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Assault at West Point: The Court-Martial of Johnson Whittaker (1994)

The story of Johnson Whittaker, one of the first African-American cadets admitted to West Point. Tied down and beaten by his fellow cadets, Whittaker was court-martialed on the grounds that... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Richard Greener
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Daniel Chamberlain
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Henry D. Hyde
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Maj. Charles T. Alexander
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McIntosh
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Dan Broyles
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Old Johnson Whittaker
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Cadet Lewis Ostheim
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Vernon Bailey
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Maj. Asa Bird Gardiner
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Dr. Beard
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Capt. William Smith Michie
George Martin ...
Scott Paetty ...
Cadet George Burnett
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Storyline

The story of Johnson Whittaker, one of the first African-American cadets admitted to West Point. Tied down and beaten by his fellow cadets, Whittaker was court-martialed on the grounds that he staged his own assault to avoid taking a philosophy exam. His defense attorneys consisted of a racist and a Harvard Graduate who squabble over how best to present his defense. Written by Keath <keath@webtv.net>

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Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

27 February 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Assault at Westpoint  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

The Garand rifle on the cover picture wasn't designed till the 1930s. See more »

Quotes

Maj. Asa Bird Gardiner: They shouted, "This is how we mark hogs down South". How do they mark hogs down South?
Cadet Johnson Whittaker: I don't know, I'm not a hogs marker.
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User Reviews

Good Acting, but not for title character
9 July 2004 | by (San Francisco) – See all my reviews

I am glad this story was dramatized. It is an excellent, if not frustrating story and it is played out well. I do have to disagree with the portrayal of Johnson Whittaker, though. I do not feel Seth Gilliam did a good job at portraying the conflict, emotion and frustration he must have felt. Scenes with Samuel L Jackson were, as always, excellent. And Sam Waterston was excellent playing a bigoted lawyer conflicted in his feelings towards race and upholding the law. This movie makes you incredulous. But, since it is accurate and based on the court records, gives us a good indication of the incredible injustices that the supposed justice system was upholding in the late 1800s. (I know, it was a court martial, not a trial, but still presumably based on justice.)


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