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18 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Fans of Jane Seymour will enjoy this film

10/10
Author: otisburg from San Francisco
20 November 2000

In this real life story, Jane Seymour stars as Fanny Kemble, an English actress who meets and falls in love with a Southern plantation owner.

Despite her friends' warning about the type of man who would own human beings, she convinces herself that love conquers all and marries him.

Unfortunately, Fanny's friends' concerns are all too true. The spunk and vigor that her husband had liked so much about her when they courted has now - in his eyes - turned to insolence and disobedience. He demands that she uphold her vow to obey him. This is not an easy thing to do once Fanny is taken to the plantation in Georgia. When she sees the treatment of the slaves, she vows to do everything she can to help - no matter the cost.

Don't listen to other user's comments that this is just another story of the white person saving the black person. To say so discounts what Ms Kemble did with her life. And what Fanny Kemble did took a lot of courage - not just in defying her husband, but in defying the Southern way of life. Not an easy task to do back then (or now!).

This film is definitely in the "Jane Seymour style" so if you've enjoyed her in "Somewhere In Time" or "Dr Quinn", you'll enjoy this as well.

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7 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Much better than I thought it would be!

8/10
Author: mfrantz from Liberty, NC
10 May 2000

I normally don't watch made for TV movies, but this one happened to be just coming on as I walked by the TV. I sat down for a few minutes to see what it was about, and the next thing I knew it was two hours later! Jane Seymour did a fabulous job portraying Fanny Kemble, whom I had unfortunately never heard of before this movie. What a truly amazing, brave woman she was. She is an absolute inspiration. I found Jane Seymour's performance very moving and convincing. Although some of the dialogue was a bit too contrived, on the whole it was a very good movie.

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8 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

A wonderful movie; historically accurate; wonderful acting; beautifully done; everyone should see it!

10/10
Author: lil_actress13_2003 from United States
31 December 2005

Enslavement: The True Story of Fanny Kemble is a beautiful movie. The scripting is true to life and very accurate of that comprised in Fanny Kemble's Journals. The costuming by Cheri Ingle was excellent. The directing by James Keach is just superb. Jane Seymour looks very much like the real Fanny Kemble. With her English past she made Fanny Kemble come alive for me. The other cast was excellent as well. It was shot in only 22 days but you could never tell. This remains my favorite movie to date. It is dramatic, romantic, true to life, and can get right to your heart. Everyone should see this truly touching and wonderful movie!

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Enslavement is a must see for Jane Seymour fans

10/10
Author: (climbingivy@msn.com) from United States
26 March 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Excellent,excellent excellent!"Enslavement:The True Story Of Fanny Kemble" is a must see for Jane Seymour,Keith Carradine and James Keach fans.I saw this movie years and years ago because I like Jane Seymour and I was not prepared for such an excellent movie about a real lady who was trying in her way to fight the horrible institution of slavery.I was hooked the first minute that I started watching the movie.James Keach as the kindly doctor and Keith Carradine as the man that Fanny falls in love with and marries were both superb.I was stunned by the scene where Fanny puts herself over the slave so her husband could not whip the slave woman.Jane,Keith and James I think did this movie as a labor of love.This would be an excellent movie for teenagers to see so they could get an idea about what slavery was like in the deep south in America in the 1800s so long ago.Check this one out!I have this movie on DVD.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Enjoyable and inspiring

7/10
Author: TBJCSKCNRRQTreviews from Earth
25 October 2009

I did not know who Kemble was before watching this, though I am now very impressed with her. This is the true story of the British woman who came to the US, and started the process of forced labor being abolished. The plot is interesting and well-told throughout. Acting is great, and Jane Seymour is completely beyond reproach as the courageous Fanny, who would fight for her convictions. Keith, one of the sons of the masterful John Carradine, is the male lead, and also does marvelously. The dialog is good, with numerous utterly golden lines. This is well-paced, and never loses your attention. The historical accuracy goes far, but there are a couple of places where they seem to have forgotten what time period it was, for a brief time. Costumes and sets are spot-on, and the production values leave nothing to be desired. All of the humor is fitting and doesn't at any point try too hard. The likening of a marriage during the time period this takes place to a lesser form of slavery is clever and holds up. There is disturbing content in this. I recommend this to any fan of authentic films. 7/10

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Excellent True Life Story of Fanny Kemble

8/10
Author: midge56 from Texas
5 March 2010

This movie is the true-life story of Fanny Kemble, an English actress in the 1800's who met and married a US plantation owner while on theatrical tour with her father. Fannie was appalled by the treatment and conditions the slaves had to endure. She spoke out for the slaves and tried to help improve their living conditions and treatment, which set her at odds with her husband who expected her obedience. Her intention to publish her personal journals to inform the public of the inhumane treatment of the slaves became a bitter source of conflict between Fannie and her spouse. She became increasingly involved in the welfare of her husband's slaves, cleaned up their camps and helped them build an infirmary, which only added to her deteriorating marital problems.

Then, at great personal risk, she also became involved in the "underground Railroad" which was a group of covert humanitarians who aided slaves in their attempt to escape to freedom.

Jane Seymour does a moving performance of Fanny Kemble's struggles to help the slaves and inform the public of the indignities and inhumanities the slaves had to endure... and the ramifications which resulted from her involvement. The movie was well written and follows Fannie's life as she learns the truth about slavery and cannot remain silent or uninvolved. Her loving relationship with her husband, Pierce Butler, quickly began to deteriorate as she learned of his indifference toward the welfare of the slaves. In his view, slaves were nothing more than a piece of property under the brutal control of his ruthless overseer who treated the slaves with less consideration than the livestock. Yet, her husband believed his slaves were treated better than those on other plantations because he allowed families to remain together. He became increasingly oppressive in reaction to his wife's open defiance in the presence of his slaves, his friends and neighbors. As Fannie used her fame as an actress to speak out and inform the public of the ugly truths behind slavery, her husband became more oppressive to stifle her involvement. Her opinions backlashed upon his reputation and standing as a plantation owner and as a grandson of a well-respected founding father whose influential friends included a former President.

The slaves, as depicted in this film, were unexpectedly reluctant to trust Fannie and reluctant to change their situations. They considered themselves fortunate to be able to keep their families together, unlike neighboring plantations where families of slaves were split up and sold and subjected to much more extreme abuse. As depicted in this film, the slaves on her husband's plantation feared and suffered reprisals resulting from Fannie's involvement in their welfare.

Fannie's husband had initially doted on her but later began to use their children to control and punish Fannie for her involvement with the slaves and abolitionists... yet she was unable to close her eyes or remain uninvolved toward the indignities they suffered.

This movie was written quite differently than other movies about slavery. It has much softer tones and minimal mild violence than you might expect. The core of the story was focused on Fannie's humanitarian efforts and involvement and depicted how her journals changed the way the government and public opinion responded to the plight of the slaves.

I would have given it the full 10 stars, but after reading more about her life story online, I felt the movie could have been more inclusive about the events in her life. The story had been overly softened in an effort to create a family film but that also allows it to be an educational family movie for children over the age of 13. There is a brief nude scene of Seymour with her clothed husband but very mild and filmed from back views in a tasteful manner. The overall violence is less than a child would see in a schoolyard these days. Some whipping with a lash; backhanding his wife; nothing graphic beyond the one brief, distant scene of the aftermath of a torched runaway... but did not include any violent scenes of the incident. Although the actual historical violence had been softened for TV audiences, it was not necessary to subject the audience to the level graphic violence, which permeates TV today, in order to tell the story of her life. The movie was done tastefully. Both Jane Seymour and Keith Carradine were excellent in their performances of this story.

In addition to showing the aspects of Fannie Kemble's life, the director managed to include the perspectives of her husband, Pierce Butler in addition to the reluctance of the slaves and the concern expressed by Fannie's friends; a rare 360 perspective of all points of view.

Like the other reviewers, I'm sorry to admit I had never heard about Fanny Kemble prior to watching this movie. I had overlooked this VHS tape in my extensive collection and had not played it until recently. The film was well done with an excellent cast and would have been worth watching even if it did not have historical significance. I would not have known it was made for TV until I read about it online. It brings us the story of this forgotten historical figure and how one person could unselfishly make such a difference in so many lives. Despite the price she had to pay, she continued to stand by her principles of compassion and humanity, which she felt all individuals should be entitled. She publicly spoke out during an era when such views were not welcomed by society.

Seymour and Carradine were very compelling in their portrayals of the historical figures in this story. I'm enjoyed the movie very much.

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8 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

When the Spirit Moves Us to be True

10/10
Author: Catherine Todd (ctodd1000@gmail.com) from Oxford, North Carolina, USA
14 December 2001

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Enslavement, the True Story of Fanny Kemble"

When the Spirit Moves Us to be True

The story of "Enslavement, the True Story of Fanny Kemble" is a true story about a woman I knew nothing about. This is a fabulous film, and Jane Seymour and her husband James Keach are to be honored for making it, and for Showtime for showing it! I hope someday Showtime releases this film for purchase, for I will be first in line. Congratulations to BlockBuster for renting it, or I would never have stumbled upon it. (Side note; If you wondered about the truly wonderful love scenes between the doctor and Fanny, that is why: Seymour and Keach seem to truly have an otherworldly love for each other that glows on the screen. But back to our story:

Despite "everyone" in the United States and the state of Georgia being against her; i.e. those who believed in racism and upheld slavery; those who were perpetrating cruelty upon other human beings in the name of "this is the way it is," Ms. Kemble remained true to her spirit and the spirit of justice, and the spirit of love. What amazed me most about Seymour's portrayal was the running theme of "love and forgiveness" that stayed steady and strong throughout.

Kemble forgave her husband his malicious cruelty and always reminded him (and herself) of her initial love for him, and he for her, which caused them to marry.

The Spirit entered her and went through her, when she threw her arms around the boy who was to receive 100 lashes with the whip, resulting in certain death: literally being whipped to death. This was not a punishment in those times solely reserved for slaves: criminals and soldiers who deserted in the army were also punished and put to death in this way. In fact, sometimes "justice" was meted out so that you could choose to take 10 lashes a day for ten days or take the whole 100 at once and die. Many who chose to "spread them out" for a chance at survival gave up and gave in, in the end, as they could not bear the torture any longer.

Death was a welcome relief.

There was no guarantee that Ms. Kemble's husband or friends or allies would not also have her put to death for her "interference" and "disobedience." Women did not have many, if any, real rights in this era of civilization, particularly in this era in the South.

Yet that was a risk that she took to save that boy's life and the lives of the sick and injured who were enslaved on their farm; a plantation that farmed human misery for all to behold.

Fanny steadfastly opposed injustice even when it cost her the loss of her children for five long years, waiting for her divorce and separation agreement.

It was interesting to see how her husband melted and was molded by her "cooperation," even though she was "acting" most of the time. It was profound when HE called HER "a demon" who "made him burn his house down" when the DEMON had taken possession of him. Yet Fanny continued to do what she could to alleviate suffering in this world, even at great cost to herself.

This woman did what she believed was right, in the name of truth, justice, love and forgiveness; her beauty (a combination of all the principles we hold dear) was a shining testament to the spirit within.

If it had not been for the long and lonely years she spent on that Georgia plantation, and had it not been for her having to turn to her journal for any relief or comfort at all, the truth and the facts of slavery in this country would never have been known, and as pointed out, England may well have not joined with the Union Army to put an end to slavery in the United States.

Who knows what tomorrow will bring? God plucked Fanny Kemble from the English stage and sent her to America, and granted her riches and fame enough so that her story would be heard. Could she have ever dreamed of this when she "fell in love" and moved to Georgia, to be lost for so long? Yet steadfast and true, even when those she was trying to help had apparently turned against her, she forgave them their weaknesses and failings and kept her eyes "turned to the Light."

She never gave up and she never gave in, and kept the ideals of beauty, truth, justice and compassion in the forefront at all times.

God chooses us all for a certain task at hand, and who knows what tomorrow will bring?

Jane Seymour and the Keaches did a marvelous job, bringing us a story I had never known, yet has inspired me personally to continue on my own personal quest. thanks to all for making this film! I hope I can find out where to buy it, since it was "made for cable" and needs to be seen by any and all who need sustenance in the dark times, to know that we can all "move into the light." Even Kemble's husband, Pierce Butler, sees himself in the mirror and asks for forgiveness in the end. The spirit moved him and it moved her at the same time.

My only question is: what takes "the Spirit" so long???

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4 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

A true story of courage but flawed in directing.

8/10
Author: dewey22 from Lahaina, Hawaii
24 April 2000

This is the courageous true story of an English actress who marries an American southerner who owns slaves. He promises her freedom before marriage but after marriage she becomes just another slave, although with many more privileges. The movie has so many improbable and therefore distracting events, that I found myself feeling that the characters were entirely fictional.For instance-early on, the groom (this is pre-civil war) says that he "called" someone last week and got some information. Was Alexander Graham Bell the inventor of the telephone, or was it some mysterious southerner?

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4 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

Dixie Chick

Author: MuteMae
15 April 2000

One can't help but be a little weary of films that show the the plight of slavery or civil rights through a pair of white eyes. Yet here we have another of the famous white man/white woman to the rescue tales, with Jane Seymour's portrayal of British actress-abolitionist Fanny Kemble. Although watching Seymour's Kemble preach social equality while sauntering through slave quarters in white gloves with a parasol, strikes me as one of the more pharisaical images of late, at least performances from Eugene Byrd and "Oz's" Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, help free this film from the shackles of one dimensional self congratulation.

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