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The Blood of Jesus / Go Down, Death! (Double Feature)

4.4 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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(May 29, 2012)
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Frequently Bought Together

  • The Blood of Jesus / Go Down, Death! (Double Feature)
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  • Spencer Williams Collection - 4 Movies
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  • 4 Feature Films: The Girl in Room 20 / Son of Ingagi / The Girl From Chicago / Lying Lips (Silver Screen Series)
Total price: $16.71
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Editorial Reviews

A Spencer Williams Double Feature.The Blood of Jesus (1941) In the rural south of the United States, a godly young woman is accidentally wounded by her unchurched husband. She succumbs to the injuries, whereupon a good angel bids her to journey with him to the Crossroads of Life. Before she can travel far, the devil lures her with the temptations of juke joints and the city. Can she regain the straight and narrow before it's too late? And what is to become of those she left behind? The film was so successful that Spencer Williams was offered a ten-year contract to produce eight more films with his company. Go Down, Death! (1944) A bar owner (Spencer Williams) attempts to discredit the new preacher with whom he is feuding by framing him with a photograph showing him drinking with women with bad reputations. The last five minutes feature the villain's surrealistic trip to hell that smacks of Salvador Dali, Catholic iconography and other medieval influences. Unforgettably weird.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Cathryn Caviness, Myra D. Hemmings
  • Directors: Spencer Williams
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Grapevine Video
  • DVD Release Date: May 29, 2012
  • Run Time: 111 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00362AW7A
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #445,120 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
Spencer Williams religious allegory, "Blood of Jesus", is an insightful look at African-American religious thought at mid-century. This gem of a movie focuses on the sustaining power of faith within a segregated and marginal society. The story is one of a spiritual journey, in which a young woman on the brink of death finds spiritual renewal by overcoming temptations. Drawing upon Dante and Pilgrim's Progress, Williams crafted an outstanding homage to African-American Christianity.
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The Blood of Jesus is a interesting movie as it depicts the dangers of the World that can draw young people into sin. The one thing that stands out for me was when the young girl comes to the crossroads of her life there was a sign in the shape of a cross. At first it was a cross with Jesus on it. Then as she got closer it was a cross with arrows to the right and to the left. The one on the right says,"To Righteousness", and the one of the left says,"To Sinning". This is Biblical if you look up Eccl 10:2. A wise man's heart is at his right hand, but a fool's heart is at his left.
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Format: VHS Tape
My mother told me that she saw this film in a Black rural church in the 1940s, so I had the pleasure of watching it with her and reliving her memories. It's interesting in that it's a morality play based on a Southern Black version of themes of the afterlife and salvation. Spencer Williams (who also directed and is best remembered as "Andy" of "Amos and Andy") also provides some comic relief. While it is not likely to be taken seriously today by anyone aside from rural funamentalist Christians (due to the dialogue and extremely low budget), it is still very interesting to watch.
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It was so refreshing to see more movies being put out by early black directors showing stories about diverse things that just the normal portrayal of blacks as subservient maids and butlers. Because at lot of early black film was lost by the Tyler-texas film fiasco. But as far as i have been told that Oscar Micheaux's "The Homesteader" in 1919 is the oldest movie directed by a black man. There were other black directors like Noble Johnson, Spencer Williams and later on Gordon Park's and Melvin Van Pebbles. These movies are very well done and the actors were brilliant!
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"Blood of Jesus" and "lying Lips" are examples of an interesting and important but not often well remembered part of American film history, films made by African American directors, writers and actors for African American audiences. These are two well made films. It is interesting to see Spencer Williams (writer, director, producer and star) in an early role. He later became famous as Andy on 50's TV "Amos & Andy." "Lying Lips" was directed by Oscar Micheaux, the best known director of this genre, and stars Robert Earl Jones, father of James Earl Jones.
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Format: DVD
I thoroughly enjoyed this depiction of black heritage filming! As with all movies we must discern the message that is being sent. However, if one lacks knowledge of the war between good and evil, there is always the Holy Bible that gives the true reflection of the living God and what the blood of Jesus has done for those who believe by faith.
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As a child, this was the only religious movie shown at our ethnic movie theater at Easter that featured Black actors. I was elated to find it again and be able to relive the special memories of sharing this special production with friends and family; some of whom have passed away. Thanks for the memories.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
This is a glimpse into another era and culture. Part of American history, but it seems as distant as a distant galaxy. The picture of a small-town, literalist Christian community, and a woman killed and brought back to life is full of a certain spirituality that is not familiar to many of us. The visions of heaven, angels, the devil and piety verses sinfulness are simplistic, but vivid.

As part of the black cinema of the era, it feels part of a subculture that is gone forever. And that is a mercy in itself.
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The Blood of Jesus / Go Down, Death! (Double Feature)
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