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Jim Brown All American

4.6 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Spike Lee directs a flawed but fascinating portrait of the sports legend, actor, and activist in Jim Brown: All American. Interviewing former coaches, teammates, and celebrity observers (including Oliver Stone), and with Brown's cooperation, this HBO documentary is best at detailing Brown's early life. Briefly raised by a great-grandmother in Georgia, Brown moved to Long Island, where he found a supportive, predominantly white, community that encouraged his high school victories in basketball, lacrosse, tennis, and, of course, football. He encounters racism at Syracuse University, but Brown's performance and pride overwhelmed all resistance. The Cleveland Browns chapter explains how Brown dominated the game, and then Lee ventures into his subject's experiences in Hollywood and as an African American community leader. The film is engaging and disciplined until controversial issues arise--Brown's alleged abuse toward women, for example--and Lee refuses to press. But in general, this is a good piece about a charismatic, dynamic figure. --Tom Keogh

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Art Modell, Walter Beach, Ed Walsh, Sam Oakley, Ed Corley
  • Directors: Spike Lee
  • Producers: Spike Lee, Mike Ellis, Rick Bernstein, Ross Greenburg, Samuel D. Pollard
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Hbo Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: August 24, 2004
  • Run Time: 140 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000D9BBJ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,907 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Jim Brown All American" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
This documentary is probably more balanced thatn ESPN's and FOX's versions combined. Subjects like Jim Brown are difficult to be encapsuled in such a short time, but Spike probably did as good a job as any filmmaker could.

I also agree agout the balance concerning his legal issues. Allowing multiple parties to express their perspectives gives the viewer the responsibility to make up his/her own mind.

The most impressive thing was Jim expressing lament and remorse for not being the father he wanted to be for his children (prior to his present marriage to Monique and their two children). He took responsibility for their development and stated that by dealing with his personal survival and conflict with their respective mothers, the children suffer.

Overall, I highly recommend this documetary to anyone who says that athletes are one-dimensional and superficial.
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JIM BROWN: ALL AMERICAN is just that, as the story of athlete/actor/philanthropist Jim Brown says as much about America as it does about the man. I don't think I need to give examples of what I mean when I say one's view of Jim Brown reveals no less than how he or she sees the United States.

While I recommend this documentary, I don't rate it higher because of the expectations I took to it. JIM BROWN: ALL AMERICAN is a Home Box Office presentation of a Spike Lee film about Jim Brown, after all! The quality of H.B.O. television is an oasis from the vast wasteland of the medium. Spike Lee is one of our premiere filmmakers. With such a creative force behind JIM BROWN: ALL AMERICAN, I envisioned nothing less than the movie version of Jim Brown's dead honest 1989 autobiography OUT OF BOUNDS, where with just words on paper the man flattened me, giving me an idea of how the football players whose tackles he so easily broke every season must have felt watching him hurtle by, let alone those who challenged him in other ways.

JIM BROWN: ALL AMERICAN has its moments, showing us this man who seems to have a wall between himself and you; at times even Jim Brown's children feel they must keep their distance. Yet with his ventures such as Amer-I-Can he reaches out, seeking to help others realize their potential. The wall keeping you from getting near Jim Brown seems to be just who he is, and those who try to penetrate it can end up like yet another gridiron defender tumbling in in grass and dirt, feeling foolish for trying to take him down.

On the whole, though, JIM BROWN: ALL AMERICAN does not keep up the intensity I anticipated. But again, maybe I was just expecting too much.

I'll say this.
Read more ›
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As Jim Brown gets up there in years, there are an increasing number of tributes to him, both in print and on video. This has to be the best video version you'll find.

There's lots of athletes we watch. There's very few we listen to. Without exception, every time you listen to Jim Brown, you will learn something new. You may not agree 100 percent. But you will learn. Brown could have gotten lazy and traded on his celebrity for decades. But he quit football, and later the movies, ahead of schedule to spend time with at-risk youth in need of a steady hand and inspiration. There's no way to count how many men Brown ran over, just as there's no way to count how many young men he saved.

Get it. Learn something.
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Very informative and comprehensive view of a legend. I think Spike's best works are his documentaries. I recommend this to anyone who remembers one of the greatest running backs of all time. You always knew that there was something deep about Jim Brown and this movie details his complexities.
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Format: DVD
Spike Lee analyzes the multi-faceted football legend in exhaustive detail. Beneath the stern, rock-solid exterior, Brown is an amazingly human figure, quietly thoughtful and passionately dedicated to what he believes in. It's motivational just listening to the man speak, whether he's fondly remembering his football heyday, discussing the implications of his acting career or admitting his personal faults as a partner and parent. He's not without a few blemishes, but which of us is? Coming into this with the expectation of little more than a rose-tinted lesson in sports history, I was surprised when the discussion about Brown's athletic career barely took up a third of the running time. Jim is much more than an athlete-turned B-Movie actor, and Lee expertly coaxes him into explaining why. A touch long-winded and egotistical, just like the man himself, it's mostly worth the investment.
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This is a man who made his mark in the NFL, movies and Civil rights. Yes, he retired at the prime of his career. I would say, "The Best Runner of All Times".
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I loved Jim Brown as a football player! Have been a Browns fan since the 1950's. His personal opinions regarding politics, I don't agree with.
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excellent video. by humanizing Mr. Brown this film shows how one can be demonized & canonized in the same breath
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