Jericho (film #16 in the Black Culture section of Movieflix (www.movieflix.com)). [Category: Sleaze & Outsider]

Paul Robeson stars as a soldier who is wrongly accused of murder. He escapes into the Arabian desert and eventually becomes the leader of a large Arabian tribe. This plot is very similar to The Emperor Jones, but the similarity ends there. While Jones was a dark, serious film, this is more of a light-hearted adventure tale on the order of Gunga Din. Robeson’s character is likable and the situation in which he is accused is unjust enough that the Hayes Office let the film allow him to get away without being caught at the end. The movie is lively and full of fun little comic moments, though race issues in the army are also dealt with, though subtly (one gets the feeling that race was a factor in his unjust murder conviction, for example). Overall, this is an entertaining film that manages to be considerably less offensive to today’s sensibilities than most “race films” of the period.

Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ***. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ****.

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