The Great White Hope
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The Great White Hope
Although the characters' names were changed, The Great White Hope was a thinly veiled account of the trials and tribulations of boxer Jack Johnson, based on the play by Howard Sackler and directed by Martin Ritt. James Earl Jones stars as boxing great Jack Jefferson, who defeats Frank Bardy Larry Pennell in a Reno, Nevada bout to become the world's first black heavyweight champion. After crossing a state line with his white girlfriend Eleanor (Jane Alexander in her feature debut), however, Jack is arrested and tried under the miscegenation-barring Mann Act. Found guilty and sentenced… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 33%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Jones' re-creation of his stage role is an eye-riveting experience. The towering rages and unrestrained joys of which his character was capable are portrayed larger than life."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"The movie is too theatrical and every idea is spelled out for the audience, but the acting of James Earl Jones and Jane Alexander (both Oscar-nominated) is good."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"One of those liberal, well-meaning, fervently uncontroversial works that pretend to tackle contemporary problems by finding analogies at a safe remove in history."
‑ Vincent Canby, New York Times
"The love story between Alexander and Jones is touchingly portrayed."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Provocative but never challenging."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
More reviews for The Great White Hope on Rotten Tomatoes