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9 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Hamilton and Whitfield Show Their True Colors

Author: Julie Chapman ( from Louisiana, USA
11 February 1999

The Color of Courage is based on the true story of the Supreme Court case of Sipes v. McGhee, which challenged the constitutionality of restricted covenants designed to prohibit black families from living in exclusive white neighborhoods in the 1940s, and the unlikely friendship formed between two women.

The film was, unfortunately, very sugar-coated. The reality of the violence that black American familes like the McGhees faced (and sometimes continue to face) in this country while standing up for their basic human rights, was merely hinted at in the USA Network Original. The decision to curb the amount of violence portrayed onscreen was perhaps two-fold: 1) as an effort to appeal to a much wider viewing audience, and 2) in order to use its alotted time to focus primarily on the personal relationship between two women who became friends under the most improbable circumstance.

The sugar coating was the only aspect of this film that did not appeal to me. The opening camera shot (and a few others throughout the movie), is beautifully done as one long, continuous shot with no breaks or cuts in filming. The camera flows through the room, all around the characters, and feels very smooth. It gives the feeling of a live-action play more so than a film.

As usual, Linda Hamilton, a Hollywood veteran of 20 years, added her own unique spark to the character of Anna Sipes. Very much unlike the "tough chick" roles with which many try to stereotype her, she plays a 1940s housewife who calls on inner strength rather than bulging biceps to win her battles. Hamilton brilliantly portrays a pre-feminism woman who cowers like a disciplined puppy when scolded or insulted by her status-seeking husband, while secretly lending friendship and support to her neighbors.

Lynn Whitfield was also magnificent in her portrayal of Minnie McGhee. As a black wife and mother in the racially divided Detroit of the 1940s, Whitfield carries with her in every scene an almost tangible display of pride and determination as she reluctantly joins her husband in a fight for the rights of an entire race.

The two couples were really very much alike: the husbands so proud to have worked hard and been able to provide nice homes and a better environment for their families; the affectionate little flirting scenes with both couples; each family having a child who had no trouble getting along with the other; both women (and later, both men) having contempt for the rest of the other neighbors....

The subject matter of this movie should sicken Americans everywhere. The way blacks (and other minorities) have been treated in this country is deplorable. Thankfully, this film had an uplifting message of friendship and acceptance. The Sipes v. McGhee case was a step in the right direction, but society sure has a long way to go.

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8 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

A Fascinating Look At The Fight Against Segregation

Author: sddavis63 ( from Durham Region, Ontario, Canada
20 November 2000

If you're looking for an action-packed, riot in the streets fight against segregation type of movie, this is not the movie you want. However, if you want realism, and a gripping account of the personal struggle to overcome years of inbred racism, take a look at this movie. The working class (and white) Sipes family have worked their way up in the world and acquired a home in the right kind of neighbourhood, only to have their peace disturbed when a black family (the McGhees) moves in next door. The Sipes struggle. On the one hand, they want to welcome the new neighbours; on the other they are very much aware that the neighbourhood doesn't want the McGhees, and the Sipes end up as front men for a lawsuit to evict them. The story of how they resolve this dilemma makes for interesting viewing, made even more interesting by the fact that it is a true story. It's well worth an hour and a half.

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This movie is a learning experience.

Author: jfarms1956 from United States
7 December 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The Color of Courage is a movie that adults would enjoy but teenagers may want to watch with their parents. The movie is about a slice of American history from which we all can learn from. This is a prime time movie, requiring your full attention. Don't bother with the popcorn. This movie is a learning experience. The actors all pull together to make a believable story. The movie reminds us all that we all are Americans and have the same rights and privileges that each other enjoys. It is quite unexpected to see that Thurgood Marshall argued this case before the Supreme Court Of The United States. I do not know what is argument was, but he won (of course). I would like to see a movie someday about reverse discrimination which also occurs. I would like to see my America with my Americans saying we are Americans, not just white Americans, Euro-Americans, Black Americans, Afro-Americans, but just plain old Americans. We are a nation from diverse cultures, that's true. We should all celebrate who and what we are, not emphasize our cultural heritage. Our heritage now is America. Together we are strong.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

awesome movie

Author: hmorsey ( from erie, illinois
10 February 2003

this is one of the best movies that i have ever seen. it is a true story about two women who try to maintain a friendship despite the racism that is going on even in their own families. Hamilton stars as the white woman who is befriending the black family.

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0 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

I'm Prejudiced But Not In The Racist Sense

Author: Theo Robertson from Isle Of Bute, Scotland
20 October 2005

This follows a real life case involving racial prejudice where a black family The McGhees move into an all white middle class neighbourhood and despite the script being written by one of the McGhee descendants there's a curious lack of drama here . One of the reviewers ( Julie ) mentioned how the film is " sugar coated " and that's the problem . Despite using the " N " word a couple of times there's a distinct lack of on screen cruelty and violence and the whole film has one of those sentimental disease of the week feelings despite the very real social issues raised

In my summary I mentioned I was prejudiced and that relates to the casting , not so much with Linda Hamilton - Though can anyone think of her as anything but Rambo Mom from THE TERMINATOR movies ? - but with Roger Guenveur Smith as Mac McGhee . You see I'm a big fan of the prison Drama series OZ and Smith played a memorable character in the first series called Huseni Mershah and no matter what Smith does for the rest of his acting career I will never think of him as anyone but Mershah which is no fault of the actor involved but stopped me believing in McGhee as a real person

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