The Emperor Jones

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

83%

TOMATOMETER

Reviews Counted: 6

57%
liked it

Audience Score

User Ratings: 435

TOMATOMETER

N/A
All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0

AUDIENCE SCORE

57%
Average Rating: 3.3/5

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Movie Info

Adapted by DuBose Heyward from a Eugene O'Neill play, Emperor Jones is one of Paul Robeson's earliest and most powerful leading roles. Railroad porter Brutus Jones (Robeson) leaves his girlfriend Dolly (Ruby Elzy) in favor of Undine (Fredi Washington), but he soon leaves her too. Brutus is a master manipulator, liar, and swindler who murders his friend Jeff (Frank Wilson) over a crap game. He ends up on a chain gang, but escapes to Haiti where the white trader Smithers (Dudley Digges) buys his freedom. He then scams his way into a business partnership with Smithers and becomes rich. He plays tricks on the natives with a gun, proclaiming that only a silver bullet can kill him. The natives believe he is immortal and he declares himself emperor, holding a tyrannical rule over the people. They naturally revolt, and he is forced to escape into the jungle. Brutus disappears into the woods where he hears voices and sees visions, eventually leading up to his suicide.

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Critic Reviews for The Emperor Jones

All Critics (6) | Top Critics (2)

It is a distinguished offering, resolute and firm, with a most compelling portrayal by Paul Robeson.

Oct 16, 2007 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Paul Robeson gives one of his greatest film performances in this arty, dated, but interesting 1933 adaptation of Eugene O'Neill's play.

Oct 16, 2007 | Full Review…

A great performance from the legendary African-American singer Paul Robeson.

Jan 21, 2008 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

The Emperor Jones bludgeoned through color barriers.

Oct 16, 2007 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Robeson's powerful presence, particularly through his wonderful, mellifluous voice, dominates each scene.

Oct 16, 2007 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

Despite its marked deficiencies ... remains a "must see" for historic and cultural purposes

Mar 4, 2007 | Rating: C- | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Emperor Jones

I didn't watch the whole movie, I got bored. If you want to see a good old African American film, you may find this one interesting, but other than that, it's kind of boring.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

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