MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 6,435 this week

Scottsboro: An American Tragedy (2000)

7.7
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.7/10 from 210 users   Metascore: 74/100
Reviews: 1 user | 5 critic | 8 from Metacritic.com

The history of the "Scottsboro Boys," a group of African American men who were victims of a racist miscarriage of justice that became a national controversy.

Writers:

, (opening poem)
0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

IMDb Picks: June

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in June, brought to you by Swiffer.

Visit the IMDb Picks section

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 354 titles
created 12 Oct 2011
 
a list of 1001 titles
created 23 Sep 2012
 
a list of 33 titles
created 14 Mar 2013
 
list image
a list of 27 titles
created 11 months ago
 
a list of 39 titles
created 4 months ago
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Scottsboro: An American Tragedy (2000)

Scottsboro: An American Tragedy (2000) on IMDb 7.7/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Scottsboro: An American Tragedy.
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Documentary | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

In 1991, Cameron Todd Willingham's three daughters died in a Corsicana, Texas house fire. Tried and convicted for their arson murders, Willingham was executed in February 2004 despite ... See full summary »

Directors: Joe Bailey Jr., Steve Mims
Promises (2001)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

Several Jewish and Palestinian children are followed for three years and put in touch with each other, in this alternative look at the Jewish-Palestinian conflict. The three filmmakers ... See full summary »

Directors: Carlos Bolado, B.Z. Goldberg, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Moishe Bar Am, B.Z. Goldberg, Shlomo Green
The Last Word IV (2008)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

This documentary takes the "Innocent Man on Texas Death Row" tale to a dark corner feared by all - - proving that an innocent man has been executed by the State. A clash between good and ... See full summary »

Director: Jesse Quackenbush
Genghis Blues (1999)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

San Francisco bluesman and composer, Paul Peña makes a musical pilgrimage to the land of Tuva.

Director: Roko Belic
Stars: Richard Feynman, B.B. King, Kongar-ol Ondar
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A profile of homeless Romanian children who were born victims of the nation's reckless population growth policy during its communist era.

Director: Edet Belzberg
Stars: Cristina Ionescu, Mihai Alexandre Tudose, Violeta 'Macarena' Rosu
Saving Face (2008)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

On the surface, Matt Kern was a teenager that had everything. He was MVP on his high school football and basketball teams... elected class president... son of respected upper-middle class ... See full summary »

Director: H. James Gilmore
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A chilling exploration of the tragic history of the Suh family and the murder that shocked America - when the picture perfect son, Andrew, shot and killed his sister's fiancé at her bidding.

Director: Iris K. Shim
Stars: Bob J. Berlin, Myung Han, Carol Hogan
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

What if you were making a documentary about a gang of serial killers and they found out?

Director: Andrew Fitzgerald
Stars: Thomas Le Min, Leanne Linsky, Mark Garrison
Documentary | Biography | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

'Our procedure has been always haunted by the ghost of the innocent man convicted. It is an unreal dream.' - Justice Learned Hand, 1923. The prospect of unjust imprisonment is a plight both... See full summary »

Directors: Al Reinert, John Dean, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Nellie Gonzalez
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Unblinking and unsettling, this documentary lays bare a mysterious process that goes on all around us - what happens to people who die with no next of kin.

Directors: Grover Babcock, Blue Hadaegh
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

"The Most Dangerous Man in America" is the story of what happens when a former Pentagon insider, armed only with his conscience, steadfast determination, and a file cabinet full of ... See full summary »

Directors: Judith Ehrlich, Rick Goldsmith
Stars: Peter Arnett, Ben Bagdikian, Ann Beeson
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

In 1930s Alabama, nine young black men are accused of raping two white women. The judge in the case, unlike the rest of the town, comes to believe that the boys are innocent, and against ... See full summary »

Director: Fielder Cook
Stars: Arthur Hill, Ellen Barber, Paul Benjamin
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
...
Narrator (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Voices (voice)
...
Voices (voice)
...
Voices (voice)
...
Voices (voice)
...
Voices (voice)
...
Voices (voice)
...
Voices (voice)
...
Voices (voice)
Edit

Storyline

A look at the infamous "Scottsboro Boys" case that occurred in Alabama in 1931, in which nine young black men were arrested, tried and quickly convicted in the rape of two white women, despite overwhelming evidence that showed their accusers had falsely accused them and the fact that one of the women later admitted that no rape had in fact occurred (although both had had sexual relations with their boyfriends on the day prior to the "rape"). The case was one of the first that shined a spotlight on what many called the "legal lynchings" that occurred in the South whenever blacks were accused of crimes, especially against whites and most especially against white women. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

January 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Scottsboro - oikeusmurha  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

First documentary directed by Daniel Anker. See more »

Connections

Version of Heavens Fall (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Scottsboro Boys
Music by Leadbelly
Performed by Leadbelly
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A penetrating documentary of America's racist and politically-charged climate, circa 1931-1950
22 January 2001 | by (New York, NY, USA) – See all my reviews

Daniel Anker and Barak Goodman's penetrating documentary should have been renamed "Scottsboro: An American Outrage." The many injustices committed by Alabama's legal system and the American media against nine African-American young men for a 1931 crime (the rape of two white women, one of whom later admitted that consensual sex with their own boyfriends occurred the previous day,) a crime that the men did not commit, is recalled with sorrow and anguish by almost all of the documentary's participants.

As the viewer watches, the remembrance of one of many horrific "legal lynchings" of innocent African-Americans throughout the 1880's to the 1950's, and beyond, fuels a sadness, outrage and anger, particularly when one recalls similar circumstances today where scores of innocent (and non-prominent) Black men continue to be convicted of crimes against white females, when insisting their innocence. (For example, the Central Park Jogger case in 1990 New York -- arguably an eerie and disturbing parallel to 1931 Scottsboro case chronicled in the documentary -- and the recent case of Paris Drake, convicted in New York 2000, of brutally assaulting Nicole Barrett with a brick.)

"Scottsboro" looks at the racist attitudes exuded by Southern whites, attitudes responsible for the four-time convictions of each of the nine Black men in the case, in the face overwhelming evidence in the men's favor. The documentary balances this with some ironies, including that of avowed racist and segregationist Alabama governor George Wallace, who admitted that a wrong had been committed against the Scottsboro Nine. Wallace pardoned one of the Nine in 1976. Even some of those in the media who had called for the mens' convictions and executions later realized (too late however) that a terrible mistake had been made.

The political climate is documented, with Jewish New York lawyer Samuel Leibovitz, who (while encountering bigotry himself) steadfastly and doggedly defended all nine of the Scottsboro men until all were freed after serving long prison sentences and facing certain death. The legal battle took well over a decade. And the International Labor Defense, a communist group whose efforts helped internationalize the Scottsboro Nine case and gain large support of a moral and financial nature for the Nine, are given time in Anker and Goodman's documentary.

"Scottsboro: An American Tragedy" is narrated by actor Andre Braugher, and features the voices of several other actors, including Frances McDormand and Stanley Tucci. McDormand and Tucci effectively evoke the times, speaking the voices of some of the real-life participants during the documentary's courtroom scenes. Their work, and that of others places the viewer at the heart of the racial dynamics of the American South.

A wealth of important books on the Scottsboro Nine case exist (see amazon.com), and Barak and Goodman's documentary serves as a good start to a viewer's research on this disturbing injustice of the legal system, not an end.


6 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss Scottsboro: An American Tragedy (2000) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?