Ten Nights in a Bar Room
Pioneers of African-American Cinema • 1h 3m
Roy Calnek • United States • 1926
A masterful vision of alcohol addition.
Based on the hugely popular 1854 temperance novel by Timothy Shay Arthur (and William W. Pratt’s 1858 stage adaptation), Roy Calnek’s TEN NIGHTS IN A BAR ROOM boasts a masterful performance by Charles Sidney Gilpin as a father whose life and family are devastated by his alcoholism. A renowned stage actor, Gilpin was famous for having initiated the role of Brutus Jones (of Eugene O’Neill’s The Emperor Jones) on Broadway in 1920. When the actor insisted that the playwright remove the word “nigger” from the script, he was replaced in the London production by Paul Robeson, which allegedly contributed to Gilpin’s own struggles with alcohol. In 1926, the same year in which TEN NIGHTS was released, Gilpin reclaimed the role of Jones, and also directed the play at New York's Mayfair Theatre.
Up Next in Pioneers of African-American Cinema
The Blood of Jesus
Spencer Williams • United States • 1941
A surreal, poignant parable.
The first feature by director/actor Spencer Williams, THE BLOOD OF JESUS, is a rural religious parable in which a woman, accidentally shot by her husband (Williams), travels to the crossroads of the hereafter, and faces the te...
The Bronze Buckaroo
Richard C. Kahn • United States • 1939
The NMAAHC holds multiple film copies of THE BRONZE BUCKAROO
The NMAAHC holds multiple film copies of THE BRONZE BUCKAROO. The copy employed for the Pioneers project comes from the Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History a...
The Darktown Revue
Oscar Micheaux • United States • 1931
Micheaux's most outrageous film: a traditional minstrel show.
Filmmaker Oscar Micheaux was something of a firebrand, but his attitudes and methods were anything but predictable—often leveling criticism at certain strata of the African-American community. Hi...