The Great White Hope
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TV Guide Magazine
The Great White Hope persuasively recreates the climate of the time and generally avoids the preachiness for which director Ritt is sometimes known. The love story between Alexander and Jones is touchingly portrayed.
A superior cast, headed by James Earl Jones encoring in his stage role, a colorful and earthy script, plus outstanding production, render film quite palatable.
The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
Director Martin Ritt (Hud) keeps the movie powerful and tense until the ending, which is crudely manipulative. [22 Aug 1998, p.11]
Los Angeles Times
This big-scale work, directed by Martin Ritt, is of solid craftsmanship but little style. James Earl Jones' Johnson is, however, intensely vital and larger-than-life. [10 Dec 1989, p.2]
Provocative but never challenging.
The New York Times
The Great White Hope is one of those liberal, well-meaning, fervently uncontroversial works that pretend to tackle contemporary problems by finding analogies at a safe remove in history.
The New Yorker
Martin Ritt's big, noisy production clunks along like a disjointed play; it defeats Jones, and along the way it also inadvertently exposes the clobber-them-with-guilt tactics of the dramatist, Howard Sackler.
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