The Radio Times logo

The Great White Hope

  • 1970
  • Martin Ritt
  • 98 mins
  • AA

Summary

Biographical drama starring James Earl Jones and Jane Alexander. In 1910, a boxer encounters racism when he becomes the first black heavyweight champion in the world and becomes involved with a white divorcee.

Advertisement

Review

A star rating of 3 out of 5.

This heavyweight boxing fable, based on the real-life decline and fall of black champion Jack Johnson, has a knockout performance by James Earl Jones - later to become the unmistakeable voice of Darth Vader - but it only just gets by on points as drama and is undermined by an early form of political correctness. Director Martin Ritt wears his conscience too obviously on his sleeve in showing the bigotry that destroys Jones when he falls for a white woman (Jane Alexander), but all is forgiven with Jones's endearing mix of rage and gullibility.

How to watch

Loading

Credits

Cast

rolename
Jack JeffersonJames Earl Jones
EleanorJane Alexander
GoldieLou Gilbert
TickJoel Fluellen
Pop WeaverChester Morris
DixonRobert Webber
ClaraMarlene Warfield
Cap'n DanR G Armstrong
CameronHal Holbrook
Mama TinyBeah Richards

Crew

rolename
DirectorMartin Ritt

Details

Theatrical distributor
20th Century Fox Film Co. Ltd
Available on
video
Formats
Colour
Advertisement

RadioTimes.com is getting better. Fresh new look, redesigned programme hub, richer content…

FIND OUT MORE
Advertisement

Sponsored content