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A Man Called Adam (1966)

A famous jazz trumpeter finds himself unable to cope with the problems of everyday life.

Director:

Leo Penn

Writers:

Lester Pine, Tina Pine (as Tina Rome)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sammy Davis Jr. ... Adam Johnson
Louis Armstrong ... Willie Ferguson
Ossie Davis ... Nelson Davis
Cicely Tyson ... Claudia Ferguson
Frank Sinatra Jr. ... Vincent
Mel Tormé ... Guest Singer at Party
Peter Lawford ... Manny
Johnny Brown ... Blind Les
George Rhodes George Rhodes ... Leroy
Michael Silva Michael Silva ... George
Kai Winding Kai Winding ... Trombonist
Ja'net DuBois ... Martha (as Jeanette DuBois)
Michael Lipton Michael Lipton ... Bobby Gales
Lola Falana ... Theo
Kenneth Tobey ... Club Owner
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Storyline

A famous jazz trumpeter finds himself unable to cope with the problems of everyday life.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In Adam's Swinging World You Had to Be Tough Just to Survive! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Music

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 December 1967 (Hungary) See more »

Also Known As:

La pelle brucia See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Trace-Mark Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Film debut of Lola Falana. See more »

Quotes

Martha: I understand you were involved in sit-ins, demonstrations and all of that down there.
Claudia Ferguson: Yes.
Martha: Fantastic. You mean you sit on stools. A cat comes along and knocks you off and you just get back on it.
Claudia Ferguson: Well... I...
Martha: Messy cats! I hear they have special classes where they teach you how to take abuse. Why don't you teach me some of that damn abuse, you dirty, black bitch!
[She slaps Claudia across the face]
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #20.174 (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Soft Touch
(uncredited)
Music by Benny Carter
See more »

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User Reviews

 
"Young Man With a Horn" for a cynical, racially-heated era...a decent showcase for the assembled talents
1 September 2010 | by moonspinner55See all my reviews

Sammy Davis Jr. does well with a self-destructive, unlikable role, that of a jazz trumpet player (with the ridiculously Anglo-ized name of Adam Johnson) who finds true love for the first time with a virginal bleeding heart: a sensible civil rights activist who wants to reform the hot-headed musician of his hard liquor and hard-living. Adam, carrying around a multitude of shoulder-chips, lashes out at everybody and never seems to land on his feet; after burning all his bridges, he finds himself at the end of his professional rope--yet the faithful are still hopeful he can make a comeback. Davis mimes the trumpet well enough, but this character is tough to take (if he's not humiliating himself, he's hurting all his loved ones). Much better are Ossie Davis as a friend with a strong center and endless patience, as well as love-interest Cicely Tyson (her sparkling smile is particularly ingratiating, though she has a speech late in the movie about robbing Davis of his manhood that plays all wrong). Mel Tormé stops the show with a terrific rendition of "All That Jazz", while the superb soundtrack and Jack Priestley's gleaming cinematography are first-rate throughout. Director Leo Penn is best at the smaller bits of business; the action happening just left of center is far more interesting than the film's big dramatic moments, which tend to run away from Penn. Worse, the montage-heavy final act is movie-shorthand for the Last Hurrah, a worn-out cliché even in 1966. ** from ****


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