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Heavens Fall (2006)

PG-13  |   |  Crime, Drama  |  20 July 2006 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 1,015 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 6 critic

Two young woman accuse nine black youths of rape in the segregated South.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Samuel Leibowitz
Judge James Horton
Victoria Price
William Lee
Thomas Knight, Jr.
Ruby Bates
Thomas Knight, Sr.
George Chamlee
Lyle Harris
Joseph Brodsky
Haywood Patterson
Wade Wright
Belle Leibowitz
Lester Carter
E.L. Lewis


Successful New York attorney Sam Leibowitz travels to the South in 1933 to defend nine young black men accused of raping two women on an Alabama freight train. In the spring of 1931 nine black hoboes were pulled off an Alabama freight train and arrested for allegedly raping two young white women in a gondola car. Ranging in ages from twelve to twenty years, they were quickly tried and sentenced to the electric chair. News of their convictions spread and the plight of the Scottsboro Boys became a 'cause celebre' that fueled the fire of socialism worldwide, forcing an appeal to the United States Supreme Court and resulting in new trials for all nine defendants. New Yorker Samuel Leibowitz, a savvy and self-assured defense lawyer with an impressive string of courtroom victories, agreed to represent the accused at their retrials in Decatur, Alabama. His journey into the Deep South symbolized the polarity of the times and set in motion a legal battle that ultimately changed the course of ... Written by Terry Green

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Let Justice Be Done. Though The Heavens May Fall.


Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for mature thematic elements including some dialogue | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

20 July 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Justiça Seja Feita  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$4,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


During the final part of filming, production was shut down for three or four days because Hurricane Ivan going through Monroeville, Ala., where the film was being shot. The crew helped board up windows at the courthouse where the courtroom scenes were shot and even loaned the police a generator to keep the 911 service running. See more »


The opening sequence, a series of vignettes showing the events which led to the trial, is set on a freight train in 1931. Twice, the modern Diesel-electric locomotive heading the train comes into shot. And, for most of the sequence, the train is stationary. See more »


Judge James Horton: This defendant has a right to a fair and decent trail. Any man who attempts to take charge outside the law is unworthy of the protection of the State of Alabama and the citizenship which you enjoy. I have no patience with mob spirit. And if there are any meetings where such matters are discussed, any man attending such a meeting should be ashamed of themselves. Your very civilization depends on the carrying out of your laws in an orderly manner. Gentlemen, I hope we will have no more of any ...
See more »


Version of Scottsboro: An American Tragedy (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

Heavens Fall - USA DVD RELEASE NOV. 6, 2007 - Superb Acting , Splendid Score
30 July 2006 | by (New Hampshire, USA) – See all my reviews

I had the great pleasure of seeing the East Coast Premiere of "Heavens Fall" at the Stony Brook Film Festival, Long Island, NY on July 20, 2006.

Timothy Hutton gave a riveting performance as defense attorney Samuel Leibowitz. In my opinion it was his best since his equally fine portrayal of Archie Goodwin in "Nero Wolfe." Bill Sage as prosecuting attorney Thomas Knight, Jr. and David Strathairn as Judge Horton were also excellent in their roles. Bill Smitrovich as co-defense attorney, Maury Chaykin in a cameo role as a bigoted insurance salesman, Francie Swift as Leibowitz' wife, Belle, and James Tolkan as Thomas Knight, Sr. (four other "Nero Wolfe" actors) were exceptional, too, as was B.J. Britt, Haywood Patterson, in his film debut. LeeLee Sobieski and Azura Skye as Victoria Price and Ruby Bates were marvelous in their extremely difficult roles.

The score by Tony Llorens was haunting - a perfect accompaniment for the plot and the beautiful cinematography by Paul Sanchez.

This fine movie with its superb acting, splendid score, and beautiful cinematography had only been seen in the US by festival audiences, but it is now available to a broader audience. (US DVD release, November 6, 2007) The DVD includes two "behind the scenes" documentaries by Charley Rivkin with additional footage by Adam Witt. The first, "Creating The Fall," includes interviews with Terry Green, Timothy Hutton, Bill Sage, David Strathairn, Anthony Mackie, LeeLee Sobieski, and Azura Skye with their thoughts on the movie and the subject matter. The second, "Surviving The Fall," is about the difficulties the cast and crew endured and heroics they performed when Hurricane Ivan interrupted the filming of "Heavens Fall."

16 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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