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Keep the Faith, Baby
Keep the Faith Baby
Actors: Harry Lennix, Vanessa Williams, Don Allison, Rodger Barton, Richard Blackburn
Director: Doug McHenry
Genres: Drama, Television, African American Cinema
PG     2003     1hr 47min

BIOGRAPHY OF THE CONTROVERSIAL NEW YORK CONGRESSMAN, ADAM CLAYTON POWELL.

     
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Movie Details

Actors: Harry Lennix, Vanessa Williams, Don Allison, Rodger Barton, Richard Blackburn
Director: Doug McHenry
Creators: Adam Clayton Powell III, Adam Clayton Powell IV, Colin Brunton, Dennis Johnson, Faye K. Cottrell, Geoffrey Garfield, Art Washington
Genres: Drama, Television, African American Cinema
Sub-Genres: Drama, Television, African American Cinema
Studio: Paramount
Format: DVD - Color - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 07/08/2003
Original Release Date: 02/11/2002
Theatrical Release Date: 02/11/2002
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 1hr 47min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English

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Member Movie Reviews

Kristen W. (Piper) from S HAMILTON, MA
Reviewed on 11/10/2008...
Interesting true story, especially in contrast to current politics.
0 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

Waiting for this one
Khrish | Richmond, Virginia USA | 11/09/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I had really waited for a movie on the great "Adam Clayton Powell" for years. When most politicians die there is a movie out on them right away....Not Powell, I had to wait for this one and it was worth waiting for. I followed the politics of Mr. Powel when I was quite young and was always impressed with his brillance and nerve to always speak out on things that lots of others were afraid to speak out on. I really enjoyed this movie and found the cast quite well assigned. If you have an historical section as a part of your collection, this is a must have. You won't find a whole lot of his actions and promotions in your average american history book. You'll need to put roles played by our folk in your own History Book. This is one of the chapters."
Historical black figure
Jeffery Mingo | Homewood, IL USA | 11/08/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)

"The cover is deceptive. You would think the heterosexual embrace between Vanessa Williams and Harry Lennix is a sign that this is a Harlem Renaissance romance. It's not: this is about the life of Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.. It's a biopic. Williams' presence on the cover must have been based on her popularity and as a way to seduce apolitical viewers.

The history of 20th-century black leadership is rich: it doesn't just start and end with Martin and Malcolm. This movie shows that Powell came before Dr. King and had tensions with him. The idea that black leaders have tensions with each other, have strong connections with black churches, and are caught in sexual scandals will resonate with those who are thinking about the current scene in black leadership. The film shows Powell arguing with his famous father. Again, modern black leaders have heated father-son dynamics and any man who has similar tensions with his father or his son will be able to relate.

Harry Lennix is often cast as the bad guy. His roles in the "Matrix" and "Barbershop" sequels are examples. I think it has to do with his green eyes and cleft. Finally, he gets a lead role where he can use his sinister looks to gain sympathy with the audience. Powell was a wheeler-dealer, self-promoter, and womanizer. A sneaky, but sexy, man like Lennix was ideal for the role.

This movie shows how Powell threatened to accuse Dr. King and Bayard Rustin of being lovers if they didn't do what he wanted. First, I love that "Boycott" showed that Bayard Rustin, a black [...] man, played a critical role in the Civil Rights Movement. Second, I love how this movie shows the rampant homophobia thrust against him. I'm glad that movies are beginning to portray the triumphs and struggles of black [...] men and black lesbians. Though Powell is NO hero of mine, I enjoyed this flick.

The title points to an interesting fact. It's amazing to see a man who was elected Congressman speak in "daddy-oh", hep-cat, jazzy language. Like many black leaders, Powell rubbed elbows with white elites at the same time that he was familiar with the black vernacular and what we now call "keeping it real."

Adam Clayton Powell the fourth is a co-producer of this film. Thus, his heirs must have approved of the portrayal. I wish this DVD had subtitles. There are many blacks in Harlem, which Powell represented, that only speak Spanish or French and will miss out on this history because of this oversight. The journalist character who narrates the story has something in common with the description of Steve Buscemi in "Fargo."

I recommend this biopic strongly."
Expected More
E. Cintron | 07/28/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Although the film was poorly cast, I still wanted to give it a chance because I wanted to gain a better understanding of the life of this great man. I was disappointed. In an effort to be "fair" or non-biased, the script neglected to truly capture the tenor of the times and the innate passion that fueled this man's life. I understand that Powell's sons were involved in this production. I hope that the project is taken up again by someone who isn't so close to the subject."