Tnx for letting me participate!
Number of Times Seen – 1 (4 Sep 2017)
Brief Synopsis – An up and coming boxer must fight the racism all around him as he wants to just show that he is the best at what he does.
My Take on it –This is a movie that has been on my watch-list for years because I was always fascinated about seeing the voice of Darth Vader as a boxer, but for some reason, I never got around to watching it until now.
This blogathon gave me a great excuse to finally see it.
It’s ironic that a film with a title like this is about a black boxer, but the idea that they were seeking a great white hope to defeat him works quite well.
This is a film tho that probably works much better on the stage than it does on the screen.
It is based on truth where those people opposed to a black man becoming the champion chose to use the racial laws of certain states to try and stop him since they couldn’t fins a fighter who was able to do so.
Many of the aspects of the story are quite provocative for its time and obviously reflected much of the ideas of racial tension that were prevalent both in the late 60’s and in the early part of the 2oth Century where it takes place.
James Earl Jones is nearly unrecognizable as the shaved headed, lean and muscular pugilist and if it weren’t for his very bombastic and recognizable voice, most people would assume it was someone else.
He deservingly was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar for this role and some could make the case for it but the role just isn’t meaty enough to clinch it and regardless, he had tough competition that year against the winner George C. Scott as title role in Patton (1970).
Bottom Line – Interesting story that unfortunately focuses too much on aspects of the story that are meant to instill an uproar instead of the direct human aspects. Jones is great here and if it weren’t for his voice, he would be unrecognizable. He definitely deserved his Best Actor Oscar for this role, but if it had been meatier, he might have even had a slight chance of winning despite everyone favoring George C. Scott’s towering performance in Patton (1970)
MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Redd Foxx, who knew former heavyweight champ Jack Johnson, whose career and struggle against racism inspired the original play, turned down a role in the film as he believed it was not a true picture of his old friend. (From IMDB)
Rating – BAFTA Worthy
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