Sunday, September 5, 2021

TCM Star of the Month September 2021: Paul Robeson

Paul Robeson in Body and Soul (1925), tonight at 8:00 PM

Now that we're done with Summer Under the Stars for another year, it's time for another Star of the Month on TCM. This time around, it's Paul Robeson, an actor who was enough of a dupe to believe the Communist government weren't racist at all, a belief which would lead to all sorts of problems in his professional life. This, combined with the fact that there was a paucity of good roles for black actors in those days, means that there aren't too many movies in the Robeson salute.

As a result, Robeson's movies are airing on Sundays in prime time, since there's the Silent Sunday Nights and TCM Imports slots later in the evening to limit how much time TCM needs to program. The salute kicks off tonight at 8:00 PM with Body and Soul, a really interesting silent film from Oscar Micheaux that unfortunately suffered at the hands of the censors. As I posted back in 2020, the censors really didn't like the ending and how the whole movie dealt with organized religion, so the ending had to be changed into something that doesn't work with everything that came before it.

There's also a documentary at 9:45 PM tonight, and Emperor Jones at 10:30 PM, which I don't think I've seen yet. I'll have to check if I've got enough space on my DVR to record it.

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