This film was originally shown at theatres as a "one-time-only" event on 24 March 1970, and ran 3 hours and 5 minutes. The proceeds from the $5 admission price was donated to the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Special Fund. It was later shown on US television, unedited and with limited interruption. See more »
I was able to catch about the 2nd half of this on cable recently. The remnants of the divide between the North and South dating back to the civil war were played out as MLK continued his crusade in Alabama. This was a gripping account of the small victories that he rallied the public to empower themselves. I found it more engrossing than other MLK documentaries because it examined the battles more closely. But then, interspersed within this footage presented without narration, the film breaks to a stage with minimal theatrical backdrops. Periodically, a famous actor will give a 2 -3 minute famous speech from a notable source. These quotes are not given any introduction or provided any titles to inform the audience. The pieces I saw in the last part were Charlton Heston, James Earl Jones, and a few others I didn't recognise. After reading the trivia notes about this film on IMDb, I understand this was a fund raising film for a charitable organisation. That explains the appearances by the big name stars to get people to pay to see the film. On the other hand, it extends the film running time. I found myself impatient, waiting for the film to return to the shocking footage of churches being bombed, killing children. But on the other hand, seeing James Earl Jones give a powerful performance complimented the film.
Production wise, there were moments of choppy editing, but letting the footage and MLK's words speak for them-self is very compelling.
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