The Vernon Johns Story

Watch The Vernon Johns Story

  • G
  • 2007
  • 1 hr 31 min
  • 7.5  (331)

The Vernon Johns Story is a 1994 biographical drama film that portrays the life and work of Vernon Johns, a pioneering African American minister and civil rights activist. The movie documents the early days of the civil rights movement, and the courage and determination of one man to bring about change. The movie stars James Earl Jones as Vernon Johns, a passionate and charismatic preacher who becomes the pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1948. Johns is a firm believer in the power of nonviolent protest, and he emphasizes the need for his congregation to stand up against the racial injustices inflicted on African Americans.

Set during the turbulent 1950s in the South, the movie focuses on Johns' efforts to inspire his congregation to take a stand against racial segregation. He calls for boycotts of segregated buses and speaks out against the unequal treatment suffered by African Americans in all aspects of their lives. Johns also challenges his fellow ministers, including a young Martin Luther King Jr., to become more involved in the civil rights movement.

The movie does an excellent job of capturing the spirit of the times, with scenes of sit-ins and protests, and the growing sense of urgency among the African American community. The cinematography is also superb, with wide shots of the rural Southern landscape, and close-ups of the actors that bring an intimacy to the character's struggles.

The movie is not just a portrayal of the civil rights movement, but also a character study of Vernon Johns himself. Jones delivers a stunning performance, capturing Johns' fiery passion, conviction, and unwavering commitment to his cause. Mary Alice also gives a standout performance as Johns' wife, who provides a voice of reason and support for her husband throughout his trials.

The movie also explores Johns' relationship with his congregation, and the challenges of preaching a message of resistance to a group of people who are just trying to survive in a hostile environment. Johns' sermons are powerful and inspiring, but also confrontational, and some members of his congregation are resistant to his message.

Overall, The Vernon Johns Story is a powerful and moving portrayal of a man who played a significant role in the civil rights movement. Although it is somewhat obscure, it is a film that deserves a wider audience, and should be essential viewing for anyone interested in the history of the civil rights struggle.

The Vernon Johns Story is a 2007 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 31 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.5.

Where to Watch The Vernon Johns Story
The Vernon Johns Story is available to watch free on Tubi TV. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, Amazon, Google Play and YouTube VOD. Some platforms allow you to rent The Vernon Johns Story for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 31 min
  • IMDB Rating
    7.5  (331)