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Good Fences (2003)

TV Movie  |  R  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  2 February 2003 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.6/10 from 468 users  
Reviews: 20 user | 1 critic

Good Fences is about an upwardly mobile black family for whom the American dream becomes a nightmare. Set in the 1970s, Tom Spader is an attorney who is determined to end what he has dubbed... See full summary »


(as Ernest Dickerson)


(novel), (teleplay)
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Title: Good Fences (TV Movie 2003)

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2 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »


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Credited cast:
Tom Spader
Mabel Spader
Zachary Simmons Glover ...
Tommy-Two (age 17)
Ruth Crisp
Stormy (age 17)
Ashley Archer ...
Stormy (age 13)
Marie V. Cruz ...
Mrs. Suziharo (as Marie Cruz)
Vincent McCurdy-Clark ...
Tommy-Two (age 12)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Governor's Wife (as Alex Amini)
Barbara Barnes-Hopkins ...
Mabel's Mother
Tina (as Marlyne Afflack)
Tom Spader (as Matthew Brown)
Sylvia Falcon
Dustin Cass ...
Tom - age 10


Good Fences is about an upwardly mobile black family for whom the American dream becomes a nightmare. Set in the 1970s, Tom Spader is an attorney who is determined to end what he has dubbed "the colored man's losing streak." When his winning of a high-profile case thrusts him into the limelight, he decides to moves his wife and their two kids out of their mixed lower-middle-class town and into the posh enclave of Greenwich, Connecticut. Written by Patrick Spreng

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


In Greenwich, no one can hear you scream.


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality, some language and violence | See all certifications »




Release Date:

2 February 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Au-delà des barrières  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

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Did You Know?


In one of the scenes where the family is gathered in front of the TV, the daughter, Stormy, is seen reading a magazine. On both the cover and the back cover of the magazine there is a clearly recognizable picture of supermodel Claudia Schiffer (active from 1988 on). The scene was supposed to be taking place around the time of the first airing of the TV series "Roots" - 1977. See more »


Features Roots (1977) See more »

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User Reviews

Breaking from the mold ..
17 February 2003 | by (McCordsville, IN) – See all my reviews

I believe some of the past "critics" are delving too deep. I don't believe this movie was supposed to be a upbeat comedy of such. This is a dark comedy/drama and a portrayal of the way a specific family dealt with engaging with the white community in a time when that was not easily done. I believe the scenes with 'Mabel' showing the bored housewife over the course of many years shows how more and more depressed over the situation she has become. She has lost touch with herself, her identity, her roots. She makes a statement saying that all she has to do is "listen to Tom" instead of listening to God. The son feels as if he is out of touch with his "people" and struggles to regain that sense of himself, while the sister shows that in the end, she has rejected all that makes her Black. Tom has let the influence of his childhood (almost getting lynched, struggling against white America) influence how he acts in the present. He rejects the things that make him unique (being Black), even though those things impact everything about him daily. This movie has little to do with "racial motivations" and such. It has more to do with Blacks finding their way while not losing themselves in a predominately white world. This movie is a great movie to show the other side of the coin. Black people (and minorities of color) have to deal with trying to fit in to multiple "lives" and find a way to incorporate all of them without losing a sense of self. Danny and Whoopi did a great job of portraying this, even if it did obviously make others thumb up their noses.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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