The Vernon Johns Story (1994)
Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
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as Dr. Vernon Johns
as Altona Johns
as Deacon Wilkes
as Coach Hill
as Baby Dee
as Deacon Henderson
as Judge Blake
as Ida Rawlins
as Dr. Martin Luther Ki...
as Bus Driver
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Critic Reviews for The Vernon Johns Story
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Audience Reviews for The Vernon Johns Story
Good movie about this early civil rights leader, and the roots of the civil rights movement. James Earl Jones hits the mark well with his commanding role, and immediately shows what an authoritative leader Vernon Johns really was.
Disappointing film about a seminal figure in the nascent civil rights movement. James Earl Jones played the title character with his usual passion. The barely controlled rage that was provoked by the blatant injustice of the Jim Crow south was wholly believable. Nicole Leach was very moving as the good Rev. Doctor's eldest daughter. Unfortunately, the rest of the cast was less capable. Still, the power of the story carried the film. I just wanted to like this more than I did. How ironic that the deacons found Rev. Johns' rhetoric to be too inflammatory and called Martin Luther King as their next pastor! Thank God for the courage of men like Vernon Johns who helped to ignite the civil rights movement. That legacy is an important chapter in our nation's history. Even though flawed, this film is important to our understanding of how far we have come, and how much further we must yet go to see "justice flow down like a river".
James Earl Jones is always enjoyable and convincing in his roles, this did not disappoint. He plays a pastor with a doctorate degree in the middle of the civil rights movement. Parts of this made me so angry at people for the way they treated the blacks and the prejudice that still goes on today, even if it's nowhere near what it used to be. This was good with a surprising twist at the end.
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