The 1970s. That was an exciting decade for new films with new stars and films made by new directors. Kicking off that decade was the film version of the Broadway hit, THE GREAT WHITE HOPE. James Earl Jones burned up the Broadway stage with his performance as a heavyweight champion in 1910. In and out of the ring, he fights discrimination, prejudice and the press. He's in love with a white woman and she's in love with him.
That was red hot stuff for America in 1910 and this was the kind of drama Hollywood wouldn't give moviegoers just ten or twenty years earlier. But America was coming out of the racially turbulent yet progressive 1960s. James Earl Jones and Jane Alexander won Tony Awards for their Broadway performances. Best Actor and Best Actress Oscar nominations came to them for the film performances. Hard to believe James Earl Jones got only one Oscar nomination in his film career. What a magnificent actor. Jane Alexander went on to get three other Oscar nominations.
In the Chelsea section of New York City, there's a excellent poster shop at 17th/18th Street on 8th Avenue. I walked by it the other day and stopped because I saw a large poster that I vividly remembered from my movie-loving youth in L.A. It was the poster for THE GREAT WHITE HOPE. The provocative writing got my attention when I was a teen. It feels just as sharp now -- now in an America that elected its first black president. We had President Barack Obama for two terms. Ironically, the white reality TV game show host who disrespected him by constantly declaring that President Obama was not a real American, is now in the White House. Here's the movie poster:
Let's go in for a closer look. Read this.
Man...doesn't that still have some muscle in today's U.S. political climate? Seriously.
The 1970s. What a great decade for American movies. I just had to share that poster with you. If you've never seen 1970's THE GREAT WHITE HOPE starring James Earl Jones and Jane Alexander, here's a clip.