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The Liberation of L.B. Jones (1970)

A Southern lawyer uncovers the truth about a slain undertaker.


William Wyler


Jesse Hill Ford (novel), Jesse Hill Ford (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Lee J. Cobb ... Oman Hedgepath
Anthony Zerbe ... Willie Joe Worth
Roscoe Lee Browne ... L.B. Jones
Lola Falana ... Emma Jones
Lee Majors ... Steve Mundine
Barbara Hershey ... Nella Mundine
Yaphet Kotto ... Sonny Boy Mosby
Arch Johnson ... Stanley Bumpas
Chill Wills ... Mr. Ike
Zara Cully ... Mama Lavorn
Fayard Nicholas ... Benny
Joseph Attles Joseph Attles ... Henry (as Joe Attles)
Lauren Jones Lauren Jones ... Erleen
Dub Taylor ... Mayor
Brenda Sykes ... Jelly


A gloomy vision of the possibility of decent relations between whites and blacks anywhere, including the South. Undertaker L.B. Jones, the richest black man in his county of Tennessee, is divorcing his wife for infidelity with a white policeman. Taking a stand against racism, he is greeted with a hostile bunch of Southern bigots and other various stereotypes. Written by Stirling Silliphant (In the Heat of the Night (1967)). Director William Wyler's final film. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Killing a marriage is one thing. Killing the husband is something else. See more »


Crime | Drama | Romance


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

25 June 1970 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

The Liberation of Lord Byron Jones See more »

Filming Locations:

Humboldt, Tennessee, USA See more »


Box Office


$3,500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Liberation Company See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Film debut of Lola Falana. See more »


Mayor: Nice white boy.
See more »


Referenced in Biography: The Nicholas Brothers: Flying High (1999) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Terrible bit of blaxploitation based on troubling book.
15 March 2015 | by freda747See all my reviews

It should be noted that the author of the book this movie was based on, Jesse Hill Ford, shot a 19 yr old black soldier a year after this film was made. Ford claim the black man, George Doakes was threatening Ford's son. It should also be noted that Ford claimed that the woman parked in the car with the black soldier was a relative of the black woman that Ford based the slutty, cheating black wife in The Liberation......on. Bizarre coincidence? Unlikely. The author was a strange ,contradictory white southern man who wrote and equally odd and twisted book. The book won awards from the elite in the north and in New York/LA- but both black and white southerners hated it. The movie was doomed to be loved by those who were clueless to the reality of this era , but excited by the sorted racial takes and easy stereotyping. After the boom and the movie, I mam struck by the gross, racist stereotyping of black women (old and pathetic or young and whorey). Like today's Quentin Tarantino films, old blaxploitation film like The Liberation .....were about romanticizing and making black men seem more noble and fiercely strong than in real life. White men are evil, perverted Buffoon's, and black women are wenches . Lola Falana seems to only be there to prove both black and white men right in their assessment and spurning of black women. Nothing about the black women in the book or movie was real or even thought out. They were props moving the plot. Too bad that people looking for information and answers about race in America will look to this and other blaxploitation films for edification and truth.

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