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The Emperor Jones

Saturday, Feb 3 at 1:30 pm

Location: Bartos Screening Room

Dir. Dudley Murphy. 1933. U.S. 80 mins. 35mm print from the Library of Congress. With Paul Robeson, Dudley Digges, Frank H. Wilson, Fredi Washington. Of all Paul Robeson’s eleven starring film performances, by far his most iconic was his breakthrough in the big-screen adaptation of Eugene O’Neill’s The Emperor Jones. He was already a legend for his stage incarnation of Brutus Jones, a Pullman porter who powers his way to the rule of a Caribbean island, but with this, his first sound-era film role, his regal image was married to his booming voice for eternity. With The Emperor Jones, Robeson became the first African-American leading man in mainstream movies and, he said, gained a deeper understanding of cinema’s potential to change racial misconceptions. The Emperor Jones was shot on soundstages at the Astoria Studio when the facility had become the site for independent filmmaking in the 1930s, allowing for idiosyncratic visions and out-of-mainstream productions. 

Tickets: $15 / $11 senior and students / $9 youth (ages 3–17) / free for MoMI members at the Senior/Student level and above. Order tickets. Please pick up tickets at the Museum’s admissions desk upon arrival. All seating is general admission. Review safety protocols before your visit.