The Vernon Johns Story (1994) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Vernon Johns Story (1994)





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Movie Info

The Vernon Johns Story is the inspirational saga of the man who preceded Martin Luther King Jr. as pastor of a Montgomery, Alabama Baptist Church. Described as "one of God's most brilliant preachers," Johns campaigned tirelessly for Civil Rights long before the cudgel was taken up by the "mainstream." Before leaving his post, Johns passed the torch to young Reverend King, who is but a minor character in this positive, uplifting TV-movie. James Earl Jones curbs his tendency to ham it up as Vernon Johns, delivering an understated and most effective performance. The Vernon Johns Story was syndicated to local stations during the week of January 15-21, 1994.

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James Earl Jones
as Dr. Vernon Johns
Mary Alice
as Altona Johns
Joe Seneca
as Deacon Wilkes
Tommy Hollis
as Coach Hill
Nicole Leach
as Baby Dee
Moses Gibson
as Deacon Henderson
Billie Allen
as Ida Rawlins
Clifton James
as Judge Blake
Garland Bunting
as Counterman
Eric Ware
as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Sam Wells
as Serviceman
Joe Inscoe
as Policeman
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Critic Reviews for The Vernon Johns Story

There are no critic reviews yet for The Vernon Johns Story. Keep checking Rotten Tomatoes for updates!

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.

Cynthia S.
Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer

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".

Mark Abell
Mark Abell

Super Reviewer

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.

Vincent Tilghman
Vincent Tilghman

Super Reviewer

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