John Henry, a freed slave, happens across a railroad building project. An entire crew of freed slaves has been promised land if they can finish by deadline, but they're exhausted and unable to continue. John, though, has the strength of ten men, and revitalizes all of them. But despair sets in again when the railroad sends a steam hammer to replace the crew and burns the contract. John proposes a challenge: man against machine. After a heroic effort, including a tunnel through solid rock by swinging two hammers at once, John wins, but he also collapses in his wife Polly's arms. She's recounting this whole story to their young son, to explain why his father was so great. Written by
Jon Reeves <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Did You Know?
The director, Mark Henn
, is a collector of antique firearms. The pistol in the film used to start the race is based on one of his own Civil War era pistols. See more
Version of The Legend of John Henry