Mr. Jones

Mr. Jones

DVD - 2020
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Set on the eve of world WWII, Hitler is rising to power and Stalin's Soviet propaganda machine is pushing their "utopia" to the West. Meanwhile an ambitious young journalist, Gareth Jones travels to Moscow to uncover the truth behind the propaganda, but then gets a tip that could expose an international conspiracy, one that could cost him and his informant their lives. Jones goes on a life-or-death journey to uncover the truth that inspired George Orwell's seminal book Animal Farm.
Publisher: United States : Samuel Goldwyn Films, 2020.
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (119 minutes) :,sound, colour ;,12 cm
Alternative Title: Mister Jones [DVD]

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richmole
Oct 17, 2020

It should have rated more than 3.5 stars...but no. It's got a major unresolved subplot, sadly.

However, don't let that stop you from watching this captivating 1930s drama in which truth does not win in the end, even when (miracle of miracles!) it actually gets published. Based on a true story of an unrecognized journalist who definitely goes the distance (in this case, from underground action inside Moscow to the abject poverty of the Ukraine) in search of the truth.

Fascinating period piece of time and place.

There are actually two stories here, and apart from one or two scenes, the main character doesn't come in contact with the real-life main character of the 2nd story at all.

Wanted a lot more from the main character of story #2.

JCLMikeK Sep 21, 2020

I don't think Mr. Jones ever got much of a release in the US, and that's a shame, because it's a really well-made and timely historical film. It's the true story of a journalist (Gareth Jones, played by James Norton) who traveled to the Soviet Union in the 1930s and eventually discovered Stalin's Ukrainian famine, and briefly covers his ensuing struggle to get the world to believe his story. The performances were all good, the recreation of Moscow was interesting to see, but I think the scenes in Ukraine are what make this movie better than your average historical film. That segment of the movie is truly unnerving and nightmarish. I wish the movie had filled in the ending a little more, as I'd never heard Jones' story and was curious to know more, but I suppose that's what the Internet is for. Overall, a very good film that's perfect for the journalist, misguided collectivist, and/or anti-Communist in your life (although viewers looking for a film about the Counting Crows song will be sorely disappointed).

n
nellybells
Sep 07, 2020

Manohla Dargis, a NY Times movie critic of the first order, describes this movie as a "grim, quietly furious movie. . ." I had to go away for some minutes throughout it's 2 hours. It is hard to watch.

For people who don't know the history, Stalin could not feed the people of Russia, and he made a 5-year plan which entailed taking all the grain from Ukraine and moving it to Moscow. Mass starvation in Ukraine followed. Stalin and other leaders said it was not true. What our dear leader would call fake news today. But it was true.

Very difficult to get to Ukraine. Foreign journalists could not leave Moscow. One journalist who "escaped" to Ukraine was shot 4 times in the back when he returned to Moscow before he could file his story. Our hero in this movie also escaped to Ukraine and it was grim, grimmer, grimmest.

And people did not know about Stalin yet. About the famine in Ukraine, about the Gulag, about the summary executions of writers, dissidents, children of dissidents, Jews. Those on the left, Communists and fellow travelers, so wanted to believe this was going to be a workers' paradise, that this revolution would change the world. They believed, they believed, and it took a very long time for the true conditions to emerge.

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