The Great Debaters (2007)
Critic Consensus: A wonderful cast and top-notch script elevate The Great Debaters beyond a familiar formula for a touching, uplifting drama.
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as Melvin B. Tolson
as Henry Lowe
as Samantha Booke
as James Farmer Jr.
as Hamilton Burgess
as Dr. James Farmer Sr.
as Ruth Tolson
as Sheriff Dozier
as Pearl Farmer
as Helen Farmer
as Nathaniel Farmer
as Pig Owner
as Pig Farmer
as Dunbar Reed
as Harland Osbourne
as Harvard Debater No. 1
as Harvard Debater No. 2
as Harvard Dean
as Paul Quinn Debater #1
as Paul Quinn Debate Judge
as Paul Quinn Debater #2
as Dr. Jennings
as Paul Quinn Debate Judge
as Oklahoma City College Debater #1
as Oklahoma City College Debater #2
as Captain Wainwright
as Security Guard
as Enormous Man
as Radio Announcer at Harvard Debate
as White Man at Lynching
as William Taylor
as White Labor Organizer
as White Sharecropper #1
as White Sharecropper #2
as Prairie View Professor
as Howard Debater #1
as Juke Joint Musician #1
as Juke Joint Musician #2
as Juke Joint Musician #3
as Juke Joint Musician #4
as Fisk Professor
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Critic Reviews for The Great Debaters
Despite its transparent manipulations, the film is more decent than it deserves to be, particularly when the kids step up to the podium and get passionate
As for Mr. Parker and Ms. Smollett, there's no debating what awaits them -- stardom, very soon.
The Great Debaters succeeds in bringing a lump to the throat without, as is de rigueur these days, insulting our intelligence.
The Great Debaters is well-acted, deeply felt and delivers a positive message about the importance of education.
The film may be manipulative in its construction, and cliché-ridden in some of the incidents it recounts, but it has a good, large heart.
Audience Reviews for The Great Debaters
Inspiring American story that''s told much like a sports movie - very much a "feel-good" film, not amazing but quite enjoyable.
an amazing film without question. let me start with my disclaimer, denzel admitted to knowingly and willfully changing major facts in this story for the purpose of manufacturing extra "inspiration". I am strongly against this practice in films based on true stories. if the story is worth telling, tell it the way it happened, if you need to change the story too much then its not worth telling. the acting on every front was absolutely phenomenal, the story despite the inaccuracies was beautiful, and the film was shot well and very engaging.
When it comes to the racial issues touched upon in this film, we only skim the surface, but when it comes to the art of debating, this film is more than a regular formula drama of similar subject matter. It's engrossing, well-written, inspiring, and powerfully acted all round. I would expect nothing less than stardom for Nate Parker and Jurnee Smollett very soon.
The Great Debaters Quotes
|James Farmer Sr.:||Are you fooling around with that girl son?|
|Henry Lowe:||self-pity: i have never seen wild things sorry for itself|
|Henry Lowe:||I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself.|
|Melvin B. Tolson:||Debate is blood sport. It's combat. But your weapons are words|
|Melvin B. Tolson:||Debate is blood sport. It's combat. But your weapons are words.|
|Henry Lowe:||Who is the judge?|
|James Farmer Jr.:||The judge is God.|
|Henry Lowe:||And why is he God?|
|James Farmer Jr.:||Because, he decides who wins or loses, not my opponent.|
|Henry Lowe:||And who is your opponent?|
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