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11 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Very Interesting Historical Docudrama

Author: calspace (lauren@teachspace.org) from Chicago, USA
27 December 2003

This movie is a little choppy, but you try fitting 20 years of turbulent history into a two hour movie. If you don't know about other things happenning during the same period (the Great Depression, for example) the allusions to its effects on the primary storyline are hard to follow. I'd like to see this done as a mini-series, with about ten hours or so to tell the story in full.

Still, if you think that the civil rights movement began with the Montgomery Bus Boycott, you will find this movie fascinating. The drive to organize the African-American porters combines civil rights and workers' rights with historical perspectives on the late 1920's and 1930's.

One thing that struck me about this movie is the presence of benevolent White characters. In many African-American rights movies, all Whites are either evil or ineffectual morons. (Think the White assistant principal in Lean on Me). There are many White racists in the role of antagonists in this movie, but there is also the White rep for the AFL, who works to support the growing union.

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8 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Excellent!! A must see!

10/10
Author: ashardy from United States
5 January 2005

This movie is about history. Anyone who is interested in African American History or US History in general must see this movie. This movie shows things that we don't learn in our school system or in black history in general. I stumbled upon this movie at the video store looking for a movie to rent. For me it adds to the fight that African Americans have had to go through in the United States. Everything we have has been fought for. Nothing has come easy. All African Americans need to know about the Porters Union - the Brotherhood. This knowledge invigorates and empowers me. I am learning all I can about my history, because no one else is going to teach me. I then have to teach my kids. Thank you for making this movie.

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7 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Excellent

10/10
Author: djohnsonc from new york city
17 February 2003

A very moving and thoughtful film. The script, direction and performances of Dutton and Brauher were exceptional. This is a part of history most people don't know much about and Townsand really pulled off an emotionally satisfying story. four stars

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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Good story, good direction

Author: Sleepy-17 from Colorado
11 March 2002

Enjoyable civil rights saga. While this genre usually has excessive sincerity and unbelievably saintly protagonists, the saga of black civil rights is the great epic of the American 20th century, and it's always stirring to watch. Braugher and Dutton give good performances, the whole thing holds together pretty well. Good background score. Well worth its 90 minutes.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A. Philip Randolph 1889-1979

8/10
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York
3 January 2015

Watching a film like 10,000 Black Men Named George makes me regret that I do not have Showtime on my cable package. This film covers a portion of the life A. Philip Randolph up to the time he gained recognition from the Pullman company as its union for collective bargaining and registered it as such with the newly formed National Labor Relations Board during the New Deal. It may be said that Randolph was the one who was responsible for the wedding of organized labor to the civil rights movement. That was a contribution both singular and unique.

Andre Braugher produced as well as starred in this Paramount film for the Showtime network. His is a powerful performance of a man with a cause that would not quit. Charles Dutton and Mario Van Peebles play a pair of his organizing associates who come from different mindsets, but Randolph makes them effective organizers.

Kenneth MacGregor makes a frightening villain, a composite I'm sure of several in the management of the Pullman company which never had a great record with labor relations. Back in the day George Pullman who was a Republican party stalwart and associate in the day of Abraham Lincoln thought he was doing a great thing for newly freed slaves by offering them jobs at coolie wages as Pullman porters. At the time I'm sure that beat the zero wages and substandard room and board you got as a slave. But people generally have ambitions to better themselves. A point of view that oppressors without exception fail to grasp. And then they yell Socialist, Communist, whatever buzz word epithet is popular at the moment. Randolph in fact was a Socialist because Socialists and Communists were the only ones he saw addressing the needs of his people.

There is a touching performance by Brock Peters who nearly brings the organizing to a halt with his activities. His is the touching view of the newly freed slave who just wants to hang on to what he has or the Man will take it away. I'm sure many may have felt as he did.

Randolph lived long enough to be an integral part of the famous March on Washington from 1963. His emphasis was always on economics. Freedom is fine in the abstract, but without a chance at a living wage it really means nothing but freedom to starve wherever you are.

I can't recommend this film highly enough for young people who are interested in the civil rights era. The story of A. Philip Randolph and his work is essential to understand how civil rights came about.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

History All Should Know

7/10
Author: aa4353 from United States
4 February 2007

This film is an excellent way to illustrate to the current generations that the historic struggle for civil rights started long before the 1960's. It is also interwoven with the labor movement of other workers and the treatment by big business. While historic, it may be wise for some to pay attention to the current standing of unions and to the fact that unions really made the middle class of today. The dirty tricks of the Pullman company including the "communist threat" are illustrated as they have been in past movies. The actors in this movie do a great job. Duton and Braugher offer stellar performances as usual. Director Ronert Townsend solidly directs the events .

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Well Done

9/10
Author: mugwump45 from United States
26 December 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Just saw this apparently little publicized gem on cable this morning. Thought it was well written and acted. I enjoyed learning the story of the men who fought so hard for recognition and respect. I would have liked a bit more character development of some of the peripheral figures, but with the time constraints I believe it was an excellent job. Randolph is viewed as the inspiration for much of the civil rights movement in later years - according to the AFL/CIO website (http://www.aflcio.org/aboutus/history/history/randolph.cfm), so I am assuming the story was pretty accurate as presented. It's too bad school children aren't taught this side of history.

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5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Movie theatres should make more movies like 10,000 Black Men Named George

Author: (BizzyMoney) from Georgia
27 December 2003

This is the type of movie that does exactly what movies are suppose to do and that's keep you watching. Again Robert Townsend pulled off another dramatic work of motion picture art. The cast is splendid and the dialogue geniune. This is a good looking movie that keeps you on pins till the end. Watching Charles Dutton act in this movie is just wonderful. It's real drama.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Also known as "The Union"

6/10
Author: danieldebruijn-157-677827 from Netherlands
20 December 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Nice movie, very well played overall. A very moving piece of history. You know that struggle always is necessary for progress and this movie portrays that very well. The reason I give it a six is because it's good, not great. An actor like Mario van Peebles has done better things, and probably still will. But as the story in this movie is a piece of American history, so will this movie be a part of movie history. I was looking and looking for it and I couldn't find it, because my VHS cover is exactly the same, except the title. Mine says "The Union" right above the heads of the three guys. I'm sure my copy is legit though. It has the shiny sticker and everything. Maybe this is how it was released in my country. It is the exact same film, I'm sure. Anyway, nice movie to watch if you want to get serious for an hour and a half, even if you're a white guy haha.

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2 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Just this side of endurable

2/10
Author: Colin F from Seattle, WA, US
25 November 2007

The concept/subject of this movie is great. We need more films about movements for social justice. The costumes are excellent, and the score is enjoyable. That being said, the acting, script, and directing were terrible. In the lead role, Andre Braugher attempts to deliver a performance of understated dignity but instead comes across as flat and unemotional. On the opposite end of bad acting, Charles Dutton shouts every line to try to convey a "larger than life" character. Some of the lines were laughably bad, and i felt sympathy that the actors had to work with that material. I *really* wanted to like this movie, and i guess it's something that I stuck with it to the bitter end. Perhaps worth enduring for its subject matter, but good luck.

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