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.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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 »
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 »
Very much clichéd, wonderful star power, but wasted.
Being 60 and having lived through much of this time period, I'm sorry to say that I found the movie to be very simplistic and quite dull. Jackie K with the hat, Johnson on the toilet with the Beagles.
Of course we all know he had beagles and had no qualms about speaking to his people while on the toilet, but this movie seemed to just be filled with these clichés. There were also too many historical inaccuracies. I could start listing them, but what's the point. Jackie never called her husband John, he was Jack!
I found it very simplistic in it's approach to the racial issues, (which after-all is what the movie was about). These issues were far more complicated. Did the producers and writers believe us not bright enough to tell the stories on a more elevated level?
Unforgivable, no mention of Rosa Parks.
I'm afraid to believe that:
1 Was dumbed down purposely
2 This movie accurately shows the extreme failing of our educational system. Thus this movie had to be created on such a simple level.
One other complaint is that it in no way accurately showed the extreme fear we (black and white) felt as these national events unfolded.
My answer: Read some books. "Native Sun", "The autobiography of Malcolm X" etc etc. You'll learn a lot more of the times.
Gene M San Francisco
35 of 62 people found this review helpful.
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