Freedom Road

Freedom Road

Muhammad Ali
Director: Ján Kadár Cast: Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali
, Ernest Dixon
Ernest Dixon
, Edward Herrmann
Edward Herrmann
Ján Kadár


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Muhammad Ali made his TV-movie dramatic debut in this adaptation of Howard Fast's novel Freedom Road. Though some of the names are changed, the story concerns the true-life efforts of senators Charles Sumner and Thaddeus Stevens to bring political order and racial equality to the post-Civil War South. Ali is cast as Gideon Jackson, an ex-slave who is elected to the U.S. senate during the Reconstruction Era. Interestingly enough, the character upon whom Jackson is based was depicted as the villain of D.W. Griffith's 1915 Civil War epic Birth of a Nation. Just as Griffth offered his own biased slant on the facts, so too did Fast rewrite history to promote his own political ideology. As for Muhammad Ali, his performance is no threat to Olivier, but he acts with sincerity and a commendable lack of bravado. Made for TV, Freedom Road represented the final film effort of Czechoslovakian director Jan Kadar. It was first telecast in two parts on October 29 and 30, 1979, an event that warranted a cover story in TV Guide.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/15/2020
UPC: 0089353404727
Original Release: 1979
Source: Liberation Hall
Sales rank: 24,520

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Muhammad Ali Gideon Jackson
Ernest Dixon Marion Jefferson
Edward Herrmann Stephen Holms
Barbara Jones Rachel Jackson
Kris Kristofferson Abner Lait
John McLiam Ulysses S. Grant
Ron O'Neal Francis Cardozo
Alfre Woodard Katie
Grace Zabriskie Ruth Lait
Ossie Davis Narrator
Sonny Jim Gaines Brother Peter
Joel Fluellen James Allenby
Jean Renee Foster Ellen Allenby
Bill Mackey Trooper
Earl Smith Hannibal
Fred Covington Sheriff Bentley
Sonny Shroyer Jason Hugar
Sylvia "Kuumba" Williams Louise Jefferson
Tom Delaney Will Boone
Ron Gural Frank Carson
William Allen Young Older Jeff Jackson
Tony Ross Young Jeff Jackson
Erik Washington Older Marcus Jackson
Rodney King Adams Young Marcus Jackson
Howard Brunner Lawyer Greene
Howland Chamberlain Isaac Went
Georgia Allen Mrs. Carter
James Bowman 1st White Trash Delegate
Don Brady 2nd White Trash Delegate
Robert Bloodworth Mayor at Convention
Barbara Chaney Mrs. Ganfret
Stuart Culpepper Maj. Walsh
Lionel Ferbis Uncle Baddy
Peter Gabb 3rd White Trash Delegate
Ira Graham Jimmy Lait
Jerome Green Black Delegate
Bill Holliday Yankee Boss
Don Hood Gen. Ganfret
Maurice Hunt Dudley Carwell
Don K. Lutenbacher Convention Speaker
Ritchie Montgomery Soldier
Danny Nelson Auctioneer
Afemo Omilami Young Black Man with Scars
Courtney Pledger Mrs. Dupre
David Robbins Wounded Redshirt
Jeremiah Shabazz Well-Dressed Black Delegate
Greg White Clair Willis
Bob Zay Roger Dupre
Denis Bieber Actor
Sylvio Tabet Actor

Technical Credits
Ján Kadár Director
Zev Braun Executive Producer
Charles Correll Cinematographer
George Folsey Editor
David Zelag Goodman Screenwriter
Anne Goursaud Editor
Terence James Score Composer
John Loggia Production Designer
Daniel Lomino Production Designer
Bill Mackey Choreography
Leland Nolan Producer
Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson Score Composer
Chet Walker Associate Producer
William Webb Set Decoration/Design

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