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 Ida Rawlins
as Judge Blake
as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
as Bus Driver
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".
A touching story of oppressed Black people before the civil rights movement in Alabama. they did a good job of showing how black people were in sitting in the palm of white supremacy being crushed by the overwhelming fingers of extreme racism through verbal, physical, mental and social abuse that was at the time legal. I liked how the comparison to rabbits was made. saying that when a white man hunts a rabbit out of season he is finned. but when a white man kills a nigger he gets to go home scott free... saying that the worth of black people was less that rabbits. . the film has a way of showing the violence without showing the violence, with showing the pains without showing the pains, showing the rapes without showing the rapes, showing the discomfort without actually allowing the viewers see it. well put together and well acted out. the only reason i deducted points was for technical reasons.
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