11 user 7 critic
1:36 | Trailer
The story of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., stretching from his days as a Southern Baptist minister up to his assassination in Memphis in 1968.




Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 8 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

More Like This 

A Woman Called Moses (TV Series 1978)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A film about the life and career of the African American abolitionist and slave escape leader, Harriet Tubman.

Stars: Jason Bernard, Clifford David, Judyann Elder
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Story of a black woman in the South who was born into slavery in the 1850s and lives to become a part of the civil rights movement in the 1960s.

Director: John Korty
Stars: Cicely Tyson, Eric Brown, Richard Dysart
The Rosa Parks Story (TV Movie 2002)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A seamstress recalls events leading to her act of peaceful defiance that prompted the 1955 bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama.

Director: Julie Dash
Stars: Angela Bassett, Peter Francis James, Tonea Stewart
Lackawanna Blues (TV Movie 2005)
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

In a story fueled by rhythm and blues, a young boy's life is shaped by love and the stories of a cast of characters in the boarding house where he lives in 1960s Lackawanna, New York.

Director: George C. Wolfe
Stars: S. Epatha Merkerson, Marcus Carl Franklin, Yasiin Bey
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Based on the novel by Gloria Naylor, which deals with several strong-willed women who live in a rundown housing project on Brewster Place in an unidentified eastern city; across three ... See full summary »

Stars: Oprah Winfrey, Mary Alice, Olivia Cole
The Marva Collins Story (TV Movie 1981)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

In this touching story, a dedicated African-American teacher in an inner-city school in the midwestern United States facing tough odds helps ghetto children to succeed. Meanwhile, she faces... See full summary »

Director: Peter Levin
Stars: Cicely Tyson, Morgan Freeman, Rodrick F. Wimberly
Hoodlum (1997)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Black gangsters in 1930 Harlem fights Dutch Schultz who is trying to horn in on their numbers racket.

Director: Bill Duke
Stars: Laurence Fishburne, Tim Roth, Vanessa Williams
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

While planning her family reunion, a pistol-packing grandma must contend with the other dramas on her plate, including the runaway who has been placed under her care, and her love-troubled nieces.

Director: Tyler Perry
Stars: Tyler Perry, Blair Underwood, Lynn Whitfield
Get on Up (2014)
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A chronicle of James Brown's rise from extreme poverty to become one of the most influential musicians in history.

Director: Tate Taylor
Stars: Chadwick Boseman, Nelsan Ellis, Dan Aykroyd
Car Wash (1976)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A comedic take on the daily life of car-wash employees, chronicling their hopes, fears, joys, dreams, and tribulations, and meeting some eccentric customers along the way.

Director: Michael Schultz
Stars: Richard Pryor, Franklyn Ajaye, Darrow Igus
Roots (1977)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A dramatization of author Alex Haley's family line from ancestor Kunta Kinte's enslavement to his descendants' liberation.

Stars: LeVar Burton, Robert Reed, John Amos
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A couple's seemingly solid marriage begins to crumble when the wife discovers that her husband intends to divorce her.

Director: Darren Grant
Stars: Kimberly Elise, Steve Harris, Tyler Perry


Series cast summary:
Paul Winfield ...  Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. 3 episodes, 1978
Cicely Tyson ...  Coretta Scott King 3 episodes, 1978
Tony Bennett ...  Himself 3 episodes, 1978
Roscoe Lee Browne ...  Philip Harrison 3 episodes, 1978
Lonny Chapman ...  Chief Frank Holloman 3 episodes, 1978
Ossie Davis ...  Rev. Martin Luther King Sr. 3 episodes, 1978
Cliff De Young ...  Robert F. Kennedy 3 episodes, 1978
Al Freeman Jr. ...  Damon Lockwood 3 episodes, 1978
Clu Gulager ...  William Sullivan 3 episodes, 1978
Steven Hill ...  Stanley Levison 3 episodes, 1978
William Jordan William Jordan ...  John F. Kennedy 3 episodes, 1978
Warren J. Kemmerling ...  Lyndon Johnson 3 episodes, 1978
Lincoln Kilpatrick ...  Jerry Waring 3 episodes, 1978
Kenneth McMillan ...  Bull Connor 3 episodes, 1978
Howard E. Rollins Jr. ...  Andrew Young 3 episodes, 1978
David Spielberg ...  David Beamer 3 episodes, 1978
Dolph Sweet ...  J. Edgar Hoover 3 episodes, 1978
Dick Anthony Williams ...  Malcolm X 3 episodes, 1978
Art Evans ...  A.D. King 3 episodes, 1978
Roger Robinson ...  Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth 3 episodes, 1978
Terry Alexander ...  Bernard Lee 3 episodes, 1978
Robert Christian Robert Christian ...  Wallace 3 episodes, 1978
Sheila Frazier ...  June 3 episodes, 1978
Dallas Edward Hayes Dallas Edward Hayes ...  McKeecham 3 episodes, 1978
Roy Jenson ...  Sheriff Corruthers 3 episodes, 1978
Eric Olson Eric Olson ...  Robert Kennedy's son 3 episodes, 1978
Gene Woodbury Gene Woodbury ...  Claude 3 episodes, 1978
Alveda King ...  Babysitter 3 episodes, 1978
Matt Bennett ...  Reporter 3 episodes, 1978
Julian Bond ...  Himself 3 episodes, 1978
Ed Call Ed Call ...  Withers 3 episodes, 1978
Ladonna Carter Ladonna Carter ...  Bonnie King 3 episodes, 1978
Ramsey Clark Ramsey Clark ...  Himself 3 episodes, 1978
Hope Clarke Hope Clarke ...  Mary 3 episodes, 1978
Gary Combs ...  Young White Man 3 episodes, 1978
Christine King Christine King ...  Ferris Church Soloist 3 episodes, 1978
Jesse D. Goins ...  Harold O'Connor 3 episodes, 1978
Leon Hall ...  SNCC Militant 3 episodes, 1978
Linda Hopkins ...  Ellie 3 episodes, 1978
Bernice King Bernice King ...  Student 3 episodes, 1978
Dexter King Dexter King ...  Student #2 3 episodes, 1978
Martin Luther King III ...  Rev. Briggs 3 episodes, 1978
Nick LaTour ...  Man #1 3 episodes, 1978
Royce Wallace Royce Wallace ...  Mrs. Parker 3 episodes, 1978
Frances E. Williams Frances E. Williams ...  Mrs. Cumby 3 episodes, 1978
Wycliffe Young Wycliffe Young ...  McDonald 3 episodes, 1978
Don Chambers Don Chambers ...  Policeman 3 episodes, 1978
Jeri Gray Jeri Gray ...  Screaming Mourner in Funeral 3 episodes, 1978
Carl Irwin ...  Alabama State Trooper 3 episodes, 1978
John Lafayette 3 episodes, 1978
Saundra McClain ...  Barbara 3 episodes, 1978
Michael Witt Michael Witt ...  reedom Rider's bus driver 3 episodes, 1978


The story of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., stretching from his days as a Southern Baptist minister up to his assassination in Memphis in 1968.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

12 February 1978 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Martin Luther King See more »

Filming Locations:

Memphis, Tennessee, USA

Company Credits

Production Co:

Filmways Television See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Dexter King the son of Martin Luther King Jr. was playing the Student. See more »


Featured in The 30th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards (1978) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

"I've been to the mountaintop and I've seen the promised land"
14 November 2018 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Ten years after his assassination, this fine mini-series documents the adult life and times of Martin Luther King who despite some other fine folks in the field is recognized as premier among the black civil rights leaders. So acknowledged by the fact it is his birthday that is now a national holiday.

Paul Winfield with one magnificent voice captures the cadence and rhythm of Martin Luther King's poetical style of preaching. His abilities as an actor cover the inner emotions and the reasons that King is moved to do the work he did.

From being a newly minted minister and suitor for the hand of Coretta Scott played by Cicely Tyson we see the civil rights movement of the 50s and 60s progress through the eyes of its titular leader.

In the supporting cast I like both William Jordan and Cliff DeYoung as the contrasting personalities of the brothers Kennedy. Jordan as the cool John F. Kennedy and DeYoung as the passionate Robert F. Kennedy. DeYoung really got the accent down impressively.

Martin Luther King certainly did have a private life and if he's regarded for sainthood by some it's for his achievements in advancing civil rights as opposed to any kind of probity in his private life. I doubt most could have stood up to the intense scrutiny he was under Said scrutiny was ordered by that most misanthropic of men in the last century J. Edgar Hoover the 48 year head of the FBI. Things that disturbed the social order like the civil rights movement got Hoover's attention. He spent his last years looking to discredit the movement quite unsuccessfully, but doing a lot of damage along the way. There's a quiet evil in the way Dolph Sweet portrayed him.

In fact some of the private behavior of King is shown in those documented moments before he's shot on a motel balcony in Memphis. You see him among his colleagues there in some down time and these guys could be a salty and rough house bunch, divinity degree notwithstanding.

One thing that did not make me happy was the elimination of Bayard Rustin from the story. I'm thinking Roscoe Lee Browne as Philip Harrison is Rustin and he's as eloquent as I remember him. I actually did meet him during the gay rights struggle in New York City when Rustin finally made it official. In 1978 his gay story was still a hush hush matter. Had King the mini-series been made in 1988 the year after Rustin died he no doubt would have been there in name as well as fact.

The best thing about King is that it makes the civil rights struggle of the time quite real and relevant. You understand the indignities that some minorities have heaped upon them. After that you just might make the connection for all minorities. If that happens you will have been to the mountaintop and seen the promised land.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 11 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Recently Viewed