Video: TV News Goes Hollywood

Re-enactments are turning journalists into moviemakers

The time is the late 1940s, the place Montgomery. James Earl Jones, portraying civil rights pioneer Vernon Johns, walks into an all-white diner, plops himself onto a stool and orders lunch. When the proprietor scornfully pours a Coke all over the counter, Jones erupts. "There's something inside of me," he growls, grabbing the man by the lapels, "that doesn't like to be pushed around!"

It is perhaps the archetypal scene of the early civil rights struggle. Yet this particular restaging of it was a breakthrough for a quite different reason. It appeared not in a TV movie or a PBS docudrama...

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