10 user 2 critic

The Vernon Johns Story (1994)

Vernon Johns, a brilliant man coupled with an eloquent speaker, upsets his community through his radical ideas on social change and economic independence of blacks. From his pulpit, he ... See full summary »



(story), (story) | 1 more credit »

On Disc

at Amazon

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Earl Pilcher Jr., runs an equipment rental outfit in Arkansas, lives with his wife and kids and parents, and rarely takes off his gimme cap. His mother dies, leaving a letter explaining ... See full summary »

Director: Richard Pearce
Stars: Robert Duvall, James Earl Jones, Michael Beach
The Ditchdigger's Daughters (TV Movie 1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In many ways "The Ditchdigger's Daughters" adheres to the well worn path of a genre best described as the black struggle in an injust white America. But the real plot in this movie revolves... See full summary »

Director: Johnny E. Jensen
Stars: Carl Lumbly, Dulé Hill, Victoria Dillard
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A drama set in the 1920s, where free-spirited Janie Crawford's search for happiness leads her through several different marriages, challenging the morals of her small town. Based on the novel by Zora Neale Hurston.

Director: Darnell Martin
Stars: Halle Berry, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Mel Winkler
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Two women, black and white, in 1955 Montgomery Alabama, must decide what they are going to do in response to the famous bus boycott lead by Martin Luther King.

Director: Richard Pearce
Stars: Sissy Spacek, Whoopi Goldberg, Dwight Schultz
Sophie & the Moonhanger (TV Movie 1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A woman pits herself against her husband and his Ku Klux Klan member friends when she learns that they are planning an attack against her black maid and her husband.

Director: David Hugh Jones
Stars: David Andrews, Barry Bell, Jason Bernard
Claudine (1974)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In the 1970s Harlem, garbage collector Roop feels intimidated by the idea of dating Claudine who is a single mother of six on welfare.

Director: John Berry
Stars: Diahann Carroll, James Earl Jones, Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Based on writer Maya Angelou's childhood, this story is about a young girl in the South who is sent to live with her grandmother after her parents divorce.

Director: Fielder Cook
Stars: Paul Benjamin, Diahann Carroll, Ruby Dee
A House Divided (TV Movie 2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

In the aftermath of the terrible Civil War which has devastated the South, Amanda America Dixon returns home to find she has become the sole heir to a vast cotton plantation. But the ... See full summary »

Director: John Kent Harrison
Stars: Sam Waterston, Jennifer Beals, LisaGay Hamilton
The Substitute Wife (TV Movie 1994)
Drama | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

In Nebraska, in pioneer days, a woman who knows she is going to die asks a prostitute to replace her with her husband and four children in order to make it possible for them to keep their family farm.

Director: Peter Werner
Stars: Farrah Fawcett, Lea Thompson, Peter Weller
Unconditional IV (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A woman's idyllic life is shattered when her husband is killed in a senseless act of violence. As she prepares to take matters into her own hands, two unexpected encounters begin to change everything.

Director: Brent McCorkle
Stars: Lynn Collins, Michael Ealy, Bruce McGill
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

With the land to hold them together, nothing can tear the Logans apart. Why is the land so important to Cassie's family? It takes the events of one turbulent year- the year of the night ... See full summary »

Director: Jack Smight
Stars: Claudia McNeil, Janet MacLachlan, Robert Christian
By Dawn's Early Light (TV Movie 1990)
Drama | Thriller | Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The crew of a nuclear bomber attack the Soviet Union while the President of the United States tries desperately to regain control of his military after his helicopter crashes during a ... See full summary »

Director: Jack Sholder
Stars: Powers Boothe, Rebecca De Mornay, James Earl Jones


Cast overview, first billed only:
Deacon Wilkes
Tommy Hollis ...
Coach Hill
Baby Dee (as Nicole Leach)
Ashanti Nailah Blaize ...
Judge Blake
Shelby Ware ...
Janet Whitcomb
Moses Gibson ...
Deacon Henderson
Billie Allen ...
Ida Rawlins
Michael Howell ...
Justin Young ...
White Teenager
Garland Bunting ...


Vernon Johns, a brilliant man coupled with an eloquent speaker, upsets his community through his radical ideas on social change and economic independence of blacks. From his pulpit, he attacks the white power and denounces police brutality towards his brother race. His biggest enemy is nonetheless his own congregation who hesitates to mobilize behind him. Written by markyoloup

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Biography | Drama






Release Date:

15 January 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Road to Freedom: The Vernon Johns Story  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


ON SCREEN: "Before the civil rights movement could begin, it would take the actions of a few brave souls to set that movement into motion. This is a story of one of them." See more »


After one of his parishioners is raped, Rev. Johns has his daughter post his Sunday Sermon announcement on the church sign. The sign shows the name of the church, Sunday Service 11:00 AM, and "Dr. Vernon Johns, Pastor", and between the service time and Johns name is 'WHEN THE RAPIST IS WHITE', with single quote marks before and after. In the next scene, Johns is called to see a judge, who shows Johns a picture of the sign with the Sunday Sermon announcement, except the picture shows "WHEN THE RAPIST IS WHITE" with double quote marks before and after, and with the Sermon announcement above the service time, and instead of 'Dr. Vernon Johns, Pastor', it reads 'Rev. Dr. Vernon Johns' with 'Pastor' on a separate line below his name. See more »


Vernon Johns: This boy lived a trifling and worthless life. He went around Montgomery daring someone to cut his throat. Saturday night somebody obliged him. He lived like a dog; he died like a dog. Undertaker, claim the body. Choir, sing.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The Producers acknowledge the significant contribution of author, Taylor Branch, to the public awareness of the life of Reverend Vernon Johns. See more »


Features The Dentist (1932) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Well done portrayal of The Founder of the civil rights movement in the U.S.
16 November 2013 | by (Toronto, Canada) – See all my reviews

This film was a surprise in that it tells, and tells extraordinarily well, Reverend Vernon Johns' courage and conviction and struggle for equality in America in the Alabama of the 1960's just prior to the arrival of Dr. Martin King Jr. on the scene.

James Earl Jones is thoroughly convincing in the role and he delivers the performance of his career in this true story.

He breaches the barriers of white prejudice and tells it like it is for the white power that existed then, and alas, at times today. Jones is ably supported by a great cast and intelligent script and direction. I loved the freeze frames fading to black and white.

Well done, all! 8 out of 10.

0 of 0 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
DVD Coming at any point? thecottonfamily
Go Down Moses tnw1902
Discuss The Vernon Johns Story (1994) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: