In a juke joint, sharecropper Zeke falls for a beautiful dancer, Chick, but she's only setting him up for a rigged craps game. He loses $100, the money he got for the sale of his family's entire cotton crop. His brother Spunk is mortally wounded in the shoot-out which follows. Zeke goes away but returns as Brother Zekiel the preacher. His forceful preaching draws the faithful in large numbers. Even Chick wants to be saved. Zekiel has asked the pretty Missy Rose to marry him, but Chick can still cast a spell over the preacher...Written by
King Vidor had been hoping to make the film for several years, and jumped at the chance to make it with the advent of sound. He so wanted to produce the picture that he offered to give up his salary. See more »
When fighting for the revolver after the craps game seven shots are fired from a six shooter. See more »
Old Folks at Home
aka "Swanee River"
Written by Stephen Foster
Sung a cappella by the group picking cotton See more »
I really enjoy this film.
This film, despite its early talkie crudities, is one of the best religious dramas ever filmed in my opinion. It gets better with each viewing, as you discover more and more nuances in the script and the filmmaking as well. The performances of the leads are stellar -- especially Daniel J. Haynes in the lead. And Nina Mae McKinney is fabulous as "Chick" -- a seductress who tempts Haynes on so many different levels -- subverting and perverting his religious fervor to mold to her pure carnal lust. The spirituals are stirring; the story, though somewhat maudlin, is compelling and quite plausible. The revival scenes are both uplifting and moving. Forget that it was the first "all-black" musical or drama or whatever...it holds it place as a fine film...and doesn't need to be pigeonholed as a historical or "race" period piece. Bold, brave...and ultimately reverent...this is a true film classic.
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