Meet the Cast
played by Albert Finney
John Newton played by Albert Finney
Meet John Newton
The legacy of William Wilberforce is tied to his relationship with John Newton. John Newton, an ex-slave trader turned minister and abolitionist, wrote the lyrics for the hymn Amazing Grace and became Wilberforce's spiritual counselor. He set his young protégé on the path of service to humanity. It was only after Wilberforce underwent what he later described as his "great change" or embrace of Christianity, that he became a reformer. Newton knew this to be true, and invoking the deliverance language of the Old Testament Book of Esther, told Wilberforce that it was "for such a time as this" that he had been placed in a position as a powerful Member of Parliament to secure the abolition of the slave trade. It was in the House of Commons, Newton stated, that Wilberforce could best serve God.
About Albert Finney
Early success on the British stage led Albert Finney to film stardom, after his leading roles in two very different films—Karel Reisz' working class drama Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, and the period romp Tom Jones. The latter performance won him a Golden Globe Award®, and nominations for the Academy® and BAFTA Awards®.