Scott Joplin

  • 1977
  • Movie
  • PG
  • Biography, Musical

There is a great movie to be made about the life of Scott Joplin; unfortunately, this Motown production, their second honoring important African-American musical figures (LADY SINGS THE BLUES was the first), is only a good one. The film follows Joplin (Billy Dee Williams) and his friend and fellow piano player Louis Chauvin (Clifton Davis) as they tinkle...read more

Where to Watch

Available to Stream

Rating:

There is a great movie to be made about the life of Scott Joplin; unfortunately, this Motown production, their second honoring important African-American musical figures (LADY SINGS THE BLUES was the first), is only a good one. The film follows Joplin (Billy Dee Williams) and his friend

and fellow piano player Louis Chauvin (Clifton Davis) as they tinkle the ivories in early 20th-century America, gaining the attention of John Stark (Art Carney), who publishes Joplin's songs, winning the composer some measure of fame and success as ragtime becomes a national fad. Joplin marries

Belle (Margaret Avery) and settles down in St. Louis, but an earlier assignation returns to haunt him when syphilis wracks his body, deprives him of his ability to play the piano, and eventually takes his life, though not before he experiences a series of spirit-crushing disappointments. Shot in a

scant 20 days as a TV movie (and revealing its origin in its construction), SCOTT JOPLIN received a limited theatrical release which met with a lukewarm response. Notwithstanding its pacing problems, the film is full of fine performances and, of course, Joplin's remarkable music (which added so

much to THE STING). It also offers appearances by director Samuel Fuller (THE BIG RED ONE) and ragtime piano great Eubie Blake.

Cast & Details See all »

  • Released: 1977
  • Rating: PG
  • Review: There is a great movie to be made about the life of Scott Joplin; unfortunately, this Motown production, their second honoring important African-American musical figures (LADY SINGS THE BLUES was the first), is only a good one. The film follows Joplin (Bil… (more)

Show More »

Trending TonightSee all »