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Body and Soul (1925)

Not Rated | | Drama | 9 November 1925 (USA)
A minister is malevolent and sinister behind his righteous facade. He consorts with, and later extorts from, the owner of a gambling house, and betrays an honest girl, eventually driving ... See full summary »

Director:

Oscar Micheaux

Writers:

Oscar Micheaux (novel), Oscar Micheaux (screenplay)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Paul Robeson ... Rev. Isaiah T. Jenkins / His Brother Sylvester
Marshall Rogers Marshall Rogers ... Speakeasy Proprietor (as Marshall Rodgers)
Lawrence Chenault Lawrence Chenault ... Yello-Curley' Hinds - the Phony Reverend's Former Jailmate
Chester A. Alexander Chester A. Alexander ... Deacon Simpkins - a Church Elder
Walter Cornick Walter Cornick ... Brother Amos - a Church Elder
Lillian Johnson Lillian Johnson ... 'Sis' Caline - a Pious Lady
Madame Robinson Madame Robinson ... 'Sis' Lucy - a Pious Lady
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Storyline

A minister is malevolent and sinister behind his righteous facade. He consorts with, and later extorts from, the owner of a gambling house, and betrays an honest girl, eventually driving them both to ruin. Written by Martin H. Booda <booda@datasync.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 November 1925 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Corpo e Alma See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Micheaux Film See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film is part of the Criterion Collection, spine #371. See more »

Goofs

Mother Martha Jane looks through her Bible for the saved money to show it to the sisters, but it's missing. She leaves the book on the table and while searching through some drawers, three shots of the sisters show no book on the table. When the mother returns to the table, the book is back. See more »

Alternate Versions

Raymond Rohauer, Inc. copyrighted a restored version in 1979 with a music track and new credits. The music was composed and performed by Lee Erwin and was recorded at Carnegie Hall Cinema, New York. It's running time is 83 minutes. See more »

Connections

Featured in That's Black Entertainment: Actors (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Good "Race Film" for the 20's
2 January 2006 | by tbarnettjrSee all my reviews

This was a good movie! I just saw it for the first time. I've never ever really sat down to watch a silent movie not to mention a "race film" made by a black producer back in the 1920's. I was impressed yet at the same time distraught by the stereotypical overtones. Being a man born in the 50's the written dialog was a bit challenging to decipher. However, I did enjoy the chance to interpret what I was seeing and not be forced to feel or react to things like most films do today.

I enjoy films made by black producers because they often carry historical inferences but sadly still adorned with stereotypes. Nowadays it seems to be all about special effects, graphical imagery and money. Micheaux's "Body and Soul" doubtless was also about money because he had to pay bills too, but it's obvious he was into his craft. You can see this from the acting and storytelling. It emanated the typical and cynical parody of life which has manifested throughout generations. This film didn't need special effects to be appreciated or tell the story. The emotional acting of Isabelle (Mercedes Gilbert), the daughter, was impressive and a major faction of the film. The animated deceitful behavior of the reverend (Paul Robeson) along with well emphasized facial expressions was very entertaining. The mother's acting (Julia Theresa Russell) was descent. The ending was questionable. It moved the film into a completely different direction? Can't figure that one out? Maybe it was Micheaux's mind working the "What If?" factor.

Micheaux, obviously no Alfred Hicthcock, I can see had to avoid subversive film-making to implore the white film industry with their vision of blacks. I'm sure if he were alive today I'd say, "Oscar, there's no reason for you to feel shame or disgrace having to produce films that way because things aren't so different now. They may seem to be, but still the same."


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