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Mister Johnson (1990)

PG-13 | | Drama | April 1991 (USA)
Trailer
3:10 | Trailer
In 1923, a local resident of British Colonial Nigeria tries to be equal with the colonial administration.

Director:

Bruce Beresford

Writers:

William Boyd, Joyce Cary (novel)
Reviews
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Maynard Eziashi ... Mister Johnson
Pierce Brosnan ... Harry Rudbeck
Edward Woodward ... Sargy Gollup
Beatie Edney ... Celia Rudbeck
Denis Quilley ... Bulteen
Nick Reding Nick Reding ... Tring
Bella Enahoro Bella Enahoro ... Bamu
Femi Fatoba Femi Fatoba ... Waziri
Q Q ... Benjamin
Hubert Ogunde Hubert Ogunde ... Brimah (as Chief Hubert Ogunde)
Sola Adeyemi Sola Adeyemi ... Ajali
Jerry Linus Jerry Linus ... Saleh
George Menta George Menta ... Emil
Steve James ... Aliu
Tunde Kelani Tunde Kelani ... Jamesu
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Storyline

In 1923 British Colonial Nigeria, Mister Johnson is an oddity, an educated black man who doesn't really fit in with the natives, nor the British. He works for the local British magistrate, and considers himself English, though he has never been to England. He is always scheming, trying to get ahead, which lands him in a lot of hot water. Written by John Oswalt <jao@jao.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Africa 1923: A clash of cultures between British imperalists and a black man too smart for his own good.

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

April 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Gospodin Johnson See more »

Filming Locations:

Kano, Kano State, Nigeria See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,051, 24 March 1991

Gross USA:

$1,464,242

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,464,242
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Avenue Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Massey Sahib (1987) was also based on Joyce Cary's "Mister Johnson" novel. See more »

Quotes

Celia Rudbeck: Perhaps you could clean your teeth tonight having taken the pipe out of your mouth - that would be a change.
Harry Rudbeck: I'm sorry, Celia.
Celia Rudbeck: Sorry about what?
Harry Rudbeck: I'm sorry about all of this.
Celia Rudbeck: Are you? You don't do anything about it.
Harry Rudbeck: Do? Well, what can I do? I'm in bloody West Africa. In the bloody bush. This isn't Mayfair, you know!
Celia Rudbeck: You don't have to tell me that. What about that horrible peanut soup? Peanut soup! Any idiot can make vegetable soup - even in bloody West Africa.
Harry Rudbeck: Why don't you tell Jamesu what you ...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Dedicated to Chief Hubert A. Ogunde (1915 - 1990) See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Stuff of Drama: Bruce Beresford (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Stack O'Lee Blues
Written by Ray Lopez
performed by Fred Waring and His Pennsylvanians (as Fred Waring's Pennsylvanians )
See more »

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User Reviews

 
I'm not the son of a dog, I'm an English gentleman.
14 March 2010 | by BERSERKERpoetrySee all my reviews

"Mister Johnson" is, first and foremost, a comedy. I must say this, because it's far too light-headed to be a serious dramatic film. Although, whatever the case, I can't say it's the most compelling story. The title character (played by Maynard Eziashi) isn't as sympathetic as the script might intend him to be. He steals, he cheats, he tries his best to be an Englishman, all to much self-detriment.

From a artistic standpoint, as well, this is not an especially engaging tale. Bruce Beresford has displayed a lot of subtlety in other films, but there's something about "Mister Johnson" that falls quite flat for me. I wanted to like it, because I nearly always enjoy Beresford's films. In the end, it's the performances by Eziashi and Brosnan that make this worth watching. They create characters you can get into, even though lacking a script that deserves it.


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