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A Music Makers: A Man Called Adam (1966)

Louis Armstrong , Jr. Sammy Davis , Leo Penn  |  NR |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Louis Armstrong, Jr. Sammy Davis, Jeanette Du Bois, Lola Falana, Michael Vincente Gazzo
  • Directors: Leo Penn
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Closed-captioned, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: January 12, 2010
  • Run Time: 103 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002TVQ4D0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #126,990 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Sammy Davis, Jr., Louis Armstrong, Ossie Davis. Adam Johnson, the brilliant jazz musician who seems to have all that any man could want, struggles to find a real purpose in his life because of a tormented past which constantly threatens to destroy him. This powerful biodrama also features Cicely Tyson, Mel Torm+ª, Peter Lawford and Frank Sinatra Jr. Includes a bonus CD. 1966/b&w/103 min/NR/widescreen.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sammy's Oscar Worthy Performance December 10, 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I've been trying to get TCM to show this movie for about a year now and they refuse to do so. I'm happy that it has finally been made available on dvd. Sammy's acting is absolutely superb in this film and he should've won an oscar that year for best actor. His final scene on stage is both sad and incredibly well acted. This movie has some of the greatest legends all in one film. There's Satchmo,Ossie Davis,Frank Sinatra Jr., Mel Torme,Peter Lawford,a very beautiful Cicely Tyson,Janet Du'Bois,Lola Falana,Johnny Brown,and Sammy's music director George Rhodes. Look for Morgan Freeman as an extra in a club scene and also Albert'Poppy'Popwell as an extra. Albert played in several Clint Eastwood movies (once as a pimp,one as a bank robber, and once as a fellow cop friend of Dirty Harry's.What a great film that at least should be shown on the Black networks.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Blues for Adam Johnson April 17, 2010
Format:Amazon Instant Video|Verified Purchase
Some films try to cram so much emotion into each frame that they leave you feeling a little dizzy, like after a roller-coaster ride. You're exhausted by the dramatic twists and turns of the story, but exhilarated by the effort; confused by the wildly conflicting shifts in tone, yet inspired by what you believe the filmmakers were straining to achieve. That's what the experience of watching "A Man Called Adam" is like.

Filmed in 1966, while the Civil Rights struggle was shaking the United States out of its complacency over the so-called "Negro problem", with Black Panthers, protests, sit-ins, and urban uprisings sending their angry smoke into the sky, this confrontational little black & white film tells the story of a prodigiously talented jazz musician and singer, Adam Johnson, who is played by none other than the similarly hugely gifted performer, Sammy Davis, Jr.

Adam has some serious personal and social problems. He's arrogant to the point of violence, foul-mouthed, selfish and brutal in his dealings with women, drinks and smokes too much, and, well, you get the picture, eh? Self-destructive is an understatement. You're subjected to about an hour-and-a-half of all this masochistic suffering, blow-by-blow, insult after insult. It gets kind of intense after a while, to the point where you're about to throw your hands up and exclaim in exasperation: "This guy is a major (expletive of your choice)!"

And yet...and yet, as you watch Sammy Davis, Jr. run himself through a wringer trying to hold on to the reins of this sad and tortured genius, you begin to be impressed by his energy as manages to keep such a potentially unsympathetic character alive and breathing when you wish he'd just go away and die.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT EXCELLENT FILM. March 20, 2013
By Mrs. C.
Format:Amazon Instant Video|Verified Purchase
Sammy Davis Jr's best work ever. He nailed it and he deserved an Oscar for this performance. If you are a jazz fan this is a must see. If you are a musician of any genre it's a must see. "Adam" is a very realistic look at a Jazz superstar caught totally insulated in his jazz world while the world is changing around him. The setting is the 1960's civil rights era which he is totally oblivious to. However he finds himself confronted with racism and personally yet fearlessly fighting those individual battles. He is a guy in the fast lane with adoring fans and groupies but he is flawed highly troubled with major personal problems and is a complete jackass. THE MUSIC SCORE BY BENNY CARTER IS WORTH IT ALONE. Sammy Davis' fabulous trumpet solo's were recorded by Nat Adderley. Sammy's singing is divine. So many stars in this film like Louis Armstrong,a very young Frank Sinatra Jr ( he was good in his role) Cicely Tyson, Ossie Davis, Peter Lawford and more. There are very interesting twists and turns in the plot. Very powerful and not to be missed.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic Must See Jazz Movie May 21, 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I haven't seen this music since I was very young. The day I got it in mail I quickly opened it and put in DVD to watch. I didn't leave the couch till the movie ended. I had been searching for this film and movies like it for a long time. If you are a Sammy Davis Jr., Louis Armstrong, Mel Torme, or Cicely Tyson, Ossie Davis fan such as me, you will thoroughly enjoy this movie. I recommend this film to any music lover, especially jazz.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome movie. February 27, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I am a very big fan of Sammy Davis Jr. I had never heard of this movie. I was really impressed. Great acting. A lot of future stars. Highly recommend!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sammy Davis Junior at his best... October 14, 2013
Format:Amazon Instant Video
What a legend he is. He is so missed and this movie brings him back to our hearts and the big screen. I watched this movie 2 times and it just got better and better. What a good movie by a great performer. We love ya Sammy and we love this movie. He plays the role right from the heart giving it his best.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth watching for the music and social commentary January 28, 2014
Format:Amazon Instant Video
This film was notable for its time in featuring a cast in which the lead characters are almost all African Americans, and for highlighting social and cultural issues such as the conflict between black performers and white agents and others who controlled the music business, as well as the dangers to black musicians and their white band members of touring in the segregated south. Especially good in their roles are Ossie Davis and a very young Cicely Tyson. The story line and characters are pretty realistic and believeable, though there are occasional leaps in the plot development that left me wanting a better explanation of the characters' motivations and thinking.

The Jazz soundtrack is well worth hearing, and features both well-known and lesser-known jazz musicians, both onscreen and in "ghosting" roles. Nat Addeley plays trumpet behind Sammy Davis Jr.'s onscreen performances (don't look too closely at Davis's trumpet fingering!). Louis Armstrong plays an aging musician, beloved of the younger musicians, and performs a couple of tunes as well. Also performing are jazz greats Kai Winding, Junior Mance, Jo Jones, Mel Torme, and others. The musical numbers in the club scenes are lively and convey the feel of the era. Definitely worth watching if you at all enjoy jazz.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 14 days ago by james nisbet
5.0 out of 5 stars The Most Talented and Versatile Performer In History.
Sammy Davis tapped into his dark side for a brilliant performance. This is one of my favorite movies.
Published 20 days ago by Kevin
5.0 out of 5 stars great jazz movie with a lot of issues of what ...
I saw a little bit of this movie on TV and knew I needed it for my collection!! great jazz movie with a lot of issues of what was going on at the time, great acting and great music... Read more
Published 2 months ago by roberta napoli
5.0 out of 5 stars great acting, story and direction
Wow, what a cast, great acting, story and direction. Well worth the time.
Published 2 months ago by Carlos Rodriguez
5.0 out of 5 stars It's only 1 Sammy Davis whose THE Greatest Black entertainer of all...
I loved it!
Published 2 months ago by Michelle
3.0 out of 5 stars A Man Called Adam
This movie was very interesting to me because there are not a lot of movies with Sammy Davis Jr. in them. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Monica Brown
5.0 out of 5 stars A rare movie with Sammy Davis Jr.
I just recently watched this film, I have not seen it for at least 15 years, when I saw that Amazon had it I wanted it for my own. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Audrey Chaney
2.0 out of 5 stars Soggy melodrama.
Lacking plot. Tiresome acting by Sammy Davis. Only redeemable by the appearance of Louis Armstrong and the other jazz masters.
Published 8 months ago by James Martin
4.0 out of 5 stars Sammy Davis Jr. was a believable actor!
I thought that Sammy Davis Jr. was believable as Adam. A complex story of why Adam is throwing his talents away on booze until the whole story unfolds. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Verbal Kentz
4.0 out of 5 stars Review
Good, underated film featuring some of the finist artist in jazz. Many of them, like Joe Williams, jo Jones and Frank Wess, not credited.
Published 10 months ago by rford
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