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The Blood of Jesus
Release year: 1941
Director: Spencer Williams
Screenwriter: Spencer Williams
Starring: Cathryn Caviness, Spencer Williams, Juanita Riley, Reather Hardeman, Rogenia Goldthwaite, James B. Jones
Newly-wed Martha (Caviness) is being baptized without the presence of her atheist husband Razz (Williams). After the ceremony an accident means Razz reconsiders his belief in God.
The blood of Jesus is one of the so-called race movies produced between 1915 and the early 1950s and whereof few still exists. This is one of the movies that for a long time was though lost.. The movie was screened in both cinemas and churches, where the highly religious theme must have been popular and it gained enough success to allow Williams (Juke Joint, 1947) to direct additional movies. One of the benefits with race movies, was that they besides giving an insight into the milieu but it also gave actors otherwise cast in small stereotype parts a change to shine. Despite starring mainly unknowns (Williams was known for playing Andy in the TV show The Amos ‘n’ Andy Show), the acting is brilliant in this simple story of faith and doubt, temptation and redemption. The gospel choir is almost constant, but unnervingly beautiful and adds atmosphere to the religious storyline. Despite its simplicity and the poor quality, the lost years has left the movie in, it still manages to make an impact and is a pleasant experience to watch.
Unable to find a trailer for the movie, here is a video with excerpts from it:
The movie was though lost but in the mid-1980s it was discovered in a warehouse in Texas.
The movie was the first race film to be added to the U.S. National Film Registry.
This was the only part ever played by Cathryn Caviness.