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Lee Daniels' The Butler (2013)
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Lee Daniels' The Butler (I) (2013)
"The Butler" (original title)

PG-13  |   |  Biography, Drama  |  16 August 2013 (USA)
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 77,893 users   Metascore: 66/100
Reviews: 310 user | 289 critic | 47 from Metacritic.com

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 16 wins & 48 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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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 »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 August 2013 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Lee Daniels' The Butler  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

$116,631,310 (USA) (7 February 2014)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The character of Cecil Gaines was based on Eugene Allen, who served as White House butler for over 30 years and 8 presidents: Harry S. Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and Ronald Reagan. Much of the detail is fictionalized for this movie. See more »

Goofs

Gloria is using a Pyrex bowl with the Spring Blossom pattern (white with green flowers) when she is peeling potatoes in a scene set around 1959. The pattern was not actually released until the '70s. See more »

Quotes

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


Soundtracks

Ain't That A Kick In The Head
Written by Sammy Cahn, Jimmy Van Heusen
Performed by Dean Martin
Courtesy of Capitol Records, Inc.
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
If you have the guts
22 August 2013 | by (Malibu) – See all my reviews

Go see this movie..It shook me to my core..As a white person I've never been more ashamed in my life..And saddened.. We are in the midst of racial struggle for equal rights right now..I sat in a packed theater with all white old people and you could've heard a pin drop.. It felt like a Forest Gump movie but with the racial history of our country as the topic.. and it was NOT a pretty picture. Thank you for doing this movie Lee, it is something we all need to see as Americans and we all have to face that we still have MAJOR racial bigotry. It must NOT be tolerated! I am white, 63 yrs old, born in Miami Fl and living in LA. Please go see this and then go about being an agent of change..we need to move on to better things and stamp out racism in America..it has NO place here..and we should all be ashamed of it's existence and allowing it to persist.. The cameos were priceless and OPRAH, (tho I am not a fan) was incredible!


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Why cast Oprah? AndroYoussef
The first time a white man ever stuck his neck out for us? bbb984
Who else found the casting too distracting ? Dubdub1974
Why did the director put his own name in the title? Effervesce
What was with the random Obama propganda? starcraftbw88
How was Warner able to supress the Black staff's salaries for so long? angus052394
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