Song of Freedom (1937) - Rotten Tomatoes

Song of Freedom (1937)

Song of Freedom (1937)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Along with The Emperor Jones, Song of Freedom is arguably the best of Paul Robeson's starring features. Robeson plays London dockworker John Zinga, obsessed with the urge to return to his African "roots" (this was nearly 40 years before Alex Haley!) Discovered by an operatic impresario, John achieves singing stardom on the concert stage -- only to throw it all away to make a pilgrimage to Africa, there to assume leadership of his ancestral tribe, the Casangas. His efforts to free the natives of their superstitions and bring the advantages of civilization to the region are opposed by the local witch doctors, who do their best to kill John and his young wife (Elizabeth Welch). Zinga is saved when he suddenly and instinctively offers a rendition of the tribal "song of freedom," proving beyond all doubt that he is the rightful ruler of the Casangas. Advertised as a "$500,000 epic" (a not inconsiderable sum for a British film in the mid-1930s), Song of Freedom did quite well at the box-office -- except, of course, in the white-bread American South.

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Paul Robeson
as John 'Johnny' Zinga
Elisabeth Welch
as Ruth Zinga
George Mozart
as Bert Puddick
Esme Percy
as Gabriel Donozetti
Arthur Williams
as Witch Doctor
Jenny Dean
as Marian
Cornelia Smith
as Queen Zinga
Sydney Benson
as Gate Keeper
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Song of Freedom

All Critics (4)

The story is unusual and well thought out

February 12, 2018 | Full Review…

Robeson is THE reason to see it

October 19, 2004 | Rating: 4/5

It's worth seeing just to hear Robeson sing.

April 9, 2004 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…

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