Jericho

Paul Robeson plays Jericho Jackson, a World War I soldier who heroically saves the lives of his men on a torpedoed ship in this 1937 British film. Thornton Freeland directed the picaresque narrative, whose twists offer a relatively advanced commentary on war and race: Jericho, a peaceful man originally trained as a medic, is jailed when the sergeant he had to fight to save his men dies. When his situation looks hopeless, he escapes to North Africa, where his medical skills help make him a tribal chief. While the film is cinematically undistinguished, there's some fine singing from Robeson, and it's entertaining to watch him play one of his most unrealistically perfect characters, whose only crimes involve escaping an unjust sentence.

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