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Mister Johnson (1990)

PG-13 | | Drama | April 1991 (USA)
3:10 | Trailer

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In 1923 British Colonial Nigeria, Mister Johnson is an oddity -- an educated black man who doesn't really fit in with the natives or the British. He works for the local British magistrate, ... See full summary »



, (novel)
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mister Johnson
Harry Rudbeck
Sargy Gollup
Celia Rudbeck
Denis Quilley ...
Nick Reding ...
Bella Enahoro ...
Femi Fatoba ...
Hubert Ogunde ...
Brimah (as Chief Hubert Ogunde)
Sola Adeyemi ...
Jerry Linus ...
George Menta ...
Tunde Kelani ...


In 1923 British Colonial Nigeria, Mister Johnson is an oddity -- an educated black man who doesn't really fit in with the natives or the British. He works for the local British magistrate, and considers himself English, though he has never been to England. He is always scheming, trying to get ahead, which lands him in a lot of hot water. Written by John Oswalt <jao@jao.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Africa 1923: A clash of cultures between British imperalists and a black man too smart for his own good.




PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

April 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Pan Johnson  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$1,464,242 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Source novelist Joyce Cary has said that "Mister Johnson" was his favorite of the books that he had written himself. See more »


Celia Rudbeck: Perhaps you could clean your teeth tonight having taken the pipe out of your mouth - that would be a change.
Harry Rudbeck: I'm sorry, Celia.
Celia Rudbeck: Sorry about what?
Harry Rudbeck: I'm sorry about all of this.
Celia Rudbeck: Are you? You don't do anything about it.
Harry Rudbeck: Do? Well, what can I do? I'm in bloody West Africa. In the bloody bush. This isn't Mayfair, you know!
Celia Rudbeck: You don't have to tell me that. What about that horrible peanut soup? Peanut soup! Any idiot can make vegetable soup - even in bloody West Africa.
Harry Rudbeck: Why don't you tell Jamesu what you ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Dedicated to Chief Hubert A. Ogunde (1915 - 1990) See more »


Ah! Fuyez Douce Image
from Manon
Written by Jules Massenet
Sung by Enrico Caruso
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User Reviews

A superb yet overlooked film.
17 July 1999 | by (FADA) – See all my reviews

Every so often you come acrooss a movie that at first you have no intention of watching and at a glance it seems as though it couldn't possibly interest you but it just pulls you in, takes you to another time and your hooked, Mister Johnson is one such film. The story takes place in West Africa 1920 while the british empire is still in partial control of the land and it's survival of the fittest so to speak. Native men work all day virtually as slaves for pennies and a select few that were lucky enough to be educated and get a good start in life treat the rest worse than the white colonists in an attempt to gain favor with the British. Mister Johnson is a movie about a fluke of a man, educated, sly, cunningly crafty, sharp as a tack and a black man living in a hard time and place. Mister Johnson is a movie about a man who tries so hard to be British he forgets who his people really are, he breaks his back time and time again bending over backwards for the British but ultimately gets no real reward except his satisfaction in believing he's one step closer to being and englishman. This movie looks so real and the characters are so vivid and realistic you sometimes ahve to close your eyes for a second or so to remember your not there with them. In my view Mister Johnson is someone we can ALL relate to, a man obsessed with being a bigshot in a town of nobody's and he will do anything to achieve it.

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