)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In the 1970s Harlem, garbage collector Roop feels intimidated by the idea of dating Claudine who is a single mother of six on welfare.

Director: John Berry
Stars: Diahann Carroll, James Earl Jones, Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs
The Landlord (1970)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

At the age of twenty-nine, Elgar Enders "runs away" from home. This running away consists of buying a building in a black ghetto in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn. Initially his ... See full summary »

Director: Hal Ashby
Stars: Beau Bridges, Lee Grant, Diana Sands
Carmen Jones (1954)
Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Contemporary version of the Bizet opera, with new lyrics and an African-American cast.

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: Harry Belafonte, Dorothy Dandridge, Pearl Bailey
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
Norma Rae (1979)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 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 | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The story of the friendship between a star pitcher, wise to the world, and a half-wit catcher, as they cope with the catcher's terminal illness through a baseball season.

Director: John D. Hancock
Stars: Michael Moriarty, Robert De Niro, Vincent Gardenia
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A housewife with an abusive husband has an affair with a writer.

Director: Frank Perry
Stars: Richard Benjamin, Frank Langella, Carrie Snodgress
Ship of Fools (1965)
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

1933: An ocean liner belonging to a second-rate German company is making a twenty-six day voyage from Veracruz, Mexico to Bremerhaven, Germany. Along the way it will stop in Cuba to pick up... See full summary »

Director: Stanley Kramer
Stars: Vivien Leigh, Simone Signoret, José Ferrer
Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

At his mother's funeral, stuffy bank clerk Henry Pulling meets his Aunt Augusta, an elderly eccentric with more-than-shady dealings who pulls him along on a whirlwind adventure as she ... See full summary »

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Maggie Smith, Alec McCowen, Louis Gossett Jr.
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The story of the troubled life and career of the legendary Jazz singer, Billie Holiday.

Director: Sidney J. Furie
Stars: Diana Ross, Billy Dee Williams, Richard Pryor
Hawaii (1966)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

An American missionary and his wife travel to the exotic island kingdom of Hawaii, intent on converting the natives. But the clash between the two cultures is too great and instead of understanding there comes tragedy.

Director: George Roy Hill
Stars: Julie Andrews, Max von Sydow, Richard Harris
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Lou Gilbert ...
Joel Fluellen ...
Tick
...
...
Marlene Warfield ...
Clara
...
...
Cameron
...
Mama Tiny
...
Scipio
Lloyd Gough ...
Smitty
George Ebeling ...
...
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

Fictionalized version of true events. 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

Jack Jefferson: Hey, man. What's my winning gonna do for you?
Country Boy: Huh?
Pastor: Give him self respect.
Country Boy: Yeah, I be proud to be colored tomorrow.
Jack Jefferson: Country boy, if you ain't there already, all the boxing and all the nigger-praying in the world ain't gonna get you there.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Screenplay by Howard Sackler Based on his play See more »

Connections

Referenced in Sanford and Son: Watts Side Story (1973) See more »

Soundtracks

Spirits Bright
(uncredited)
Traditional
Arranged by Lionel Newman
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Powerful, Compelling, and still QUITE relevant!!!
16 June 2008 | by (San Francisco CA USA) – See all my reviews

As an 18-yr old, I vividly remember when this movie came out and the swirling controversies that accompanied it. Whites were cautious because it openly dealt with not only an interracial love affair but because of the depiction of an unrelenting, proud, but very angry black man. Interestingly enough, with the advent of Black Power/the Revolution and the emergence of the Black Panthers, most black audiences were equally cautious as well and for exactly the same reasons. Also keep in mind I was living in the South then too. Even in 1970, few southern towns would actually show the film.

This is a variation on the real-life troubles of Jack Johnson, one of boxing's earliest contenders.

Hands down the most compelling performances are those of James Earl Jones and Jane Alexander that leave an indelible imprint on the viewer. Because of the racial fabric of the time, Jack knew he was asking for trouble by openly defying white authority and then compounding that by becoming involved with a white woman. Both undoubtedly knew full well what they would be up against. While they may have deeply loved each other in the beginning, they soon discovered that simply love does not conquer all.

The movie is also filled with treasures of African-American performances by the likes of Beah Richards, Moses Gunn, Roy Glenn Sr. and Virginia Capers. This alone is worth the price of admission.

In many instances it is most difficult to watch. Two mesmerizing and thoroughly wrenching scenes were Jane's suicide and when Jack and company were reduced to performing "Uncle Tom's Cabin" in Europe to survive.

The film is most certainly uncompromising which was a MAJOR achievement given the social fabric at the time. James Earl Jones and Jane Alexander both deserved Oscars for their performances but that would have been like condoning their whole situation and god KNOWS Hollywood would NEVER have done that.....(sigh) Another example of not being able to see the forest for the trees.

Nonetheless, this is an eeeeeeeeeexcellent film and most worthy of your movie collection


6 of 8 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:
?