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Amazing Grace (2006)

7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 18,961 users   Metascore: 65/100
Reviews: 145 user | 91 critic | 29 from Metacritic.com

The idealist William Wilberforce maneuvers his way through Parliament, endeavoring to end the British transatlantic slave trade.

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Cast

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Richard the Butler
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Lord Dundas
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Sir William Dolben
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Storyline

In 1797, William Wilberforce, the great crusader for the British abolition of slavery, is taking a vacation for his health even while he is sicker at heart for his frustrated cause. However, meeting the charming Barbara Spooner, Wilberforce finds a soulmate to share the story of his struggle. With few allies such as his mentor, John Newton, a slave ship captain turned repentant priest who penned the great hymn, "Amazing Grace," Prime William Pitt, and Olaudah Equiano, the erudite former slave turned author, Wilberforce fruitlessly fights both public indifference and moneyed opposition determined to keep their exploitation safe. Nevertheless, Wilberforce finds the inspiration in newfound love to rejuvenate the fight with new ideas that would lead to a great victory for social justice. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

One man led a movement that changed the world. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic material involving slavery, and some mild language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

23 February 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A szabadság himnusza  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£431,967 (UK) (23 March 2007)

Gross:

$21,208,358 (USA) (8 June 2007)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

William Wilberforce's family line lives on today, and most recently, their name was in the news in the United Kingdom after Susan Wilberforce (the Baroness de Stempel), a direct descendant of William, stood trial for the murder of her first husband in 1989. She was eventually found not guilty, and the murder remains unsolved. See more »

Goofs

The movie originally portrays Banastre Tarleton, the Liverpool MP, participating in a Commons debate in 1782. Tarleton did not enter the House of Commons until 1784, and could not have debated on negotiations with Americans as he was not yet an MP and was in fact, on parole from his disastrous performance in Virginia. See more »

Quotes

Pitt the Younger: You act like you've never seen slavery before.
William Wilberforce: For me, it's like arsenic. Each new tiny dose doubles the effect.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Tavis Smiley: Episode dated 23 January 2007 (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Haydn Opus 64, Nos. 2, 4 and 5
Written by Joseph Haydn (as Franz Joseph Haydn)
Performed by Quattro Mosaiques
Courtesy of Astree Records
by arrangement with Source Q
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Truly Moving Picture
14 October 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I saw this film on October 10th, 2006 in Indianapolis. I am one of the judges for the Heartland Film Festival's Truly Moving Picture Award. A Truly Moving Picture "…explores the human journey by artistically expressing hope and respect for the positive values of life." Heartland gave that award to this film.

This is an inspiring story based on a legendary historical British Member of Parliament, William Wilberforce. During the late 18th century and early 19th century, a very young Wilberforce is elected to Parliament and over the course of several decades leads the fight to ban slavery.

Today this seems like an easy, obvious and intuitive decision. But this was not so 200 years ago. The film clearly explains the entrenched economic motives and the political motives for slavery. Wilberforce starts out as almost a force of one and slowly builds abolitionist momentum by brilliant oratory, political maneuvers, and appealing to his fellow man's better nature.

Ioan Gruffudd is totally believable in explaining to the audience the complexity and heroism of Wilberforce. Wilberforce over the course of his life is sickly and strong, religious and worldly, naive and romantic, and idealistic and practical.

During the course of this mostly political story, we get to see the immense cruelty shown to the captured Africans turned into slaves. We are shown the slave sailing ships where the captured are treated inhumanely and die of starvation, neglect, disease, and filth. Man's inhumanity to man was never worse.

Wilberforce is a great man of history even though mostly forgotten today. He respected his fellow man regardless of their station in life. He was always willing to sacrifice his life and health to help others. And his compassion and spirit was always masked by his humility. He is a hero for all ages.

This is a period piece and you are lost in it because of the attention to detail. The sets, art direction, and costumes allow you to totally suspend disbelief and be moved by the story.

FYI – There is a Truly Moving Pictures web site where there is a listing of past Truly Moving Picture Award winners that are now either at the theater or available on video.


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