Bruce Beresford

Mister Johnson

Mister Johnson

A decade after he broke through with Breaker Morant, Australian director Bruce Beresford made another acclaimed film about the effects of colonialism on the individual. In a performance that earned him the Berlin Film Festival’s Silver Bear for best actor, Maynard Eziashi plays the title character, a Nigerian villager eager to work as a civil servant for the British authorities, including a sympathetic district officer (Pierce Brosnan), in the hope that it will benefit him in the future. Instead, his ambition leads to his tragic downfall. Mister Johnson, based on the 1939 novel by Joyce Cary, is a graceful, heartfelt drama about the limits of idealism, affectingly acted and handsomely shot.

Film Info

  • Bruce Beresford
  • United States
  • 1990
  • 101 minutes
  • Color
  • 1.85:1
  • English
  • Spine #774

Special Features

DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION:

  • New, restored 4K digital transfer, supervised and approved by director Bruce Beresford, with uncompressed stereo soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New interviews with Beresford, producer Michael Fitzgerald, and actors Maynard Eziashi and Pierce Brosnan
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: An essay by film scholar Neil Sinyard

New cover by Sean Phillips

Purchase Options

Special Features

DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION:

  • New, restored 4K digital transfer, supervised and approved by director Bruce Beresford, with uncompressed stereo soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New interviews with Beresford, producer Michael Fitzgerald, and actors Maynard Eziashi and Pierce Brosnan
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: An essay by film scholar Neil Sinyard

New cover by Sean Phillips

Mister Johnson
Cast
Maynard Eziashi
Mister Johnson
Pierce Brosnan
Harry Rudbeck
Edward Woodward
Sargy Gollup
Beatie Edney
Celia Rudbeck
Denis Quilley
Bulteen
Bella Enahoro
Bamu
Kwabena Manso
Benjamin
Nick Reding
Tring
Femi Fatoba
Waziri
Chief Hubert Ogunde
Brimah
Sola Adeyemi
Ajali
Credits
Director
Bruce Beresford
Produced by
Michael Fitzgerald
Screenplay
William Boyd
Based upon the novel by
Joyce Cary
Director of photography
Peter James
Coproducer
Penelope Glass
Executive producer
Bill Benenson
Edited by
Humphrey Dixon
Music
Georges Delerue
Costume designer
Rosemary Burrows
Production executive
Eva Monley
Assistant director
Guy Travers
Production design
Herbert Pinter

From The Current

Mister Johnson: Off the Beaten Track
Mister Johnson: Off the Beaten Track

Bruce Beresford critiques the British colonialist era in this precise, layered adaptation of a 1939 novel by Joyce Cary.

By Neil Sinyard

/
Talking to Bruce Beresford
Talking to Bruce Beresford

This week, veteran director Bruce Beresford joins the collection with Breaker Morant and Mister Johnson, two early twentieth-century period pieces about colonialism and its destructive legacies. Beresford (seen above on the set of Mister Johnson) has…

/

Explore

Georges Delerue

Composer

Composer Georges Delerue, once named “the Mozart of cinema” by the French newspaper Le Figaro, wrote more than 350 film and television scores, along with pop songs, ballads, and orchestral pieces. In the course of his work with such titans of cinema as Jean-Luc Godard, François Truffaut, Alain Resnais, Mike Nichols, and Oliver Stone, Delerue, a native of Roubaix, France, created some of the most evocative film music of all time. Although he was trained in metallurgy, and began his working life in a metal factory, his lineage was musical (grandfather a choral singer, mother a pianist), and he found himself drawn in that direction, first studying the clarinet and eventually beginning to compose. After doing some scoring for television and short films (including Agnès Varda’s early short L’opéra mouffe, which is available on Criterion’s edition of Cléo from 5 to 7), Delerue was approached by Resnais and Truffaut to write the themes to Hiroshima mon amour and Shoot the Piano Player, two works at the forefront of the French New Wave movement. The scores for which he is now best known followed close on their heels: his energetic, lovely melody for Jules and Jim and his grand, swoony, undulating theme for Contempt—the latter appropriated years later by Martin Scorsese for his 1995 drama Casino. Delerue’s stature grew, thanks to scores for such films as The Two of Us and King of Hearts, and eventually he would not only win an Oscar (for 1979’s A Little Romance) and three Césars in a row (for Get Out Your Handkerchiefs, Love on the Run, and The Last Metro) but also be named a Commander of Arts and Letters, one of France’s highest cultural honors. He came to Hollywood in the eighties and wrote music for Platoon, Beaches, and Steel Magnolias, among others. Delerue died in 1992.