Something the Lord Made (2004)

TV Movie  |   |  Biography, Drama  |  30 May 2004 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 9,026 users  
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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 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


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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


Biography | Drama


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Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

30 May 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La création de Dieu  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


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 »


When Reader's Digest publishes a photograph of the first operation, one participant is identified as Dr. Michael DeBakey. Although he was a professor at Tulane, he was on leave as a consultant to the Surgeon General in Washington. See more »


Alfred Blalock: Where you see risks, I see opportunity.
See more »


Referenced in Dead Teenagers (2007) See more »


Baltimore Bounce
Written by Keter Betts
Performed by Keter Betts, Harold Mann, Larry Willis and Jacques Johnson
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User Reviews

medical miracle surpasses racial climate of the times
10 March 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I have seen this movie at least 8 times since it first appeared last summer and never tire of it. I must add that my entire adult working life has been in the field of medicine so maybe I have more interest than some. The names of the residents in this film are names I have heard throughout my career. I am amazed by the genius of Vivien Thomas (or anyone without medical training who could understand as he did) and at the fact that Doctor Blalock accepted him as an individual (most of the time), without regard to his race or lack of medical education. I cannot think of actors who would have done a better job than Alan Rickman or Mos Def and I applaud them, and the rest of the cast, as well as the producers, for bringing this wonderful story to life. I can only hope it will be available on DVD soon, if not yet. I have told at least 100 people about this movie, without giving away too much detail. If you are interested in medicine, and the development of new procedures that change lives, especially of the very, very young, then this is a movie for you. Even if you do not have a medical background, it is worth seeing for the genius and compassion of those two men who did not allow the racial climate of the times to overpower their desire to make a difference. To all the residents who learned at Hopkins from these two gifted men, be forever grateful that their lives touched yours, albeit briefly. We lost two very gifted men who did an exceptional job of training others to follow in their footsteps. Jeers to the staff members who were ruled by race and education and a firm salute to those who were not. I give it a 10!

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