The Great White Hope

1970, Movie, GP, 102 mins

Adapted by Howard Sackler from his own Broadway hit, this excellent period drama is a thinly veiled depiction of the life of the first black heavyweight champion of the world, Jack Johnson.

By winning the title Johnson (James Earl Jones, who played the role on Broadway) incurs the wrath of the white world. His troubles begin in earnest when he takes up with Eleanor (Alexander), a white divorcee. He's convicted of breaking the Mann Act and gets sent to prison. After Jefferson escapes, he and Alexander begin an itinerant exile that takes them to Canada, England (where he's refused a boxing license), France and Germany. Few are willing to take on the great champion...

Released: 1970 Rated: GP Length: 102 mins

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