6.9/10
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20 user 4 critic

A Lesson Before Dying (1999)

PG-13 | | Drama | TV Movie 22 May 1999
In the 1940s South, an African-American man is wrongly accused of the killing of a white store owner. In his defense, his white attorney equates him with a lowly hog, to indicate that he ... See full summary »

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(novel), (teleplay)
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Won 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 10 wins & 19 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Grant Wiggins
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Tante Lou
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Jefferson
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Miss Emma
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Reverend Ambrose
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Vivian Baptiste (as Lisa Arrindell Anderson)
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Edna Guidry
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Sheriff Guidry
Stuart Culpepper ...
Henri Pichot
Patty Mack ...
Inez
Von Coulter ...
Farrell Jarreau
...
Clarence
Wynton Yates ...
Louis Washington
...
Irene
Cierra Meche ...
Estelle
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Storyline

In the 1940s South, an African-American man is wrongly accused of the killing of a white store owner. In his defense, his white attorney equates him with a lowly hog, to indicate that he didn't have the sense to know what he was doing. Nevertheless convicted, he is sentenced to die, but his godmother and the aunt of the local schoolteacher convince the schoolteacher to go to the convicted man's cell each day to try to reaffirm to him that he is not an animal but a man with dignity. Written by BOB STEBBINS <stebinsbob@aol.com>

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Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for a scene of violence, brief strong language and some sensuality | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

22 May 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Lesson Before Dying - Nachhilfestunden in der Todeszelle  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The poem Grant reads to the children before Farrell comes to class with news from Sheriff Guidry the 2nd time is Edgar Allen Poe's "Annabel Lee." See more »

Goofs

Jefferson's execution date is right after Easter. Yet as the schoolchildren are going to the jail for a last visit with him, there are autumn leaves on the ground. See more »

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User Reviews

 
A movie which should evoke sympathy even to a bigot.
4 February 2000 | by See all my reviews

The story evolves around a black youth who is present during a shooting in a white owned grocery store. The owner is killed along with two black men. The young man decides to help himself to the contents of the cash register. Just as the crime is committed he is discovered and ends up being executed. The real story evolves around his feelings and those who were closest to him. The movie is done with the greatest sensitivity and understanding. The acting and directing could not be improved in showing the tragedy to both whites and blacks of the consequences of our prejudices.


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