Of all Paul Robeson’s starring film performances, by far his most iconic was his breakthrough in the big-screen adaptation of Eugene O’Neill’s The Emperor Jones, in which he plays Brutus Jones, a Pullman porter who powers his way to rule of a Caribbean island.
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Paul Robeson was an enigmatic and strong screen actor worthy of being the first Afro American that pushed boundaries on cinema. What is fantastic about Emperor Jones is it's intelligence and how the character has a big moral compass before being swallowed by the capitalism and greed of the white world turning himself into a "new colonist" ruler where he takes control of an island to exploit it.
Bigoted stereotype's permeate from the beginning of the film onward in a movie supposedly about early Hollywood black empowerment; Robeson however when given a chance by the camera animates Brutus's struggle with skill that is only just being kept back from scene to scene.