In 1932 Macon County, Alabama, the federal government launched into a medical study called The Tuskegee Study of Untreated Blacks With Syphilis. The study selected 412 men infected with the disease and faked long term treatment, while really only giving them placebos and liniments. The premise of the action was to determine if blacks reacted similar to whites to the overall effects of the disease. The experiment was only discontinued 40 years later when a Senate investigation was initiated. At that time, only 127 of the original study group were left alive. The story is told from the point of view of Nurse Eunice Evers, who was well aware of the lack of treatment being offered, but felt her role was to console the involved men, many of whom were her direct friends. In fact the movie's name comes from the fact that a performing dancer and three musicians named their act for her - "Miss Evers' Boys". All had the disease. A romance with one goes unrequited even after he joins the army ... Written by
I bought this together with "A Lesson Before Dying" by the same director and whilst I found the latter well-filmed, engrossing and very good on character analysis, I found Miss Evers' Boys to be a bit of a disappointment. You don't really get taken up into the story. Picture quality is hazy and fuzzy and you end up wondering really where Miss Evers was going in life ........... nowhere ! When you read the synopsis, you think you're in for a good, emotional, heart-rending story. However, that is not the impression which was conveyed to me. Miss Evers' even refuses romance, which could have been a saving grace. Why didn't she subtilise more penicillin if she was so concerned ? I tend to like these "racial" dramas, even though they are over-romanticized, but this one left me pretty near cold !
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