Eugene O'Neill's controversial play about the rise and fall of Brutus Jones, an upwardly-mobile African-American whose life careens from railroad porter to convict to a corrupt island ruler in Haiti, made for an even more daring film adaptation in 1933. Actor Paul Robeson (who also played Jones on stage) delivers a career performance that features several musical numbers and climaxes with a 25-minute monologue delivered as his life unravels before him. In 1999, the film was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry after the Library of Congress deemed it "culturally significant" for its portrayal of black characters.
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