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The Butler (2013)

PG-13 | | Biography, Drama | 16 August 2013 (USA)
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As Cecil Gaines serves eight presidents during his tenure as a butler at the White House, the civil rights movement, Vietnam, and other major events affect this man's life, family, and American society.

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Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 18 wins & 50 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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LaJessie Smith ...
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Mr. Jenkins (as John Fertitta)
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White Usher
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Storyline

Cecil Gaines was a sharecropper's son who grew up in the 1920s as a domestic servant for the white family who casually destroyed his. Eventually striking out on his own, Cecil becomes a hotel valet of such efficiency and discreteness in the 1950s that he becomes a butler in the White House itself. There, Cecil would serve numerous US Presidents over the decades as a passive witness of history with the American Civil Rights Movement gaining momentum even as his family has troubles of its own. As his wife, Gloria, struggles with her addictions and his defiant eldest son, Louis, strives for a just world, Cecil must decide whether he should take action in his own way. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

One quiet voice can ignite a revolution

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some violence and disturbing images, language, sexual material, thematic elements and smoking | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

16 August 2013 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Lee Daniels' The Butler  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$24,637,312 (USA) (16 August 2013)

Gross:

$116,631,310 (USA) (7 February 2014)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

On Gloria's vanity mirror in the bedroom are two pictures of children. One of them is a photo of Oprah Winfrey as a child. See more »

Goofs

In 1957, when the White House is shown from a distance, a red Volkswagen bug drives by, with its white convertible top down. Several years later, in front of the courthouse in Tennessee, the same car is parked on the street, with the top down. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Cecil Gaines: The only thing I ever knew was cotton. It was hard work.
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Connections

Referenced in Chelsea Lately: Episode #7.126 (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

1. Praeludium [Partita No. 1 in B Flat, BWV 825]
Written by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performed by Maria João Pires
Courtesy of Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Hamburg under license from Universal Music Enterprises
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
wasted opportunity
31 December 2013 | by (Greece) – See all my reviews

The story sounded so promising and had such a potential, so I was really surprised by how mediocre this movie was. What it mainly lacks is soul. None of the many historical events felt something. All fell flat. I didn't even care about the "Butler"'s personal story. And the acting was bad. Bad. Even for the standards of Mr. Whitaker. Everyone's acting was worse than a daily soap extra. I blame the Director for this.

The casting of the presidents was also an epic failure. Cusak as Nixon? Only Alan Rickman seemed like a good choice for R.Reagan.

what a wasted opportunity...


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