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Something the Lord Made (2004)

TV Movie  |   |  Biography, Drama  |  30 May 2004 (USA)
8.3
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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 8,896 users  
Reviews: 97 user | 17 critic

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

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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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Language:

Release Date:

30 May 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La création de Dieu  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

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: You can begin the incision.
Vivien Thomas: I'm not ready for that.
Alfred Blalock: If I say you're ready, you're ready.
[Long pause]
Alfred Blalock: I'll mark out the line. And you cut along it. Just like you did for your old Daddy.
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy
Written by Hugh Prince (as Hughie Prince) and Don Raye
Performed by The Andrews Sisters
Courtesy of MCA Records
Under License from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

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User Reviews

So good that it leaves you wanting more
1 June 2004 | by (Baltimore, MD) – See all my reviews

One of the earmarks of a great true story on film is that, when it's over, you find yourself wishing it had been longer and wanting to know more about the subject. This is definitely the case with "Something the Lord Made." I can't wait to do a little reading up on this very intriguing story! Alan Rickman as Alfred Blalock is excellent, as he always is, but the real pleasure is in watching Mos Def as Vivien Thomas. Through his lovely, subtly nuanced performance, we are able to truly appreciate this incredibly gifted and complex man. The writers did an excellent job of making the viewer aware of the racial climate in Viven Thomas' life; note the early scene in which Vivien and a friend are walking and talking, and each time some white people approach them on the sidewalk, they step aside and yield right of way without hesitation. And yet, there is no heavy-handedness or preachy air to these scenes. The racial injustices that Vivien Thomas endured are obvious, but the viewer is not clubbed over the head with them.


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