The Rise of the Johnsons (1914)

  • AllMovie Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

Share on

In 1914 Lubin made a series of comedies featuring a primarily African-American cast. They usually featured John Edwards and his wife, Matty Edwards in the leading roles. Judging from the plot lines, however, these pictures were no credit to African-American film history. They were loaded with negative stereotypes and ethnic humor that may have been funny in the 1910s, but seems repulsive today. The one notable thing about this particular split-reeler is a brief appearance by Oliver Hardy (one of the few white faces in the film). The Johnsons (John Edwards and Matty Edwards) are having financial difficulties, so the grocery man (Hardy) gives Mr. Johnson a few dollars. A friend of his convinces Johnson to forego a trip to the store in favor of crap game. The game is raided, and the cops, wise to the crap players' tricks, park their paddy wagon at the bottom of a supposedly secret escape chute. The players all slide down the chute right into the wagon. Johnson takes the money and manages to get away by going out a different window. After everyone is gone, he pays up his bills and takes his wife out for a sumptuous feast.