The Man DVD (Region 1) Full Frame. Color. James Earl Jones, Martin Balsam, Burgess Meredith, Lew Ayres, Jack Benny, Barbara Rush.
James Earl Jones plays Douglass Dilman, the President pro tempore of the United States Senate, who succeeds to the presidency through a series of unforeseeable events, thereby becoming both the first African American president and the first wholly unelected one. The screenplay, written by Rod Serling, is largely based upon The Man, a novel by Irving Wallace. In addition to being the first black president more than thirty-six years before the real-world occurrence, the fictional Dilman was also the first president elected to neither that office nor to the Vice Presidency, foreshadowing the real-world elevation of Gerald Ford by less than twenty-five months.