Details the life story of Scott Joplin and how he became the greatest ragtime composer of all time.

Director:

(as Jeremy Paul Kagan)
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

1 win. See more awards »
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Chauvin
...
Belle Joplin
Eubie Blake ...
Will Williams
...
Tom Turpin
...
Dr. Jaelki
...
...
Madam Amy
...
Poor Alfred
Spo-De-Odee ...
Left Hand of God
...
John Stark
David Healy ...
Sam Bundler
...
Impresario
Leon Charles ...
Liebling
Fred Pinkard ...
Dr. Adams
Edit

Storyline

Details the life story of Scott Joplin and how he became the greatest ragtime composer of all time.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Scott Joplin's Ragtime Music Portrayed American Life.

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Music

Certificate:

PG
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 December 1977 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Originally a made-for-TV movie but was released to theaters first instead. See more »

Quotes

Man at Audition: Get up from the piano, boy. You're hurting its feelings.
See more »

Connections

References The Sting (1973) See more »

Soundtracks

Peacherine Rag
written by Scott Joplin
performed by Dick Hyman
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
More fiction than fact, but the music makes it worthwhile
29 July 2004 | by (Appleton, WI) – See all my reviews

The man who gave us the Maple Leaf Rag and the Entertainer, Scott Joplin, once said that he would not become known until fifty years after his death.

He wasn't off by much--it took fifty-six. In 1973, Marvin Hamlisch used the then-largely unknown Joplin's music in the movie "The Sting," spurring a ragtime revival and a renewed interest in Joplin specifically. Joplin's work received long-overdue attention from music scholars, and he was awarded a posthumous Pulitzer for his body of work, some fifty known rags, waltzes, marches--and one opera, Treemonisha.

This movie rode the wave of his renewed popularity, but plays so loose with the facts of his life that we end up knowing little more about him. Billy Dee Williams is a superb Joplin, as is Art Carney as his publisher, John Stark. But the movie either ignores or glosses over certain details, such as Joplin's longtime friendship and collaboration with Scott Hayden. Hayden is not even mentioned in the film, which prefers to focus on Joplin and the tragic, unsung musical genius Louis Chauvin, who Joplin barely knew. Chauvin in his prime would compose beautiful rags on the spot, never to be heard again, because he could not write them down. The movie implies they were friends from the earliest days, which they were not. They did collaborate on one piece, "Heliotrope Bouquet", when Chauvin was dying and no longer able to play--this the movie gets right.

It also touches on the growing animosity between Joplin and Stark, but this too is sugarcoated. The movie implies they reconciled, which in reality never happened.

Yet the movie is worth seeing if only for one thing--the wonderful, brooding music of a man for whom recognition was long overdue.


24 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Ragtime Magic PlanNineFromHome
Enjoyed this movie... ladyluv1
Discuss Scott Joplin (1977) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?