This is a filmed stage performance by James Earl Jones of his play on the life of Paul Robeson. Other than an accompanist, Jones performs EVERYTHING in this play--playing both Robeson and the people who are talking with him various times during the course of the play. It's really amazing to see one person talk and talk and act and keep the audience's attention. With no props, either--just Jones discussing various event from his amazing life. It helps that Jones gave his performance such feeling and that his voice is so deep and booming--like Robeson's.
At first, I didn't particularly enjoy the show...but I am very glad I kept watching. It did start a bit awkwardly but soon I found myself being sucked into the show. I was also amazed, as I noticed that the further the show progressed, the greater the energy and magnetism of Jones. It was a wonderful representation of the life of Paul Robeson--who was one of the most transcendent and amazing men of his age. In fact, I would LOVE to see a movie of his life, as it's hard to imagine a Black man earning degrees from Rutgers (where he was an All-American) and Columbia Law, mastering several languages, becoming a huge Broadway, film and recording star and yet was willing to throw it away to do what was right. Well worth seeing--and very powerful.
By the way, I loved the Jack Johnson a--where Robeson was mistaken for the Heavyweight Boxing Champ. This seems to be an inside joke, as in the previous decade, Jones became a HUGE star on Broadway and in film with his portrayal of Johnson in "The Great White Hope".
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