The life of Blues and folk singer Huddie Leadbetter, nicknamed Leadbelly is recounted. Covering the good times and bad from his 20s to 40s. Much of that time was spent on chain gangs in the... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Huddie Ledbetter
Paul Benjamin ...
Wes Ledbetter
...
Miss Eula
Alan Manson ...
Captain Freeman
...
Dicklicker
...
Blind Lemon Jefferson
James Brodhead ...
John Lomax
John Henry Faulk ...
Gov. Pat Neff
Vivian Bonnell ...
Old Lady
Dana Manno ...
Margaret Judd
...
Sally Ledbetter
Rhetta Greene ...
Lethe (as Loretta Greene)
Valerie Odell ...
Amy
Rozaa Jean ...
Sugar Tit
Melba Englander ...
Evaline
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Storyline

The life of Blues and folk singer Huddie Leadbetter, nicknamed Leadbelly is recounted. Covering the good times and bad from his 20s to 40s. Much of that time was spent on chain gangs in the south. Even in prison he became well known for the songs he had composed and sung during and before the time he spent there. Written by Brian W Martz <B.Martz@Genie.com>

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They chased him down with dogs, chained him in iron, beat him with rawhide, slammed him in the sweatbox. They tried to bury Leadbelly, but Leadbelly wouldn't lie down. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Music

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

28 May 1976 (USA)  »

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(Eastmancolor)
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Trivia

Roger E. Mosley's vocals as Huddie Ledbetter were provided by HiTide Harris. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Good biography
17 September 2003 | by (Philadelphia PA) – See all my reviews

Leadbelly isn't a great movie, but it does a good job of conveying a sense of the man, and the lead performance is very strong.

Director Parks doesn't quite carry off the sense of how alien a world the old segregated South was, and the movie has a bit too much of a this happened, and then this happened, and then this happened quality to it, rather than shaping Leadbelly's story to make a great movie.

But overall the movie is engaging, entertaining, and educational, and you get a sense of why he was such an influence on today's music. It's an enormous shame that the Weavers never credited him in "Wasn't that a time."


8 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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