In the early 1900s, a Swedish worker (Tommy Berggren) and his brother travel to America where they realize that laborers have virtually no rights whatsoever. The story of the singing labor activist who was executed in 1915 for a murder he probably did not commit became a compelling film in spite of the clashes between the director and his American collaborators. Shot both in the U.S. and Sweden, this drama is uneven, especially the acting. Berggren is convincing, though, and together with the director he finds the poetry in this character, the talent and passion that made Joe Hill stand out as a union organizer.
1971-Sweden-U.S. 117 min. Color. Produced by Waldemar Bergendahl, Bo Widerberg. Written and directed by Bo Widerberg. Cast: Tommy Berggren (Joe Hill), Anja Schmidt (Lucia), Kelvin Malave (”The Fox”), Evert Anderson, Cathy Smith, Hasse Persson.
Cannes: Jury Prize.