THE NOTORIOUS ELINOR LEE

One Night Only Jun 27

Director: Oscar Micheaux

72min.

Cast: Gladys Williams, Robert Earl Jones, Edna Mae Harris

 

Michaux’s last extant film stars Robert Earl Jones (father of James Earl Jones) as Benny Blue, a heavyweight contender modeled after Joe Louis, and Gladys Williams as gangster moll Elinor Lee, who buys Blue’s 10-year contract with plans to make him throw a championship fight. Lee’s scheme is derailed when Blue loses a key fight to a German boxer, clearly modeled off of Max Schmelling. Shot in Biograph studios in the Bronx and produced by pioneering Black aviator Hubert Julian, who hosted the film’s lavish world premiere in Harlem. For years unavailable due to to the poor condition of surviving elements, THE NOTORIOUS ELINOR LEE can now be seen in its entirety, thanks to extensive sound restoration (portions of inaudible dialogue are represented with subtitles taken from the original script).


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