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The River Niger (1976)

R  |   |  Drama  |  14 April 1976 (USA)
6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 138 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 3 critic

An intimate look at life in the ghetto: Johnny Williams is a house painter who moonlights as a poet, struggling to financially and emotionally support his cancer-ridden wife Mattie. But ... See full summary »

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Title: The River Niger (1976)

The River Niger (1976) on IMDb 6.4/10

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Mattie Williams
...
...
Dr. Dudley Stanton (as Lou Gossett)
...
Jeff Williams
...
Ann Vanderguild
...
Big Moe Hayes
Ralph Wilcox ...
Al
Teddy Wilson ...
Chips
Charles Weldon ...
Skeeter
Shirley Jo Finney ...
Gail
Hilda Haynes ...
Wilhelmina Geneva Brown
Ed Crick ...
White Police Lieutenant
...
Black Policeman
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Storyline

An intimate look at life in the ghetto: Johnny Williams is a house painter who moonlights as a poet, struggling to financially and emotionally support his cancer-ridden wife Mattie. But times are tough and the poverty-troubled streets are even tougher, and it takes every ounce of Johnny's love and courage for the couple to make it through their strife, finding redemption in the River Niger. Written by Echo Bridge Home Entertainment

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Some rivers can't be dammed...some people won't be broken.

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

14 April 1976 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Broadway production of "The River Niger" opened at the Brooks Atkinson Theater in New York on March 27, 1973 and ran for 162 performances. Joseph A. Walker wrote both the play and the screenplay for this filmed production. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Call Me Angel, Sir (1976) See more »

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User Reviews

 
I feel like dancing through the valley of the shadow of death.
3 April 2010 | by (Nova Scotia, Canada) – See all my reviews

"The River Niger" is very much a time capsule of the mid-1970s. There's a lot of good acting, some bad acting, and some pretty much middle of the road direction. The director, Krishna Shah, is probably the main thing which keeps this good film from being great. He just doesn't have a real vision for this sort of thing. As you might expect from a stage adaptation, Joseph A. Walker's script is why this is worth watching. He writes excellent dialogue, characters, and best of all - poetry. Then again, there's a bit too much emphasis on the self-conscious black identity stuff, even for 1976.

James Earl Jones, who plays the poet, is the best thing about "The River Niger". He is very compelling, intense, and instantly likable. His performance, along with that of Louis Gossett Jr. (credited here as Lou Gossett), makes one wish there was a better made film to frame it. Definitely worth seeing, though.


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