Mister Johnson (1991)

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Director Bruce Beresford followed up his Academy Award-winning Driving Miss Daisy with another meditation on race, Mister Johnson. Set in West Africa in 1923, Johnson (Maynard Eziashi), the clerk of British administrator Harry Rudbeck (Pierce Brosnan), attempts everything within his power to ingratiate himself into white society. Johnson hatches a plan to juggle the books so that Rudbeck will have the capital necessary to achieve his ultimate dream of a "great northern road," but when his scheme is uncovered, he is fired. After finding another job with a shopkeeper named Gollop (Edward Woodward), he is again fired for his "creative" financing skills; however, Rudbeck hires him back to oversee the road construction project. When funds are cut off, Johnson convinces workers to do their jobs for free to ensure the project's completion. Once again, he is caught embezzling, and once again, he is let go; in a fit of desperation, he robs and kills Gollup. After confessing to the crime, he begs Rudbeck to kill him, sparing him the humiliation of public execution. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi
Rating:
PG-13
Genre:
Comedy , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:
Vestron Video

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Cast

Maynard Eziashi
as Mister Johnson
Pierce Brosnan
as Harry Rudbeck
Nick Reding
as Tring
Femi Fatoba
as Waziri
Kwabena Manso
as Benjamin
Jerry Linus
as Saleh
Tunde Kelani
as Jamesu
Akinola Ayegbusi
as Village Chief
Albert Egbe
as Scribe
Sani Izang
as Police Sergeant
Ibidun Ogunde
as Bamu's Mother
Hajia Nana Yahaya
as Creditor Woman #1
Gladys Dadzie
as Creditor Woman #2
John E. Johnson
as Creditor Man #2
Wali Umar
as Suli
Lassisi Moshudu
as Pagan Trader
Matt Dadzie
as 1st Guard
Laraba Ogomo
as Bamu's Baby
Fred Ibrahim
as Policeman #1
Philip Elegonya
as Policeman #2
Mary Kalu
as Matumbi
Moses Okwe
as Alhaji
Chris Erakptybor
as Interpreter
Saidu Dahtru
as Chair Boy
Denis Quilley
as Bulteen
John Johnson
as Creditor Man #2
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Critic Reviews for Mister Johnson

All Critics (17) | Top Critics (6)

Beresford, adapting Joyce Cary's 1939 novel, looks at the psychological relationships inherent in colonialism with some subtlety.

Full Review… | September 7, 2011
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Beresford and writer William Boyd have delivered a film strangely devoid of emotion and lacking a clear point of view.

Full Review… | July 27, 2008
Variety
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | June 23, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

The film works well as far as it goes, but some of the story's emotional power is denatured or lost.

August 30, 2004
New York Times
Top Critic

Although this colonial satire has intelligent aims, it's always a degree or two off the mark.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Washington Post
Top Critic

No great friend of colonialism, Beresford makes his point without losing sight of either history or its mostly unsung heroes.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Washington Post
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Mister Johnson

This film reminded me somewhat of "The Deceivers", which also starred Pierce Brosnan in the role of a British Colonial official. An interesting character study. The ending was a surprise.

Eric Jenkins
Eric Jenkins
½

One day, there'll be an English-language film set in Africa that isn't about colonialism or big game hunting. Until that time, look for films such as "Mister Johnson." Although this colonial satire has intelligent aims, it's always a degree or two off the mark.

Lee Mayo
Lee Mayo

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