A gloomy vision of the possibility of decent relations between whites and blacks anywhere, including the South. Undertaker L.B. Jones, the richest black man in his county of Tennessee, is divorcing his wife for infidelity with a white policeman. Taking a stand against racism, he is greeted with a hostile bunch of Southern bigots and other various stereotypes. Written by Sterling Silliphant ("In the Heat of the Night"). Director William Wyler's final film. Written by
Sometimes I have to scratch my head and wonder why the hell a film isn't more acclaimed and/or remembered. William Wyler's last film The Liberation of L.B. Jones (1970) is one of these. A nail biting inferno of racial hate and discomfort.
Don't read the tagline and stay away from certain posters, it might spoil it! But even though I knew part of the outcome parts of this film stopped me from breathing, and I'm still filled with this heavy indescribable feeling.
It's essentially the tale of when the people discriminated against stops being afraid. It's also an exploration of the small towns of a bygone age, and their despicable sentiments.
The Liberation of L.B. Jones would fit perfectly in the company of films in In the Heat of the Night. Perhaps it was just a tad late, or perhaps it was a bit too bleak, but this is surely a film I will remember. A wonderful way to go out for the legendary Mr. Wyler. One of the best directors who ever lived! 8.5/10
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