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The Vernon Johns Story (1994)

TV Movie  |  PG  |   |  Biography, Drama  |  15 January 1994 (USA)
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Title: The Vernon Johns Story (TV Movie 1994)

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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 ...


Add Full Plot | 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?


Vernon Johns was the immediate predecessor to Martin Luther King as senior pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama, serving from 1947 to 1952. 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

Excellent though painful to watch
23 January 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I saw the movie on TV a few days ago and thought it was excellent. It was good on two levels: acting and education. James Earl Jones did a superb job of displaying emotion, focus passion and vision. My heart was heavy as I watched the brutal and heartless treatment of blacks. I am glad that much of the outward side of racism is diminishing but I don't know if peoples' hearts have changed that much and that is where true change takes place. It was hard to watch but for those of us who have not been around that kind of racism it was a needed reminder to participate towards equality.

The change that took place in the older daughter was at the expense of much pain but her decision to go for the higher cause will always be the price of change.

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