Leadbelly (1976 film)

Directed by Gordon Parks

The Huddie Ledbetter Story

The early life of Huddie Ledbetter is recounted in the 1976 film “Leadbelly” written by Ernest Kinoy, and directed by Gordon Parks.

Cast Of Characters:

Roger E. Mosley – Huddie Ledbetter
Paul Benjamin – Wes Ledbetter
Lynn Hamilton – Sally Ledbetter
Art Evans – Blind Lemon Jefferson
Madge Sinclair – Miss Eula
Rozaa Jean – Sugar Tit
James Brodhead – John Lomax
John Henry Faulk – Gov. Neff
Alan Manson – Prison Chief Guard
Albert Hall – Dicklicker
Vivian Bonnell – Old Lady
Dana Manno – Margaret Judd
Rhetta Greene – Lethe
Valerie Odell – Amy

The film is fairly accurate historically and covers most of the important milestones of Huddie Ledbetter’s early life from his troubles as a young un-expectant father and departure from his childhood home in Mooringsport, Louisiana, to his eventual incarceration at Sugarland, his escape, and recapture.

Depicted additionally are his adventures on Shreveport’s notorious Fanning St., his introduction to the twelve string guitar, and his travels with the legendary Texas bluesman Blind Lemon Jefferson. He sings for the governor from prison who promises to arrange for his release at the end of his term. However Huddie’s triumph is short lived when he stabs a man in self-defense returning to a life of incarnation.

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