American Experience: Season 13, Episode 13

Scottsboro: An American Tragedy (2 Apr. 2001)

TV Episode  |   |  Documentary, History
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.2/10 from 10 users  
Reviews: 1 user

Add a Plot


(opening poem),
0Check in
« Previous Episode | 156 of 320 Episodes | Next Episode »


Episode credited cast:
Himself - Narrator
Reporter, Sylacauga News (voice)
Conrad Lynn ...
Victoria Price (voice)
Haywood Patterson (voice)
Samuel Liebowitz (voice)
Reporter, New York Times (voice)


Add Full Plot | Add Synopsis



Release Date:

2 April 2001 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

An insane rush to judgment....four times!
25 April 2012 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

Although I am a retired American history teacher, I really didn't know all that much about the so-called 'Scottsboro Boys'--and so I was very interested in seeing this episode of "The American Experience". After seeing it, it made me feel quite sad...but also affirmed how far we've come since then. Of course, with all the hubbub now going on about Trayvon Martin case, it seems we still have a bit to go.

Back in 1931, a group of Black teenagers were accused of rape. There were MANY reasons to doubt that this occurred and if a similar case came before the grand jury today, it never would go on to trial. But, back in 1931, the idea of a group of Blacks gang-raping a White woman fit the preconceptions of the times--especially in the deep South. So, instead of seeing the many inconsistencies in the case, the state of Alabama pushed headlong into prosecuting the case. Now SOME of this could initially be chalked up to emotions and a crowd mentality, but the case actually ended up being tried FOUR times--and the state just wouldn't let go of the case. The film is quite sad, as it seemed that the trial was, at times, less about determining guilt or innocence but about preconceptions and prejudices--not just towards Blacks but Jews and the North. Overall, it's a very fascinating but extremely sad case--one that might make you marvel at the times.

As far as the show goes, it did a great job of presenting the case and also doing a followup to discuss the ultimate fates of all nine defendants. I also appreciated how the men were not seen as saintly--they were just men--a few of which, it seems, became quite institutionalized and screwed up as a result of their time in prison. Sad, but very compelling.

0 of 0 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
This years intro... ag-wktn
When will we see a film about that remarkable hero, Ida B Wells? Swing-lo
When are they going to make a movie on this? bette1981
What happened to the 'The?' trescia-1
The Satellite Sky craviola880
JFK powersroc
Discuss Scottsboro: An American Tragedy (2001) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: