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The Help (2011)

PG-13 | | Drama | 10 August 2011 (USA)
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An aspiring author during the civil rights movement of the 1960s decides to write a book detailing the African-American maids' point of view on the white families for which they work, and the hardships they go through on a daily basis.

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(screenplay), (novel)
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421 ( 9)
Top Rated Movies #239 | Won 1 Oscar. Another 79 wins & 111 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Eleanor Henry ...
Emma Henry ...
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Robert Phelan
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Storyline

Set in Mississippi during the 1960s, Skeeter (Stone) is a southern society girl who returns from college determined to become a writer, but turns her friends' lives -- and a Mississippi town -- upside down when she decides to interview the black women who have spent their lives taking care of prominent southern families. Aibileen (Davis), Skeeter's best friend's housekeeper, is the first to open up -- to the dismay of her friends in the tight-knit black community. Despite Skeeter's life-long friendships hanging in the balance, she and Aibileen continue their collaboration and soon more women come forward to tell their stories -- and as it turns out, they have a lot to say. Along the way, unlikely friendships are forged and a new sisterhood emerges, but not before everyone in town has a thing or two to say themselves when they become unwittingly -- and unwillingly -- caught up in the changing times. Written by Walt Disney Pictures

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Change begins with a whisper.

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Language:

Release Date:

10 August 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Historias cruzadas  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$26,044,590 (USA) (12 August 2011)

Gross:

$169,705,587 (USA) (2 March 2012)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film cast includes three Oscar winners: Octavia Spencer, Mary Steenburgen and Sissy Spacek; and four Oscar nominees: Viola Davis, Jessica Chastain, Cicely Tyson and Emma Stone. See more »

Goofs

The phones shown are rotary dial and the correct styles and colors available at the time but many have an RJ modular connector on the hand set that was not available until the 1970s. The handset cords and at least one of the extension cords are also the newer flat style, at the time the movie was set they would be thicker and round with both cords usually the same color as the phone set. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Aibileen Clark: I was born 1911, Chicksaw County, Piedmont Plantation.
Woman: And did you know as a girl growing up that one day you'd be a maid?
Aibileen Clark: Yes ma'am, I did.
Woman: And you knew that because...
Aibileen Clark: My mama was a maid. My grandmama was a house slave.
Woman: [whispering as she writes down] "house slave..." Did you ever dream of being something else?
Aibileen Clark: [nods yes]
Woman: What does it feel like to raise a white child when your own child's at home being looked after by somebody else?
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Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Game Night: Battle of the Champions (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

The Wah-Watusi
Written by Dave Appell (as David Appell) and Kal Mann
Performed by The Orlons
Courtesy of ABKCO Music & Records, Inc.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A beautiful film--and realistic
13 September 2011 | by (Virginia) – See all my reviews

If this film were total fiction bearing no relation to reality, it would still be worth seeing for the fine acting and production values--even if some of the young white women approached "Southern Gothic."

But it wasn't fiction--at least, the depiction of Southern society wasn't. As I watched I kept drifting back to small-town South Carolina in the 1950s, where I grew up. It was moving and disturbing to be reminded how black people were treated then--loved and yet "kept down in their place." Our neighborhood was all middle-class and every family had a maid. There were plenty of boys my age, we visited in each other's homes, and called every maid by her first name. One even started a baseball team for the little white boys, for which her reward was a visit by the Klan.

Our maid helped my mother cook and clean. One of my parents picked her up and took her home every day--and she rode in the back seat. She ate her lunch in our kitchen--without being allowed to use our utensils. I remember her eating with her fingers. I do not remember ever seeing her use our bathrooms. I thought about that during the movie and truly cannot recall what she did, an embarrassing gap in memory.

I do remember when my father was out of work and our maid had to be cut back to three days a week. I actually cried; she was a member of our family. When talk about civil rights began in the late 1950s, my mother became annoyed at our maid for getting "uppity." And so it went. We moved to central Florida in 1961, where there were no maids.

Travel back in time with this film. It's quite real, and I highly recommend it.


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