The Emperor Jones 1933 Ages 12+

6.00PM Wed 28 Feb 2018 (1hr 16mins)
GOMA | Cinema A | Free

SYNOPSIS

Paul Robeson offers a mesmerising performance as the astute, ambitious Brutus Jones, an African American man who cons his way from a Pullman porter to the tyrannical ruler of a remote Caribbean island. Adapted to screen from the 1920 Eugene O'Neill play by DuBose Heyward, it is loosely based on the rise of Haitian emperor Henri Christophe. Both the play and film caused controversy. Depictions of Jones as a powerful black man whose intelligence is frequently underestimated by his witless white counterparts cause consternation with white Southern audiences. At the same time, the scripts complicated inversions of racial stereotypes were seen by other audiences as indistinguishable from the original offences. Robeson, who had portrayed Jones in the stage production was never completely happy with the films adaption, citing liberties he felt undermined the original script, however he believed in the power of cinema to change racial perceptions. Filmed across several New York locations, including Jones Beach, Long Island, standing in for the Caribbean locale, director Dudley Murphy captures the charm of Jones's braggadocio and his slow unraveling into madness.

CREDITS

35MM, BLACK AND WHITE, MONO, 76 MINUTES, UNITED STATES, ENGLISH / DIRECTOR: DUDLEY MURPHY / SCRIPT: DUBOSE HEYWARD / BASED ON THE 1924 PLAY OF THE SAME TITLE BY EUGENE O'NEILL / CINEMATOGRAPHER: ERNEST HALLER / EDITOR: GRANT WHYTOCK / CAST: PAUL ROBESON, DUDLEY DIGGES, FRANK H WILSON, FREDI WASHINGTON / PRODUCTION COMPANY: JOHN KRIMSKY AND GIFFORD COCHRAN INC / PRINT SOURCE: PRESERVED BY THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS / RIGHTS: PUBLIC DOMAIN