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A Lesson Before Dying (1999)

PG-13 | | Drama | TV Movie 22 May 1999
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0:31 | Trailer

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In the 1940s South, an African-American man is wrongly accused of the killing of a white store owner. In his defense, his white attorney equates him with a lowly hog, to indicate that he ... See full summary »

Director:

Joseph Sargent

Writers:

Ernest J. Gaines (novel), Ann Peacock (teleplay)
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Won 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 10 wins & 19 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Don Cheadle ... Grant Wiggins
Cicely Tyson ... Tante Lou
Mekhi Phifer ... Jefferson
Irma P. Hall ... Miss Emma
Brent Jennings ... Reverend Ambrose
Lisa Arrindell ... Vivian Baptiste (as Lisa Arrindell Anderson)
Dana Ivey ... Edna Guidry
Frank Hoyt Taylor ... Sheriff Guidry
Stuart Culpepper Stuart Culpepper ... Henri Pichot
Patty Mack Patty Mack ... Inez
Von Coulter Von Coulter ... Farrell Jarreau
Elijah Kelley ... Clarence
Wynton Yates Wynton Yates ... Louis Washington
Jameelah Nuriddin Jameelah Nuriddin ... Irene
Cierra Meche Cierra Meche ... Estelle
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Storyline

In the 1940s South, an African-American man is wrongly accused of the killing of a white store owner. In his defense, his white attorney equates him with a lowly hog, to indicate that he didn't have the sense to know what he was doing. Nevertheless convicted, he is sentenced to die, but his godmother and the aunt of the local schoolteacher convince the schoolteacher to go to the convicted man's cell each day to try to reaffirm to him that he is not an animal but a man with dignity. Written by BOB STEBBINS <stebinsbob@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for a scene of violence, brief strong language and some sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 May 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Lesson Before Dying - Nachhilfestunden in der Todeszelle See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The poem Grant reads to the children before Farrell comes to class with news from Sheriff Guidry the 2nd time is Edgar Allen Poe's "Annabel Lee." See more »

Goofs

Jefferson's execution date is right after Easter. Yet as the schoolchildren are going to the jail for a last visit with him, there are autumn leaves on the ground. See more »

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User Reviews

a pretty close interpretation of the book
26 May 2003 | by KHenry85See all my reviews

I was required this semester to read a book by an American author and then watch at least one movie based upon the book. I chose "A Lesson Before Dying," by Ernest J. Gaines. The book was excellent and made me cry. The movie was very close to the book, with the exception that some of the scenes orders were switched up (which did not change the meaning very much), it was missing an important, but long scene (the scene's length is probably why it was left out), and a main character was completely deleted. All in all, though, a person could learn just as many things from the movie as from the book, although I still recommend reading the book. I enjoyed watching the movie, the acting was very good. Too bad this movie couldn't make it on the big screen. There are so many lessons to be learned from the unbelievable story line.


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