The Vernon Johns Story (1994)

TV Movie  |  PG  |   |  Biography, Drama  |  15 January 1994 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 225 users  
Reviews: 10 user | 2 critic

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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 ...


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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
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Did You Know?


The story was based on an unpublished biography by Henry W. Powell of The Vernon Johns Society. 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 »

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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.

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