Mister Johnson (1991) - Rotten Tomatoes

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

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Cast

Maynard Eziashi
as Mister Johnson
Pierce Brosnan
as Harry Rudbeck
Kwabena Manso
as Benjamin
Akinola Ayegbusi
as Village Chief
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
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
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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.

September 7, 2011 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

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

July 28, 2008 | Full Review…

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

August 30, 2004

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

January 1, 2000 | Full Review…

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

January 1, 2000 | Full Review…

I have seen "Mister Johnson" two times, and both times I admired its sense of time and place, and the thoughtful performances of Eziashi, Brosnan and Woodward.

January 1, 2000 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

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