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The Emperor Jones (1933)

Not Rated | | Drama, Music | 29 September 1933 (USA)
Unscrupulously ambitious Brutus Jones escapes from jail after killing a guard and through bluff and bravado finds himself the emperor of a Caribbean island.

Directors:

Dudley Murphy, William C. de Mille (uncredited)

Writers:

Eugene O'Neill (play), DuBose Heyward (screenplay) (as Du-Bose Heyward)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Paul Robeson ... Brutus Jones
Dudley Digges ... Smithers
Frank H. Wilson Frank H. Wilson ... Jeff (as Frank Wilson)
Fredi Washington ... Undine
Ruby Elzy Ruby Elzy ... Dolly
George Haymid Stamper George Haymid Stamper ... Lem (as George Stamper)
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Storyline

At a Baptist prayer meeting, the preacher leads a prayer for Brutus Jones, who is leaving to become a railway porter. Jones joins the congregation in a spiritual. Once on the train, Jeff, a porter, shows Jones the ropes. Jones secretly takes up with Jeff's girl, Undine. He makes some money in a deal with a rich businessman on the train. Jones proves to be a cunning manipulator and a good liar. In a crap game, Jones stabs Jeff over a pair of loaded dice. Now doing hard labour, Jones kills a white prison guard and escapes. Shovelling coal on a ship in the Caribbean, Jones swims to an island. He is brought before the island's ruler, where Smithers, a crooked white trader, buys his freedom. Jones schemes his way into a partnership in Smithers' business, then finally control of the entire island through a touch of witchcraft, or so it seems. Brutus declares himself to be The Emperor Jones... Smithers reports on the unrest that Jones' rule is causing. One morning, the palace is empty of ... Written by David Steele

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Music

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 September 1933 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El emperador Jones See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$250,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (2003 restored) | (original)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

No complete 35mm print is known to exist, so the existing negative is a combination of many 16mm sources of variable quality. See more »

Quotes

Brutus Jones: They's some things I don't got to be told. I can see 'em in folks' eyes.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Porky's Hero Agency (1937) See more »

Soundtracks

I'm Travelin'
(uncredited)
Composer unknown
Sung by Paul Robeson as a stoker on ship
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User Reviews

 
robeson
31 March 2004 | by valwilmerSee all my reviews

A chance to see perhaps the greatest singing actor of all time. Robeson is robust, young and strong in this picture and the second he is on the screen the film is illuminating and great. Not to be missed. You can feel that robeson was a great athlete in the way he moves around. A combination of Marlon Brando and Otis Redding. Just ridiculous-- the talent, the craftsmanship in his singing, the meticulous way he picks up props. Also, it's wonderful to see him interact with others. There is something so soft, gentle and compassionate-- even in his acting.


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