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Redemption: The Stan Tookie Williams Story (2004)

Redemption tells the story of Stan "Tookie" Williams, founder of the Crips L.A. street gang. Story follows his fall into gang-banging, his prison term, and his work writing children's ... See full summary »

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 12 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
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Charles Becnel
...
Young Stan Williams (as Brenden Richard Jefferson)
Brenda Bazinet ...
Barbara's Agent
...
Tony Bogard (as Wes 'Maestro' Williams)
Greg Ellwand ...
Prison Chief
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Winnie Mandela
Barbara Barnes-Hopkins ...
Mrs. Williams
...
Jim Kates
...
Joseph Pierre ...
17yr. Old Ray Washington
Vibert Cobham ...
Buddha
David Fraser ...
Strange Man
Kahmaara Armatrading ...
Stan Williams (9-12)
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Storyline

Redemption tells the story of Stan "Tookie" Williams, founder of the Crips L.A. street gang. Story follows his fall into gang-banging, his prison term, and his work writing children's novels encouraging peace and anti-violence resolutions which earned him multiple Nobel Peace Prize nominations. After exhausting all forms of appeal, Tookie was executed by lethal injection at San Quentin State Prison, California; he was declared dead on December 13, 2005 at 12:35 a.m. PST (08:35 UTC). Williams is the 12th person to be executed by California since it reinstated the death penalty in 1977. Written by Anonymous

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Taglines:

Gangster, Death Row Inmate, Nobel Peace Prize Nominee

Genres:

Drama | Crime

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

3 March 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Redemption  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Connections

Featured in 11th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Wait on Me
Performed by Heather
Written by George Howard & Fred Capitelli
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User Reviews

 
Potentially powerful movie fails to find a steady pace
19 December 2005 | by See all my reviews

The topic of Stan Williams often incites heated and emotional debate. A movie about his life was therefore a perfect opportunity to inform both sides of the armchair debaters, showing why Tookie was put in prison and sketching the events leading to his self-claimed redemption. Tookie was a wretched man - he said so himself. The movie should have shown how wretched he was. It should have shown the violence he was exposed to when he was young, the murders he was convicted for, his violent behaviour in prison for many years before he had a change of heart. He also always claimed he was innocent of the crimes he was sentenced for, so there was an opportunity to film the murders with some doubt as to the perpetrator. It could really have built around the doubt, and played on the emotional conflict of carrying out the sentence or having mercy on a changed man. But the movie doesn't focus on the character change of Tookie. It never focuses on his violent nature, and the viewer is not taken on the journey of the evolving character. Instead, the film starts off with the nice Tookie Williams who has kind eyes and a nature that evokes sympathy. His former crimes are only eluded to, and he is depicted as an honest man seeking release from prison as a place he can't get used to and just doesn't belong. Jamie Foxx is a brilliant actor, but unfortunately does not portray the latent demon that was Tookie. Jamie is too nice-looking, and not nearly huge enough. If you are not familiar with the Tookie Williams story, this movie will seem to jump around a lot and will not make as much sense as it is supposed to. Those unfamiliar with the story will side immediately with Tookie and want him to be released from prison. As such, it is not an accurate portrayal, and it is not clear what the film was trying to create. The movie never really finds its rhythm and it is an unfortunate lost opportunity. The viewer should have a good idea of how bad Tookie was, and then be able to judge for himself the genuineness of the change, and only then start to question what Tookie's fate should have been. These questions did not need to be answered in the movie, but they should at least have been posed. Instead, the end result is a random and inelegant sympathetic sketch of Tookie's last days that ends on an imperfect cadence.


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