Big Fella

Paul Robeson?s extensive singing enlivens this warmly humanist comedy about a Marseilles dockhand enlisted by the police to help solve a kidnapping. The missing boy, son of a wealthy British couple, has actually run away from his boring sheltered life to live with street urchins; the dockhand runs into him by chance, but instead of turning him in he helps conceal the boy. Unimaginatively directed by J. Elder Wills, this light 1937 British film is notable for its relatively advanced racial attitude: Robeson?s skin color is almost irrelevant to the narrative.

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