Black Entertainment : THE BLOOD OF JESUS

Discussion in 'Black Entertainment' started by cherryblossom, Sep 25, 2010.

  1. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

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    The Blood of Jesus


    Directed by Spencer Williams
    Produced by Spencer Williams
    Alfred N. Sack
    Written by Spencer Williams
    Starring Spencer Williams
    Cathryn Caviness
    Cinematography Jack Whitman
    Distributed by Sack Amusement Enterprises
    Release date(s) 1941
    Running time 57 minutes
    Country United States
    Language English
    Budget US$5,000

    The Blood of Jesus is a 1941 American race film written, directed, and starring Spencer Williams. It was also released under the alternate title of The Glory Road.


    PLOT:
    In a small rural village with an African American population, a church group is holding a riverside baptismal service, and one of the faithful being immersed is the recently-married Martha (Cathryn Caviness). However, Martha’s husband Ras (Spencer Williams) is absent from the service – he claims he was hunting, but he actually poached a neighbor’s boar. At home, Ras accidentally shoots Martha when his rifle drops on the floor and discharges. The church congregation gathers at Martha’s bedside to pray for her recovery, and during this period an angel (Rogenia Goldthwaite) arrives to take Martha’s spirit from her body. She is brought to the Crossroads between Heaven and Hell, and initially she is tempted by the slick Judas Green (Frank H. McClennan), who is an agent for Satan (James B. Jones). Judas takes Martha to a nightclub, where the floor show includes an acrobat and a jazz singer. Judas arranges to have Martha employed by the roadhouse owner Rufus Brown, but the angel returns and advises Martha to flee. As she is escaping, a nightclub patron mistakenly believes Martha is a pickpocket who robbed him. A chase ensues and Martha races back to the Crossroads, where Satan (along with a jazz band on a flatbed truck) is waiting for her arrival. The angel appears to protect Martha from the mob, who are driven away. The sign at the Crossroad is transformed into the vision of Jesus Christ being crucified, and Christ’s blood drips down on Martha’s face. She awakens to discover she is home and her health is restored. Martha is reunited with her husband, who has now embraced religion. The angel who took Martha on her journey returns to bless the marriage.


    The Blood of Jesus was the second film directed by Spencer Williams, who was one of the few African American directors of the 1940s. Williams began his career in the 1920s as an extra, and was later able to move up into writing scripts for all-black short comedies produced by the Al Christie studio. In 1928 he directed the silent film Tenderfeet, which was released by Midnight Productions. In 1939, he wrote two screenplays for the race film genre, the Western Harlem Rides the Range and the horror-comedy Son of Ingagi, and he also acted in these films. Williams was invited by Alfred N. Sack, president of the Dallas, Texas-based production/distribution company Sack Amusement Enterprises, to write and direct a series of all-black films that would be released to the U.S. cinemas catering to African American audiences.[4]

    The Blood of Jesus was produced in Texas on a budget of US$5,000. To present the afterlife, Williams used scenes from a 1911 Italian film called L'Inferno that depicted souls entering Heaven.[5]

    In addition to Williams, the cast was made up of amateur actors and members of Reverend R.L. Robinson's Heavenly Choir, who sang the film’s gospel music score.[6] The film’s soundtrack included the songs ""All God's Children Got Shoes," "Amazing Grace,""Go Down, Moses," “Good News!", "I've Heard of a City Called Heaven," ""On Jordan's Stormy Banks I Stand," "Run, Child, Run," "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot,"Weary Blues" and "Were You There When They Crucified My Lord?"


    Time magazine counted it among its “25 Most Important Films on Race.” Historian Thomas Cripps, in his book Black Film as Genre, praised The Blood of Jesus for providing “a brief anatomy of Southern Baptist folk theology by presenting Christian myth in literal terms. From its opening voiceover, the film became an advocate for the most enduring traditions of Afro-American family life on Southern ground.”

    .. In 1991, The Blood of Jesus became the first race film to be added to the U.S. National Film Registry.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_blood_of_jesus
     
  2. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

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    The 25 Most Important Films on Race In honor of Black History Month, TIME critic Richard Corliss surveys nearly a century of cinema, and reflects on 25 defining works that broke down the walls of intolerance on the big screen



    Spencer Williams, Jr. was the only black director who received frequent commissions from white moguls to make films during the race movie era. Williams was a big, boisterous actor-singer best known for playing Andy Brown in the early-50s TV series Amos 'n' Andy. In early-talkies Hollywood he had worked as an actor, a sound technician and a screenwriter on low-budget or indie films. In 1940 he was hired by Dallas exhibitor Al Sack to write and direct films, apparently with a minimum of front-office interference. He made nine or ten of them: oddball melodramas (Girl in Room 20), low-octane jive musicals (Dirty Gertie from Harlem U.S.A., Juke Joint) and a trio of religious epics: The Blood of Jesus, Go Down, Death and Of One Blood.

    The first of these, 1941's The Blood of Jesus, has a naive grandeur to match its subject. A morality play about an angel and a devil fighting for a woman's soul, it begins with a baptism and ends in bloody death near a cross — all scored to rousing gospel music. Told in a spare style with no hokum, the movie has the feeling of an honest, unmediated religious experience. For decades, this and other Williams films were thought lost, but in the mid-80s prints were discovered in a Tyler, Texas warehouse. And so 50 years after its making, Jesus was selected for inclusion in the Library of Congress' National Registry of Films.
    .

    Read more: http://www.time.com/time/specials/2007/article/0,28804,1709148_1709143_1709645,00.html#ixzz10bNzxx2O
     
  3. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

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  4. Bast Bastet

    Bast Bastet Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    The Blood Of Jesus - The Glory Road.

    Spencer Williams (July 14, 1893 – December 13, 1969) was an African American actor and filmmaker. He was best known for playing Andy in the Amos 'n Andy television show and for the directing the 1941 race film The Blood of Jesus. Williams was a pioneer African-American film producer and director.

    The movie online:
    http://www.archive.org/details/blood_of_jesus

    [​IMG]
     
  5. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

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    THANK YOU! :toast:
     
  6. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

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  7. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

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    http://blackfilm.uchicago.edu/research_projects/spencer_williams.shtml



    University of Chicago Research Projects

    Spencer Williams

    Professor Jacqueline Stewart is currently conducting research on the life and work of actor/director/writer Spencer Williams.

    Probably best known for his role as Andrew “Hogg” Brown on the television series Amos ‘n’ Andy, Williams is less known for his extensive work in film, particularly as a director. Williams’ cinematic career spans from the early days of sound film (late 1920s) to the demise of the race film industry after World War II. He began his film career as a bit player and sound technician. He then wrote for and starred in numerous Black-cast films before going on to direct nine features during the 1940s. One of these films, The Blood of Jesus (1941) was selected by the Library of Congress for inclusion on its National Film Registry, a listing of films deemed “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant” and therefore worthy of preservation.

    Unfortunately, Williams is typically overshadowed by the flamboyant figure of fellow Black film pioneer Oscar Micheaux in accounts of the race film era, despite the fact that Williams was quite prolific, and made films that raise unique questions about Black cinematic aesthetics and the contours of Black modernism and modernity.

    Prof. Stewart is seeking information about Williams’ biography and work history. She is especially interested in locating individuals who worked with Williams in front of and/or behind the camera. If you have information or leads, please contact:

    Jacqueline Stewart
    Associate Professor
    Committee on Cinema and Media Studies
    University of Chicago
    5845 South Ellis Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60637
    773-702-7999
    [email protected]


    Spencer Williams Selected Filmography (as actor and/or writer and/or director)
    Title
    Year
    King of Kings
    1927
    Tarzan and the Golden Lion
    1927
    Ham and Eggs
    1927
    The Melancholy Dame
    1928
    Tenderfeet
    1928
    Naughty Nurse
    1928
    Steamboat Bill Jr.
    1928
    Brown Gravy
    1929
    The Framing of the Shrew
    1929
    The Lady Fare
    1929
    Music Hath Harms
    1929
    Oft in the Silly Night
    1929
    Georgia Rose
    1930
    Hot Biscuits (d. Spencer Williams)
    1931
    Coronado
    1935
    The Virginia Judge
    1935
    Harlem on the Prairie
    1938
    Two Gun Man From Harlem
    1938
    Bad Boy
    1939
    Bronze Buckaroo
    1939
    Harlem Rides the Range
    1939
    Son of Ingagi
    1940
    The Blood of Jesus (d. Spencer Williams)
    1941
    The Toppers Take a Bow
    1941
    Brother Martin, Servant of Jesus (d. Spencer Williams)
    1942
    Marching On! (d. Spencer Williams)
    1943
    Go Down, Death! (d. Spencer Williams)
    1944
    Of One Blood (d. Spencer Williams)
    1944
    Beale Street Mama (d. Spencer Williams)
    1946
    Dirtie Gertie From Harlem , U.S.A. (d. Spencer Williams)
    1946
    The Girl in Room 20 (d. Spencer Williams)
    1946
    Juke Joint (d. Spencer Williams)
    1947

     
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