5.4/10
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3 user 11 critic

Jim Brown: All American (2002)

An in-depth portrait of football legend and action movie star Jim Brown, including discussions about his childhood, his unequaled football career, his success in Hollywood, and his brushes with the law in his later years.

Director:

Spike Lee
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Art Modell ... Himself - Owner, Cleveland Browns 1961-95
Walter Beach Walter Beach ... Himself - Teammate, Cleveland Browns 1963-65 (as Dr. Walter Beach III)
Ed Walsh Ed Walsh ... Himself - Football Coach, Manhasset H.S. 1950-53
Sam Oakley Sam Oakley ... Himself - Teammate, Manhasset H.S.
Ed Corley Ed Corley ... Himself - Teammate, Manhasset H.S. (as Reverend Ed Corley)
David Skinner David Skinner ... Himself - Teammate, Manhasset H.S.
Karen Brown Ward Karen Brown Ward ... Herself - Jim's Daughter (as Karen Brown)
Roy Simmons Jr. Roy Simmons Jr. ... Himself - Teammate, Syracuse Lacrosse 1956-57
Chief Oren Lyons ... Himself - Teammate, Syracuse Lacrosse 1956-57
Ralph Wiley Ralph Wiley ... Himself - Sport Journalist
John Wooten John Wooten ... Himself - Teammate, Cleveland Browns 1961-65 / Former Director, Negro Industrial & Economic Union / Black Economic Union
Oliver Stone ... Himself - Filmmaker
Stuart Scott ... Himself - Sport Journalist, ESPN
Bernie Casey ... Himself - San Francisco 49ers, 1961-66, Los Angeles Rams, 1967-68
Willie Davis ... Himself - Teammate, Cleveland Browns 1958-59
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Storyline

An in-depth portrait of football legend and action movie star Jim Brown, including discussions about his childhood, his unequaled football career, his success in Hollywood, and his brushes with the law in his later years.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

american football | See All (1) »


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 March 2002 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Connections

Features Larry King Live (1985) See more »

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User Reviews

 
usual Spike Lee, good start but a mess of a finish
26 March 2002 | by JasikSee all my reviews

Spike Lee needs to ease back and take his time. He is not Woody Allen and cannot make a decent film every year.

The same problems that plague Jungle Fever, Get on the Bus and Bamboozled torpedo Jim Brown: All American.

What starts out as a completely engaging portrait of one of the most amazing and awe-inspiring athletes to ever walk on a field quickly loses steam halfway through when Spike looks into Brown's domestic abuse problems and family relations. Looking to investigate them only to vindicate Brown, Spike shows he's only interested in showing how fantastic Brown is and deflecting any criticism.

In one segment, Brown explains an incident in which he reportedly threw a woman over a balcony, which he denies. The woman involved, found 30 years later, explains what happened, saying she was trying to get away from Brown, who was beating her. Instead of asking Brown, oh I don't know, what's up with that, Spike just lets Brown get away with being portrayed as another black man hassled by the White establishment.

While Brown faced tremendous challenges because of white America's intransigence and racism, he wasn't perfect but Spike doesn't seem interested in allowing for a balanced take.

If it wasn't for the loads of great anecdotes about Brown, provided by teammates, coaches, friends and Brown himself, and the insane footage of Brown mauling defenses as a running back, the documentary would find itself in deep trouble, weighed down by too much extraneous footage and too many long-winded explanations by Brown of his lack of parenting.

A 6/10.


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