American Playhouse (1981– )
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Solomon Northup's Odyssey 

This is based on a true story. Solomon Northrop is a black man in the mid 19th century before slavery was abolished. He's a born freeman who works as a carpenter and is also a part time ... See full summary »


Gordon Parks


Solomon Northup (book), Lou Potter (teleplay) | 1 more credit »
1 win. See more awards »




Episode credited cast:
Avery Brooks ... Solomon Northup
Rhetta Greene Rhetta Greene ... Jenny
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Mason Adams ... Ford
Ken Broadhurst Ken Broadhurst ... Bass
Lee Bryant ... Mrs. Epps
Tony Dreyspool Tony Dreyspool ... Senator Soule
Anthony Edenfield Anthony Edenfield ... Ned
Art Evans
Harry George Harry George ... Sherriff
Ann Pearl Gray Ann Pearl Gray ... Kelsey
Janet League Janet League ... Eliza
Charles McGhee Charles McGhee ... Luke
Jay McMillan Jay McMillan ... Harry
Petronia Paley ... Anne Northup
J.C. Quinn ... Tibeats


This is based on a true story. Solomon Northrop is a black man in the mid 19th century before slavery was abolished. He's a born freeman who works as a carpenter and is also a part time musician. One day he is approached by some men who want him to play for them. However, that is not their intention; they have kidnapped him and sold him into slavery. Now he has to endure the hardships that he has been spared because of his status as a freeman. And his family who don't know what happened to him is searching for him but where do they go? And Solomon also wishes to let them know where he is so that they could get him but unfortunately no one believes his story or is willing to help him. Written by <>

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Not Rated






Release Date:

10 December 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Half-Slave, Half-Free See more »

Filming Locations:

Savannah, Georgia, USA

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



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Did You Know?


Version of 12 Years a Slave (2013) See more »


Jenny's Song
Performed by Mandy Gaines
See more »

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User Reviews

A very entertaining film
13 June 2005 | by KMeister1See all my reviews

I had never heard of "Solomon Northup's Odyssey" so I didn't expect much, but I was pleasantly surprised at how good this film was. The story is about the title character, a free black man struggling to make a living in the state of New York during the late 1840's. He's kidnapped by two white men who sell him into slavery. Almost all of the movie focuses on his life as a slave and his strong determination never to accept that he's owned by another.

The performances are generally good all around. Avery Brooks, admittedly not one of my favorite actors due to his tendency to overact, occasionally does so, but not enough to spoil the film (but enough to just slightly lower how many stars I gave it overall). Another wise approach to the film is that the white characters are not all portrayed as stereotypical foaming at the mouth racists; some are good, some are bad, some are both.

You'll find yourself totally engrossed in the life of Solomon Northup, feeling his pain as he tries to maintain his dignity as a free man forced into slavery.

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