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

 -  Biography | Drama  -  16 August 2013 (USA)
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 69,765 users   Metascore: 66/100
Reviews: 298 user | 281 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 15 wins & 46 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 »

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 film has 41 credited producers. See more »

Goofs

The wall telephone in Cecil's kitchen has a modular jack and flat cord, introduced in the early 1970's. It should have a round cord hard-wired into the handset, like the phone in the front hall. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Referenced in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #21.204 (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

We Shall Overcome
Musical and Lyrical adaptation by Zilphia Horton, Frank Hamilton, Guy Carawan and Pete Seeger.
Inspired by African American Gospel Singing, members of the Food & Tobacco Workers Union, Charleston, SC, and the southern Civil Rights Movement.
TRO - (c) Copyright 1960 (Renewed) and 1963 (Renewed) Ludlow Music, Inc., New York
International Copyright Secured Made in U.S.A.
All Rights Reserved Including Public Performance For Profit
Royalties derived from this composition are being contributed to the We Shall Overcome Fund and The Freedom Movement under the Trusteeship of the writers. Used by Permission
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Uninspiring and thoroughly over-hyped.
15 August 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

For anyone who has seen The Help this is the less elegant version.. Actually this isn't elegant at all, it's just bland and poorly done. Nothing really happens, and even though the tagline is "One quiet voice can ignite a revolution" very little actually happens in the film..

First off Whitaker is thoroughly underwhelming, which is honestly surprising. I often enjoy his films, but he is totally uninspiring in this.

Oprah has gotten a lot of buzz due to her role, many even talking about Oscar noms. Is it that good? No... I must admit I was a little biased coming into this due to her publicity stunt with regards to the whole "Swiss purse" incident.

Jane Fonda, a die-hard liberal in the role of Nancy Reagan would be akin to casting Jon Voight as FDR. In other words, it doesn't make any sense and instead jumps out as an eye sore.

My biggest problem with this film is the lack of any grace. It's just a race guilt tripping wet dream.... The Help was funny, it was touching and the actresses did phenomenal. While watching The Butler I couldn't get past "oh that's Oprah, there's Jane Fonda.."

To close, don't see this. It's boring, it's not entertaining, it doesn't have any memorable performances, many needless guest stars, and of course Oprah. You are much better off renting The Help for a truly enjoyable film where you don't finish the movie feeling uncomfortable for being white.


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