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Mister Johnson (1990)

PG-13 | | Drama | April 1991 (USA)
3:10 | Trailer
In 1923, a local resident of British Colonial Nigeria tries to be equal with the colonial administration.


Bruce Beresford


William Boyd, Joyce Cary (novel)
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Maynard Eziashi ... Mister Johnson
Pierce Brosnan ... Harry Rudbeck
Edward Woodward ... Sargy Gollup
Beatie Edney ... Celia Rudbeck
Denis Quilley ... Bulteen
Nick Reding Nick Reding ... Tring
Bella Enahoro Bella Enahoro ... Bamu
Femi Fatoba Femi Fatoba ... Waziri
Q Q ... Benjamin
Hubert Ogunde Hubert Ogunde ... Brimah (as Chief Hubert Ogunde)
Sola Adeyemi Sola Adeyemi ... Ajali
Jerry Linus Jerry Linus ... Saleh
George Menta George Menta ... Emil
Steve James ... Aliu
Tunde Kelani Tunde Kelani ... Jamesu


In 1923 British Colonial Nigeria, Mister Johnson is an oddity, an educated black man who doesn't really fit in with the natives, nor the British. He works for the local British magistrate, and considers himself English, though he has never been to England. He is always scheming, trying to get ahead, which lands him in a lot of hot water. Written by John Oswalt <jao@jao.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Africa 1923: A clash of cultures between British imperalists and a black man too smart for his own good.




PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Star Billing: Maynard Eziashi (first), Pierce Brosnan (second), and Edward Woodward (third). See more »


Celia Rudbeck: Perhaps you could clean your teeth tonight having taken the pipe out of your mouth - that would be a change.
Harry Rudbeck: I'm sorry, Celia.
Celia Rudbeck: Sorry about what?
Harry Rudbeck: I'm sorry about all of this.
Celia Rudbeck: Are you? You don't do anything about it.
Harry Rudbeck: Do? Well, what can I do? I'm in bloody West Africa. In the bloody bush. This isn't Mayfair, you know!
Celia Rudbeck: You don't have to tell me that. What about that horrible peanut soup? Peanut soup! Any idiot can make vegetable soup - even in bloody West Africa.
Harry Rudbeck: Why don't you tell Jamesu what you want to...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Dedicated to Chief Hubert A. Ogunde (1915 - 1990) See more »


Referenced in Mister Johnson: Simple Truth - Pierce Brosnan (2015) See more »


Ah! Fuyez Douce Image
from Manon
Written by Jules Massenet
Sung by Enrico Caruso
See more »

User Reviews

A movie so real you forget it's a movie.
12 March 1999 | by GAMERA95See all my reviews

Every so often you come across a film that is so accurate in it's depiction of life and the character of the people you forget it's a movie and it takes you to that place in time and you become one of the people, Mister Johnson is that film plus 100. Mister Johnson is an accurate look into the life of a man who is torn between the color of his heritage and his longing to be an English gentleman. Mister Johnson is a man who forgets his ethnic heritage and calls his own people ''ignorant'' and ''savage'' but holds the people who treat his with the lowest respect, namely the British officials and colonists in the highest honor. He is an example of the brainwashing given to many many people of color over the centuries by the Whites, making them forget who they are, where they came from, and making them have an alien thirst for white culture. But Mister Johnson is more than that..oh yes indeed. He is a crafty little man who's high intelligence gets him into trouble with the British offocials. He has a thirst for english traditions and a longing for the white man's riches and acceptance but I do not believe he even knows why. This is a great film depicting the harsh life of a man too smart for his own good in a time where his skin color and an intellect that large was the biggest threat in the mind of white colonists. Sadly this film leaves you wanting more, wanting a deeper look into how Mister Johnson came to be they way he is.

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Release Date:

April 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Gospodin Johnson See more »

Filming Locations:

Kano, Kano State, Nigeria See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,051, 24 March 1991

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Avenue Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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