6.5/10
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4 user 2 critic

Scott Joplin (1977)

Details the life story of Scott Joplin and how he became the greatest ragtime composer of all time.

Director:

Jeremy Kagan (as Jeremy Paul Kagan)
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From $1.99 (SD) on Prime Video

1 win. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Billy Dee Williams ... Scott Joplin
Clifton Davis ... Chauvin
Margaret Avery ... Belle Joplin
Eubie Blake Eubie Blake ... Will Williams
Godfrey Cambridge ... Tom Turpin
Seymour Cassel ... Dr. Jaelki
Otis Day ... John The Baptist
Mabel King ... Madam Amy
Taj Mahal ... Poor Alfred
Spo-De-Odee Spo-De-Odee ... Left Hand of God
Art Carney ... John Stark
David Healy David Healy ... Sam Bundler
Samuel Fuller ... Impresario
Leon Charles Leon Charles ... Liebling
Fred Pinkard Fred Pinkard ... Dr. Adams
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Storyline

Details the life story of Scott Joplin and how he became the greatest ragtime composer of all time.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Scott Joplin's Ragtime Music Portrayed American Life.

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Music

Certificate:

PG
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 December 1977 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Originally a made-for-television movie, but was released to theaters. See more »

Quotes

Scott Joplin: 'I got those old Monday blues, those hang-over Sunday blues... '
Chauvin: Jelly Roll Morton.
Scott Joplin: 'If it wasn't for my baby, I'd go crazy from all those wrong things I choose... '
Chauvin: You'd play that stuff. You'd play that stuff for the girls.
Scott Joplin: I sure remember him.
Chauvin: Yeah... 'Let me tell you about that gal of mine, together we seen some very hard times. But a shot of that old gin, my friend, would start us rolling again... '
Scott Joplin: [singing together] 'I don't mind those Monday blues, homes I got the cure, I can't lose. ...
[...]
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Connections

References The Sting (1973) See more »

Soundtracks

Cutting Contest/Maple Leaf Rag
written by Scott Joplin & Dick Hyman
performed by Dick Hyman
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User Reviews

 
A film that gets harder to watch as it progresses.
25 August 2013 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

"Scott Joplin" is an unusual made for TV film in that it was, briefly, released in theaters just before it aired on TV. It stars Billy Dee Williams as the famed composer. It's also unusual for its choice of Joplin as a subject for the film because the guy died from syphilis (something folks RARELY talked about in 1977) and his later years were spent deteriorating more and more--a tough sort of film to put over to the viewing audience. However, the film DID find an audience and won a Writer's Guild award.

The film picks up with Joplin an adult and playing music in brothels. Soon he meets and befriends Louis Chauvin (Clifton David) and they come to the attention of a music publisher/promoter (Art Carney). For a while, things look great--Joplin marries and he achieves moderate success. But because of his syphilis (which was pretty much untreatable at that time) his career and marriage slowly spiraled downward. His final years were A LOT worse than they show in the movie and his decline lasted far longer--but regardless, he died young in a mental institution--committed due to his dementia.

If you think this movie is a giant downer, you are right. The first half is quite enjoyable and I loved the music. The second half was a chore to watch--and the music portion of the film suffered because Joplin was no longer functional. Well done but hard to watch.


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