6.9/10
2,325
34 user 18 critic

The Great White Hope (1970)

PG-13 | | Drama, Romance, Sport | 16 October 1970 (USA)
A black champion boxer and his white female companion struggle to survive while the white boxing establishment looks for ways to knock him down.

Director:

Martin Ritt

Writers:

Howard Sackler (play), Howard Sackler (screenplay)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Earl Jones ... Jack Jefferson
Jane Alexander ... Eleanor
Lou Gilbert Lou Gilbert ... Goldie
Joel Fluellen Joel Fluellen ... Tick
Chester Morris ... Pop Weaver
Robert Webber ... Dixon
Marlene Warfield ... Clara
R.G. Armstrong ... Cap'n Dan
Hal Holbrook ... Cameron
Beah Richards ... Mama Tiny
Moses Gunn ... Scipio
Lloyd Gough ... Smitty
George Ebeling George Ebeling ... Fred
Larry Pennell ... Brady
Roy Glenn ... Pastor (as Roy E. Glenn Sr.)
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Storyline

Boxer Jack Jefferson (James Earl Jones) is the world's reigning heavyweight boxing champion. There's just one problem, he is also the first black heavyweight champion, and that bothers a lot of people. Jack's celebration is cut short, as Jack is framed for crossing a state line with Eleanor, his white fiancé (Jane Alexander in her first film role), a violation of the Mann Act. Facing a prison sentence, Jack escapes to Europe, with Eleanor in tow, encountering problems in England, and then France, and eventually landing in Cuba. In Havana, Jack agrees to enter the boxing ring for what might be the bout of his life. Both Jones and Alexander were nominated for Oscars. Written by trivwhiz

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Great White Hope...So Great! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, and for language including racist dialogue | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The original Broadway production of "The Great White Hope" by Howard Sackler opened at the Alvin Theater in New York on October 3, 1968, ran for 546 performances and won the 1969 Tony Award for the Best Play. James Earl Jones won the 1969 Tony Award for Best Actor in Play and recreated his stage role in the movie version. Jane Alexander won the 1969 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play and recreated her stage role in the movie version. The play author also wrote the screenplay for the movie version. See more »

Goofs

In the first scene in which we see Jefferson practicing, the sweat on his shirt changes from shot to shot in a way that wouldn't be predicted by evaporation. See more »

Quotes

Jack Jefferson: I'm big, but I ain't dumb, hear?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Screenplay by Howard Sackler Based on his play See more »

Connections

Referenced in Southpaw (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

When the Saints Go Marching In
(uncredited)
Traditional
Arranged by Lionel Newman
See more »

User Reviews

 
Great film!
26 May 2019 | by guitarboy7677See all my reviews

James Earl Jones and Jane Alexander were phenomenal in their respective roles. It was a very difficult film to watch because of the racism that was portrayed. It's too bad that Jack Johnson ran into so much racism and difficulty as a fighter because man could he fight. This is a great film and worth the time to see.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Hungarian | German | Spanish

Release Date:

16 October 1970 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Great White Hope See more »

Filming Locations:

London, England, UK See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$8,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Lawrence Turman See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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