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 have seen this film several times and use it as a teaching aid when I teach my high school psychology class, as it brings up issues concerning unethical treatment as well as brain disorders (in this case syphilis). The film is VERY moving and you can't help but get absorbed into the film due to its excellent writing and characterizations. About the only reason the film doesn't merit a 10 is that the background for the movie is vague and I needed to research on my own. I found that the movie was based on a play which was a fictionalized account of a true study done in the Southern US. Like the real case, the participants were lied to and told they were getting treatment. As a result, most died a long and horrible death due to a slow disintegration of the brain. The character of Miss Evers, by the way, was fictional as were the names of the other participants. However, despite this, this in no way minimizes the horror of the real-life tale. This is a sad and moving must-see film.
5 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?