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Harriet (2019)

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The extraordinary tale of Harriet Tubman's escape from slavery and transformation into one of America's greatest heroes, whose courage, ingenuity, and tenacity freed hundreds of slaves and changed the course of history.

Director:

Kasi Lemmons

Writers:

Gregory Allen Howard (screenplay by), Kasi Lemmons (screenplay by) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
74 ( 376)

Cynthia Erivo Brings Harriet Tubman to Life

Cynthia Erivo discusses what went into her portrayal of Harriet Tubman. Joining her are Harriet director Kasi Lemmons and co-star Leslie Odom Jr.

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 16 wins & 28 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Cynthia Erivo ... Harriet / Minty
Leslie Odom Jr. ... William Still
Joe Alwyn ... Gideon Brodess
Clarke Peters ... Ben Ross
Vanessa Bell Calloway ... Rit Ross
Omar J. Dorsey ... Bigger Long
Henry Hunter Hall ... Walter
Tim Guinee ... Thomas Garrett
Nick Basta ... Foxx
Joseph Lee Anderson ... Robert Ross
Antonio J Bell ... Henry Ross
CJ McBath ... Junyah Ross
Alexis Louder ... Jane
Aria Brooks ... Anger (8)
Janelle Monáe ... Marie Buchanon
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Storyline

Based on the thrilling and inspirational life of an iconic American freedom fighter, Harriet tells the extraordinary tale of Harriet Tubman's escape from slavery and transformation into one of America's greatest heroes. Her courage, ingenuity, and tenacity freed hundreds of slaves and changed the course of history. Written by Focus Features

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Be free or die


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

PG-13 for thematic content throughout, violent material and language including racial epithets | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 November 2019 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Harriet See more »

Filming Locations:

Richmond, Virginia, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$17,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,676,720, 3 November 2019

Gross USA:

$42,950,890

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$43,150,890
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Atmos (in selected theatres)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Cynthia Erivo and Leslie Odom Jr. won Tony Awards at the same ceremony for different shows. Erivo won Best Lead Actress in a Musical for "The Color Purple" while Odom won Best Lead Actor in a Musical for "Hamilton." See more »

Goofs

The Canadian city Harriet Tubman fled to was called St. Catharines not St. Catharine as shown in the text scrawl. See more »

Quotes

Harriet: You've been free so long you forget what it's like.
See more »


Soundtracks

Stand Up
Written by Cynthia Erivo and Joshuah Brian Campbell
Produced by Will Wells and Gabe Fox-Peck
Performed by Cynthia Erivo
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Rousing bio of Harriet Tubman if not a bit too glowing.
30 October 2019 | by jdesandoSee all my reviews

"You'll be free or die!" Harriet Tubman (Cynthia Erivo)

After so many films about arguable heroines, it's fine to have one about a true one, "super" in modern parlance. In the 1849 antebellum South, Harriet Tubman is on her way to becoming "the slave stealer" and eventually "Moses." During the first part of this emotional and reverential biopic, Harriet needs to leave her family by way of the 100 miles from Maryland, mostly on foot to a slave free Pennsylvania.

Director and co-writer Kasi Lemmons does an admirable job of showing this relentless heroine begin to become a conductor and eventually leader of the Underground Railroad by saving a few friends and relatives from the tyrannical and torturing whites. Eventually she will have led over 70 black slaves as far as 600 miles to Canadian freedom.

The film romanticizes and beatifies this historical heroine, aided by Terence Blanchard's telegraphing, swelling score, with too little depicting her struggles as a slave or as a woman in later life reaping the glory of her experience and pain. Her rapturous direct connection with God adds to the pious, preachy tone.

However, the gifted Erivo (a Tony winner among other honors) quickly draws the audience to Harriet's side as a caring and resourceful future leader, a Nina Simone's "Sinnerman" perfectly supports a rousing montage of Underground escapes. Her facing down authority is not as early as could be expected; she is compliant and obedient for a leader who emerges in her 20's as a liberator and an historical saint.

The movie Harriet is a glowing tribute to a real hero. Seeing her in action as an armed assault leader in the Civil War would have been the right realist touch to offset the preponderance of seemingly excessive adulation.

Her face will be on the $20 bill if this positive biography has anything to do with it.

"Now I've been free, I know what a dreadful condition slavery is. I have seen hundreds of escaped slaves, but I never saw one who was willing to go back and be a slave." Tubman


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