IMDb > Something the Lord Made (2004) (TV)
Something the Lord Made
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Something the Lord Made (2004) (TV) More at IMDbPro »


User Rating:
8.3/10   8,443 votes »
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Down 1% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers (WGA):
Peter Silverman (written by) and
Robert Caswell (written by)
View company contact information for Something the Lord Made on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
30 May 2004 (USA) See more »
A breakthrough that changed the face of medicine. A unique partnership that broke the rules.
A dramatization of the relationship between heart surgery pioneers Alfred Blalock and Vivien Thomas. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 15 wins & 21 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
I wasn't expecting a story this powerful. See more (96 total) »


  (in credits order)

Alan Rickman ... Dr. Alfred Blalock

Mos Def ... Vivien Thomas

Kyra Sedgwick ... Mary Blalock

Gabrielle Union ... Clara Thomas

Merritt Wever ... Mrs. Saxon
Clayton LeBouef ... Harold Thomas

Charles S. Dutton ... William Thomas (as Charles Dutton)

Mary Stuart Masterson ... Dr. Helen Taussig
Cliff McMullen ... Lodel Williams
Luray Cooper ... Charles Manlove

Irene Ziegler ... Frances Grebel
John Emmanuel ... Man at park
Harold J. Abell Sr. ... Man #1
Michael E. Russell ... Bank Officer
Henri Edmonds ... Mary Thomas
Cora Shay Buck
Zoe Buck ... Young Olga Thomas
John Leslie Wolfe ... Dr. Walter Dandy
David Bailey ... The General
Matthew Welborn
Mackenzie Jo Pardi ... Mary Elizabeth Blalock

Tel Monks ... Dr. Dorsey

Bolton Marsh ... Dr. William P. Longmire Jr.
Timothy J. Scanlin Jr. ... Dr. Denton Cooley (as Timothy Scanlin)

Jonathan Watkins ... Dr. Kelvin

Jeffrey Coleman ... Security Guard
Linda Williams ... May
Wil Love ... Dr. Hecker
Brooke Gaigler ... Eileen Saxon

Patrick Brown ... Lt. Comm. Andrews
Kera Gaigler ... Eileen Saxon

Douglas Watson ... Dean Hamilton

Al Brown ... Dr. Ford (as Alan L. Brown)
Michael Eastering

Robert F. Chew ... Janitor

Elisabeth Noone ... Payroll Clerk

Doug Olear ... Michael Saxon

Marty Lodge ... Father Aucott
Sean MacLaughlin ... Dr. Swedlin
Dave Trovato ... Dr. Harmel
Carolyn Nelson

Rahaleh Nassri ... Paging Nurse
Alan Sader ... Hecker's Crony
Ralph Cosham
Nat Benchley ... Karsh

Antonio D. Charity ... Admissions Officer

Michael Mack

Sean Pratt ... Resident #1
Matthew Russell ... Resident #2 (as Matt Russell)
Brigid Cleary ... Vivien's Secretary
Joseph Petty

Sheila Edmondson ... Adult Olga Thomas
Carlyncia S. Peck ... Adult Theodocia Thomas (as Carlyncia Peck)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Rick Burk ... Business Man
Tim Colmus ... Doctor
Eddie DePaola ... Doctor

Larry Derr ... Patient

Cantrell Harris ... Bank Customer

James A. Howard ... Dr. Chadwick
James Jones ... House Worker #1
Allan Kulakow ... Dr. Petrovsky

Kirk Lambert ... Navy Admiral
Jim Page ... Resident Doctor
Joe Peck ... Orderly
Tyrone Requer ... 3rd Resident #98

Kevin Tan ... Medical Intern

Michael Ahl ... Doctor at Party (uncredited)
Tex Allen ... Johns Hopkins Med. School Teaching Physician (uncredited)

James E. Ash ... Resident Doctor (uncredited)
Briel Banks ... Guest at Reception (uncredited)
Patricia Talmadge Berry ... Dist. Party Guest (uncredited)
Ian Bonds ... Medical Intern (uncredited)

Chris Boykin ... Bellhop (uncredited)

R. Emery Bright ... Dishwasher (uncredited)
Dava Casoni ... Concerned Mother in Waiting Room (uncredited)
Tray Chaney ... College Student (uncredited)
Paul M. Clary ... 1943 Doctor (uncredited)
Robin Dorsey ... Nosey Neighbor (uncredited)

Brian Dragonuk ... Staff Doctor 1940's (uncredited)

Devorah Firestone ... Military Wife (uncredited)

Pamela Fischer ... Doctor's Wife (uncredited)

Lynn-Jane Foreman ... Mrs. Ford (uncredited)

Dan Franko ... Resident Doctor (uncredited)
Alan Gates ... Student Doctor (uncredited)
Duke Greenhill ... Student (uncredited)
Thomas M. Hagen ... Doctor (uncredited)
Justin Hinnant ... Neighborhood Kid (uncredited)
Katherine Hoskins Mackey ... General's Wife (uncredited)
Yolanda Jenkins ... Housekeeper (uncredited)

Lyndon Johnson ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

John F. Kennedy ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Z.M. Nan Khan ... Luncheon Cashier (uncredited)

Martin Luther King ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Connie Lamothe ... Doctor's Wife (uncredited)

James Lewis ... Medical Intern (uncredited)
Robert Neal Marshall ... Dist. Party Guest (uncredited)
Kerry Meushaw ... Doctor (uncredited)

Jim Nieb ... Intern (uncredited)
Vito Pietanza ... Party Singer (uncredited)

Reina Poindexter ... Cafeteria Lady (uncredited)
Jasmyn Proctor ... Neighborhood Kid (uncredited)
Carolyn Rawleigh ... Guest at Reception (uncredited)
Andrew Schneider ... 1971 Doctor (uncredited)

Robert Shepherd ... Doctor (uncredited)

Thomas W. Stewart ... Doctor (uncredited)
Anastasia Summers ... 1943 Nurse (uncredited)

LeRoy Taylor ... Carpenter (uncredited)
Tom Townsend ... Security Guard (uncredited)

Towanda Underdue ... Mother / Bus Rider (uncredited)

Schuster Vance ... Resident Doctor (uncredited)

Don Whatley ... Military Officer (uncredited)
Malcolm X ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Directed by
Joseph Sargent 
Writing credits
Peter Silverman (written by) and
Robert Caswell (written by)

Produced by
Robert W. Cort .... executive producer
Mike Drake .... producer
Eric Hetzel .... executive producer
Julian Krainin .... producer
David Madden .... executive producer
Irving Sorkin .... co-producer
Original Music by
Christopher Young 
Cinematography by
Donald M. Morgan 
Film Editing by
Michael Brown 
Casting by
Lynn Kressel 
Pat Moran 
Production Design by
Vincent Peranio 
Art Direction by
Halina Gebarowicz 
Costume Design by
Karyn Wagner 
Makeup Department
Wyatt Belton .... hair stylist
Diane Hammond .... makeup artist
Janice Kinigopoulos .... key hair stylist
Sandra Linn Koepper .... makeup artist
Annabelle MacNeal .... makeup artist
Jennifer Santiago .... assistant hair stylist
Denise Tunnell .... makeup artist
Janice Tunnell .... additional makeup artist
Taurance F. Williams .... hair stylist
Debi Young .... key makeup artist
Gina W. Bateman .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Sherri Bramlett .... additional hair stylist (uncredited)
Ngozi Olandu .... additional makeup artist (uncredited)
Production Management
Jasmine Kosovic .... additional post-production supervisor
Karyn McCarthy .... unit production manager
Greg Spence .... post-production supervisor
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Joe Incaprera .... second assistant director
Eric A. Pot .... first assistant director: additional photography
Xanthus Valan .... second second assistant director
Michele Ziegler .... first assistant director
Art Department
Bryan Badman .... welder gangboss
Edward Bellafiore .... art department coordinator
Ronald J. Crouthamel .... carpenter
Melissa Demino .... art department production assistant
Jason Dunn .... props
Patrick T. Eagan .... set dresser
Susanna Glattly .... scenic artist
Jeffrey Pratt Gordon .... props
Randy G. Herbert .... construction coordinator
Billy 'Jilly Bones' Jones .... scenic artist
Ted Lubonovich II .... welding foreman
Silvija L. Moess .... scenic artist
Ted Nolan .... prop maker
Dawson Nolley .... research assistant
Lucinda E. Pealer .... scenic
Michael Sabo .... lead man
David Scheper .... propmaker
Keith Weaver .... charge scenic
Brook Yeaton .... property master
Sound Department
Rick Ash .... sound re-recording mixer
David Ball .... adr recordist
Vincent Cirilli .... ProTools engineer
Jeff Gunn .... foley artist
Sonya Henry .... dialog & adr editor
James B. Howe .... foley mixer
Adam Jenkins .... sound re-recording mixer
Mark Kamps .... sound editor
Bruce Litecky .... production sound mixer
Bruce Litecky .... sound
Lorenzo Millan .... boom operator
Doug Mountain .... supervising sound engineer (as Douglas Mountain)
Ryan Murphy .... sound recordist
Joseph T. Sabella .... foley artist
Richard Taylor .... supervising sound editor
Karen Vassar Triest .... dialog editor (as Karen Vassar)
Special Effects by
Hank Atterbury .... special effects coordinator
William Catania .... special effects foreman
Dan Crawley .... special effects technician
Thomas Turnbull .... special effects foreman
Visual Effects by
Travis Baumann .... Inferno artist: Digiscope
David C. Bryant .... digital artist: Digiscope
Enid Dalkoff .... digital artist
Amit Dhawal .... roto artist
Christopher Dusendschon .... digital imaging supervisor: iO FILM
Fortunato Frattasio .... digital effects artist
Mitch Goldstrom .... senior systems administrator
Ralph Maiers .... digital compositor
Brennan Prevatt .... visual effects
Ron Simonson .... visual effects supervisor
Christopher Stack .... data manager: Digiscope
Brennan Prevatt .... digital compositor (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Wayne Arnold .... assistant camera
Ted Ayd .... best boy
Kevin 'Vinnie' Campbell .... electrician
Dean Citroni .... best boy grip
John-Anthony Gargiulo .... additional grip
Michael Gearhart .... grip
Bob Greene .... still photographer
John Hamilton .... second assistant camera
John R. Hamilton .... second assistant camera: "b" camera
Chris Henry .... rigging electric
David Insley .... camera operator
Larry Kaster .... gaffer
Philip Kathrens .... electrician
Jerry Lane .... Steadicam operator
Jerry Lane .... camera operator: "b" camera
Thomas Loizeaux .... camera operator
Charlie Newberry .... camera loader
David Noble .... key grip
Julian Sternthal .... best boy rigging grip
Rick Strodel .... dolly grip
Wade Tyree .... lighting technician
Peter Albert .... digital video assist operator: Los Angeles re-shoot (uncredited)
Casting Department
Brian Cooper .... extras casting
Shamos Fisher .... extras casting assistant
Jaime Rembo .... casting assistant
John Strawbridge .... casting associate
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Kelly Chambers .... assistant to costume designer
Dona Adrian Gibson .... costumes
Mara Majorowicz .... key costumer
Editorial Department
Adam Mesinger .... post-production coordinator
Andrew Morgado .... post-production runner
Kevin O'Connor .... colorist
Music Department
Pete Anthony .... orchestrator
Selena Arizanovic .... music assistant
Bruce Babcock .... conductor
Bruce Babcock .... orchestrator
Wael Binali .... scoring coordinator: Christopher Young
George Doering .... musician
David Giuli .... scoring coordinator
Evyen Klean .... music supervisor
David Low .... music contractor
William V. Malpede .... scoring coordinator
Thomas Milano .... supervising music editor
Jen Monnar .... music editor
Flavio Motalla .... score producer
Sujin Nam .... score coordinator
Jonathan Price .... score coordinator
Peter Rotter .... orchestra contractor
Steven L. Smith .... music preparation
Gernot Wolfgang .... orchestrator: score
Jim Honeyman .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Philip Tallman .... music editor: temp (uncredited)
Transportation Department
Charles E. Bauer .... driver
Thomas F. Lombardi .... picture car coordinator
Michael Luckeroth .... driver
Gerald Titus .... driver
Douglas A. Walk .... transportation co-captain
Jacqueline L. Hurd .... picture car coordinator (uncredited)
Other crew
Kate Amer .... production coordinator
Charley Armstrong .... location manager
Patrick Burn .... assistant location manager
Mark Colegrove .... production assistant
Gabriel DellaVecchia .... payroll accountant
Melissa Demino .... additional staff
Jacques Derosena .... stand-in
Scott Foster .... additional production assistant
Ginny Galloway .... assistant production coordinator
John Goodwill .... production coordinator: additional photography, Los Angeles
Thomas C. Hessenauer .... production assistant
Douglas M. Jones .... set production assistant (as Douglas Jones)
Andrea Kalin .... consultant
Cyndi Martin .... production assistant
Chris Menke .... production assistant
Kerry Newberry .... second assistant accountant (as Kerry Yancheski)
Karri O'Reilly .... production coordinator: additional photographer, Los Angeles
Patrick Tendai Pfupajena .... additional production assistant
Ryan Robertson .... main title producer
Jill Rosenblatt .... first assistant accountant
Daniel Ross .... stand-in
Howard Samuelsohn .... dialect coach
Nina Saxon .... title designer
Matt Small .... titles
Mary Sunshine .... production accountant
Miranda Thompson .... studio executive
Rebecca Thornell .... clearance
Robert S. Wilhelm Jr. .... key set production assistant
Dave Willis .... production assistant
Rehya Young .... assistant location manager
Mimi Zora .... assistant: Mr. Cort
Rick Kain .... stand-in: Bolton Marsh (uncredited)

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
110 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.78 : 1 See more »
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Dr. Irving Sorkin, a retired Washington, District of Columbia, USA dentist, was instrumental in getting the article by Katie McCabe made into a feature film. He died in Los Angeles, California, USA of lymphoma on 18 October 2007 at the age of 88.See more »
Factual errors: The Reader's Digest published a photograph of that first operation, and one of the participants was identified as Dr. Michael DeBakey. Although a professor at Tulane, he was on leave as a consultant to the Surgeon General in Washington.See more »
Alfred Blalock:Mine was only proud of the fact that I could wiggle my ears.
Vivien Thomas:I think he'll be proud when you operate.
Alfred Blalock:He's dead.
Vivien Thomas:The dead are with us all the time, I believe. Can't separate the past from the future any more than you can a right arm and your left arm.
Alfred Blalock:Ah but you see they are separated by this, by the heart.
Vivien Thomas:Or connected.
Alfred Blalock:Or connected.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Boogie Woogie Bugle BoySee more »


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81 out of 84 people found the following review useful.
I wasn't expecting a story this powerful., 22 October 2004
Author: spankymac from North Carolina

It's gratifying to know that I'm not the only one who was surprisingly moved by this story. I had known only a tiny part of the story before the movie: that a white surgeon and a black technician developed the process that could save "blue babies." That's a huge accomplishment, but only a portion of the story.

Alan Rickman does a splendid job portraying Dr. Blalock. There are a few moments when his southern accent slips and a little British comes through, but in terms of portrayal of the character, he is convincing. Blalock is ambitious, and in fact so focused on his professional and medical goals that sometimes he's clueless as to what others are going through to get him what he wants. He's also at turns arrogant and compassionate...exactly what one would have to be to do what he did. One thing the movie communicates very effectively is just how much of a revolution this surgery was: not merely operating on a baby heart, Dr. Blalock opened the gate to surgery on *any* human heart. Rickman doesn't overdo it, but he gets the character across.

Mos Def steals the show, however, in his subtle portrayal of Vivien Thomas. There's no grandstanding in this performance; he makes us believe that we know Thomas, and that to know him is to love him. He plays a man who had more character in his little finger than most people find in their whole lives, and he does it with zero ham. It isn't just that he gives an understated performance...he becomes this man who feels deeply even though he doesn't express it loudly. You see it in his eyes, in his pauses, in his voice. It's hard to describe, except to say that beneath the calm, quiet, even deferential exterior there is, undeniably, a whole person, a fully human, noble, wise, mature, gracious character.

A previous commentator asks if the presentation, near the end of the story, of an honorary degree was supposed to be an apotheosis of sorts. Perhaps. I suspect, however, that it isn't the conferring of a degree but the unveiling of the portrait, that actually vindicates Thomas and lifts him to his place in the medical pantheon of Johns-Hopkins' larger-than-life wonder-workers. At the end of the film, Vivien is sitting in the lobby, looking at his own portrait next to that of Blalock's when he's paged as "Dr. Thomas." He has to wipe the tears from his eyes to respond to the page. Maybe it's the degree and the portrait together.

The same commentator asked whether the film omitted mention of Thomas's eventual title. Actually, there's a scene immediately after their arrival in Baltimore in which the Director of Laboratories gives Vivien some money and tells him to bring coffee and a donut. At the end of the film, when Blalock calls Vivien's office, we see Vivien's title on the office door: Director of Laboratories. The irony is sweet.

This is a compelling, touching film, with wonderful performances all around.

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