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A Lesson Before Dying (1999)

TV Movie  -   -  Drama  -  22 May 1999 (USA)
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 785 users  
Reviews: 20 user | 4 critic

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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Title: A Lesson Before Dying (TV Movie 1999)

A Lesson Before Dying (TV Movie 1999) on IMDb 6.9/10

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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
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Edna Guidry
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Sheriff Guidry
Stuart Culpepper ...
Henri Pichot
Patty Mack ...
Inez
Von Coulter ...
Farrell Jarreau
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Clarence
Wynton Yates ...
Louis Washington
Jameelah Nuriddin ...
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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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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Release Date:

22 May 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Lesson Before Dying  »

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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

 
historically touching without the over-sentiment
22 December 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Seen this movie when I was younger, and didn't appreciate it as much as I did with a second-viewing, maybe because I'm older and understand some more of the concepts of having dignity with injustice.

Even though the movie is a made for TV HBO movie, it has some high-quality actors like Don Cheadle and Mekhi Pheifer with solid performances that isn't overly sentimental or preachy about the morals of right and wrong and injustice of the 1940s segregated South. Instead, it's a heart-touching look at how a person can live righteously even in the face of injustice.

And kudos to the filmmakers as the scenery and even down to the accents seemed historically accurate. I felt like I wasn't watching a made for TV movie at all, well it was a HBO movie so that just shows you the high-quality that was put into it as in many HBO movies. A true must see for people that like historical movies, especially one with messages that overly preachy.


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