Miss Evers' Boys (TV Movie 1997) - Plot Summary Poster

(1997 TV Movie)


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  • The true story of the U.S. Government's 1932 Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment, in which a group of black test subjects were allowed to die, despite a cure having been developed.

  • In 1932 Macon County, Alabama, the federal government launched into a medical study called The Tuskegee Study of Untreated Blacks with Syphilis. The study selected 412 men infected with the disease and faked long term treatment, while really only giving them placebos and liniments. The premise of the action was to determine if blacks reacted similar to whites to the overall effects of the disease. The experiment was only discontinued 40 years later when a Senate investigation was initiated. At that time, only 127 of the original study group were left alive. The story is told from the point of view of Nurse Eunice Evers, who was well aware of the lack of treatment being offered, but felt her role was to console the involved men, many of whom were her direct friends. In fact, the movie's name comes from the fact that a performing dancer and three musicians named their act for her - "Miss Evers' Boys". All had the disease. A romance with one goes unrequited even after he joins the Army during World War II and is treated and cured by penicillin. As the result of the Senate investigation, the medical experimentation on humans has been curbed. The survivors of the study did receive treatment and financial compensation after the Senate investigation.

  • When nurse Eunice Evers is chosen to facilitate a program intended to curb syphilis rates among African Americans in rural Alabama, she is gratified to be able to serve her community. Over time, however, the study becomes twisted into a shocking human experiment in which patients are systematically denied much-needed medicine. Decades after the fact, Evers is called before a Senate committee to testify as to what really happened during the infamous "Tuskegee Study."

  • In the Great Depression, the federal government orders a medical experiment into the treatment and lack thereof of syphilis in African Americans. A group of poor black men are lured into the program, only to be allowed to die when they succumb to the disease so that their deterioration can be documented. Told from the point of view of Nurse Eunice Evers, the movie shows the complete history of this project from its origins in the 1930s, through World War II, and into the late 1940s and early 1950s when the U.S. Senate shuts down the project after deeming it immoral and illegal. The movie's name comes from the fact that a performing dancer and three musicians named their act for her - "Miss Evers' Boys".

  • The shocking true story of the federal government's secret medical experiment on southern blacks in the 1930s. Loyal, devoted nurse Eunice Evers is invited to work with doctors on a federally funded program to treat syphilis patients in Alabama. Free treatment is offered to those who test positive for the disease, including Caleb Humphries and Willie Johnson. But when the government withdraws its funding, money is offered for what will become the Tuskegee Experiment; a study of the effects of patients who don't receive treatment. Now the men must be lead to believe they are being cared for, when in fact they are being denied the medicine that could cure them. Miss Evers is faced with a terrible dilemma - to abandon the experiment and tell the patients or to remain silent and offer only comfort. It is a life and death decision that will dictate not only of her life, but the lives of "Miss Evers' Boys".


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