Paul Robeson is Brutus Jones, a railroad porter who kills a man and escapes from a prison chain gang. Gaining passage on a tramp steamer by shoveling coal, he literally welcomes trouble when told that a Caribbean island the ship is passing is run by a despot. Although based on a play by Eugene O’Neill, Robeson’s adventuresome character literally transcends the material. At first, bought as a slave by Smithers (Dudley Digges), after he is captured by the despot’s soldiers, he quickly turns the tables. He proves invincible to bullets fired from the soldier’s gun, which he had cleverly replaced with blanks. What is most appealing about his performance is that even in the most repressive situations he is able to maintain a level of dignity and soon turns a negative situation into something positive.