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Something the Lord Made (2004)

TV Movie  |   |  Biography, Drama  |  30 May 2004 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 8,940 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 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


See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

30 May 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La création de Dieu  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See  »

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: 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 »


Referenced in Dead Teenagers (2007) See more »


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

Delightful Surprise
17 August 2004 | by (Ozarks) – See all my reviews

I shouldn't have liked this - not a fan of HBO 'original' movies, nor rap stars turned actors. Great movies are made by studios or independents, not networks. Great actors come from the world of acting; not singing, painting or sports. Heck, I don't even like Barbara Streisand, in either discipline. But Queen Latifa did very well in "Bone Collector" and LL Cool J didn't quite ruin "Deliver Us From Eva." The HBO description sounded like a good story, so I gave it a chance...

WOW. Excellent story, very fine acting, authentic looking cinematography, compelling and well-developed screenplay; and a real zing for your heartstrings. The particular subject matter is interesting enough, but the real story is the human relationships, both within/among the characters & American society. As we travailed through the growing pains of integration and striving for equality whether by race, gender or social class distinction; the story of how we coped and progressed has seldom been depicted with such artistic clarity. Also, a real Believe In Yourself, Do What You Love, Don't Give Up kind of story.

Not a perfect film, might seem a bit slow-paced at times for some, but very engrossing. Along with the lead actors who portrayed their characters wonderfully, Kyra Sedgwick also turned in another fine appearance. Watching it unfold it was easy to become involved, by the end I was very pleasantly surprised to be reminded that the brilliant young leading man was Mos Def. I certainly didn't expect such a performance, but gladly admit he's most definitely a fine actor.

Glad to see it's available on DVD, definitely a MUST-SEE.

35 of 41 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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