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The Night James Brown Saved Boston
The Night James Brown Saved Boston
Actor: James Brown
Director: David Leaf
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Documentary
NR     2009     2hr 55min

On April 4, 1968, the leader of the nonviolent resistance movement, Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated in Memphis. On April 5, 1968, James Brown sang, and the city of Boston didnt burn down. The Night James Brown Sa...  more »


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Movie Details

Actor: James Brown
Director: David Leaf
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Documentary
Studio: Shout! Factory
Format: DVD - Color,Full Screen
DVD Release Date: 01/27/2009
Release Year: 2009
Run Time: 2hr 55min
Screens: Color,Full Screen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 3
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Insightful companion to the concert...
Eddie Landsberg | Tokyo, Japan | 10/02/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Though footage of the legendary concert (mostly copies of copies of copies) have been floating around for ages, it is only recently that its been commercially released.

The back drop: 1968, the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King...
Countless American Cities are burning...
The question: How can the powers that be get as many people as possible to stay home and possibly pass up on the big riot?

The answer: James Brown, the hottest performer in show business to cool down one of the most explosive situations in the city's history... So public TV station WGBH decides to televise a special concert at the Boston Garden asking everyone to stay home...

This documentary features talking heads such as Rev. Al Sharpton, Dr. Cornel West, Rep. Alan Young, legendary Boston DJ James "Early" Byrd, the Mayor of Boston (at the time) and plenty of footage of JB from the era when he was busting out dance moves that literally seemed to defy the laws of gravity (I'm not joking...) Also includes intersting JB footage... and interesting commentary (especially by Rev. Al Sharpton and JB manager Charles Bobbitt on how JB didn't necessarily agree with all of MLK's ideas about pacifism and the Viet Naam war, but how he respected him greatly... It also includes some incredible behind the scenes commentary...

Though I've seen a lot of the footage together, the documentary still is incredibly insightful and a great companion to the actual performance - - really though, it should have been issued as a companion to the documentary, not a separate purchase... That said, beyond the concert, the documentary discusses the politicization of James Brown, from his concept and practice of black entrepreneurialism, endorsement of Hubert Humphrey and Bobby Kennedy, his trip to Viet Naam, the recording of SAY IT LOUD, I'M BLACK AND I'M PROUD and his controversial endorsement of Richard Nixon and more.

Also includes brief commentary by Fred Wesley, Marva Whitney, Jabo Starks - - The only criticism that can be made is that to an extent, the film is JBE propaganda... No doubt, the man was larger than life, and although the film mentions that some of his actions did anger many portions of the black community in that era, no representatives of that point of view appear in the documentary... considering that the copy-write to the film is held as "The James Brown Estate" this is not exactly surprising - - Fred Wesley's appearance is also interesting after the publication of his own auto-biography which paints a far less than flattering picture of JB... Hit Me, Fred: Recollections of a Sideman That said, JB indeed was larger than life, and so too was his music.

P.S. Ending moments capture a great Jabo Starks drum solo with great film work ! ! !"