A dramatization of the relationship between heart surgery pioneers Alfred Blalock and Vivien Thomas.

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Airs Mon. Feb. 22, 9:30 AM on HBO

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Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 16 wins & 27 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Vivien Thomas (as Mos Def)
...
Mary Blalock
...
Clara Thomas
...
Mrs. Saxon
Clayton LeBouef ...
Harold Thomas
...
William Thomas (as Charles Dutton)
...
Dr. Helen Taussig
Cliff McMullen ...
Lodel Williams
...
Charles Manlove
...
Frances Grebel
John Emmanuel ...
Man at park
Harold J. Abell Sr. ...
Man #1
Michael E. Russell ...
Bank Officer
Henri Edmonds ...
Mary Thomas
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Storyline

Alfred Blalock (1899-1964), a cardiologist (therefore, self-confident to the point of arrogance), leaves Vanderbilt for Johns Hopkins taking with him his lab technician, Vivien Thomas (1910-1985). Thomas, an African-American without a college degree, is a gifted mechanic and tool-maker with hands splendidly adept at surgery. In 1941, Blalock and Thomas take on the challenge of blue babies and invent bypass surgery. After trials on dogs, their first patient is baby Eileen, sure to die without the surgery. In defiance of custom and Jim Crow, Blalock brings Thomas into the surgery to advise him, but when Life Magazine and kudos come, Thomas is excluded. Will he receive his due? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A breakthrough that changed the face of medicine. A unique partnership that broke the rules.

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

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Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

30 May 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La création de Dieu  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Based in part on the magazine article "Like Something The Lord Made" by Katie McCabe. It was published in the Washingtonian, and earned McCabe the 1990 National Magazine Feature Writing Award. See more »

Goofs

Eileen Saxon becomes pink, with an oxygen saturation level (SpO2) of 100%, immediately after she receives the very first Blalock-Taussig Shunt. The BT Shunt is a palliative procedure, and does NOT fully correct the cyanosis; normal post-procedure SpO2 is 80-85%. The cyanosis may be corrected later with another procedure. See more »

Quotes

Alfred Blalock: ...I obtained a raise for you, 25 extra dollars a month on top of what you're already making. That's 300 for the whole year. Will that be sufficient?
Vivien Thomas: What job classification?
Alfred Blalock: Surgical Technician, I got you promoted.
Clara Thomas: [Politely sarcastic] Promoted, to what he already does.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The 56th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Baltimore Bounce
Written by Keter Betts
Performed by Keter Betts, Harold Mann, Larry Willis and Jacques Johnson
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Sometimes it just feels good to be part of the world...
8 June 2004 | by See all my reviews



I admit it - I was angry that HBO gave 'The Sopranos' a week off in order to air this movie... So much so that I didn't even watch the premiere. But moping around after the Piston's blew a huge lead against the Laker's in game 2 of the NBA finals, I was flipping through and saw that it was on again. I thought to myself, 'Why not? there must be some reason they replaced 'The Sopranos' that week'. Indeed... This is a heartfelt, emotional, and inspiring film filled with performances of the like. Granted, it has its fair share of "cheesy" devices and predictability, but then again, so does "King Lear." I knew I recognized the main actor, but couldn't quite put my finger on it... Was I surprised (as well as ashamed) to learn here that it was Mos Def. I had always dismissed him as a 'hip-hop/rapper-actor' wannabe. He made me eat those words though, by delivering a simply OUTSTANDING performance... and while he and Rickman really carry the film, the supporting cast does a nice job as well.

10/10 (which I don't take lightly).


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