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Danny Glover stars in John Henry, the “steel driving man” Thursday

Posted on: December 27, 2011

The Murphy Library’s Thursday movie is a family film about that “steel driving man” John Henry, starring Danny Glover, Tom Hulce and Lou Rawls.  Screenings at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.  Running time 58 minutes.  Call 837-2417.  A trailer was not available for this film.

The legend of John Henry is famous among the mountains of Appalachia.  He was a former slave, some say from Tennessee, who worked as a “steel driver” for the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway.  He would hit steel spikes into the rocks of a mountain, slowly turning them to create the tunnels for the trains.  Then one day the railroad brings a steam hammer that could do the job of many men.  Seeing his job at stake and that of his friends, John Henry dares the steam hammer to a race, and the rest is legend.

John Henry is part of Shelley Duvall’s 1985 TV series, Tall Tales & Legends. She was nominated for an Emmy for this children’s show.   Besides Glover, the cast includes Tom Hulce (of Amadeus fame), Lynn Whitfield, Barry Corbin, and Lou Rawls.

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