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Amazing Grace (2006)

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The idealist William Wilberforce maneuvers his way through Parliament, endeavoring to end the British transatlantic slave trade.

Director:

Michael Apted

Writer:

Steven Knight
1 win & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ioan Gruffudd ... William Wilberforce
Romola Garai ... Barbara Spooner
Benedict Cumberbatch ... William Pitt
Albert Finney ... John Newton
Michael Gambon ... Lord Charles Fox
Rufus Sewell ... Thomas Clarkson
Youssou N'Dour ... Olaudah Equiano
Ciarán Hinds ... Lord Tarleton (as Ciaran Hinds)
Toby Jones ... Duke of Clarence
Nicholas Farrell ... Henry Thornton
Sylvestra Le Touzel ... Marianne Thornton
Jeremy Swift ... Richard the Butler
Stephen Campbell Moore ... James Stephen
Bill Paterson ... Lord Dundas
Nicholas Day ... Sir William Dolben
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Storyline

In 1797, William Wilberforce, the great crusader for the British abolition of slavery, is taking a vacation for his health even while he is sicker at heart for his frustrated cause. However, meeting the charming Barbara Spooner, Wilberforce finds a soulmate to share the story of his struggle. With few allies such as his mentor, John Newton, a slave ship captain turned repentant priest who penned the great hymn, "Amazing Grace," Prime William Pitt, and Olaudah Equiano, the erudite former slave turned author, Wilberforce fruitlessly fights both public indifference and moneyed opposition determined to keep their exploitation safe. Nevertheless, Wilberforce finds the inspiration in newfound love to rejuvenate the fight with new ideas that would lead to a great victory for social justice. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

One voice changed the lives of millions See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic material involving slavery, and some mild language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 February 2007 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A szabadság himnusza See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,054,542, 25 February 2007, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$21,208,358, 10 June 2007

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$27,213,386
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

SDDS | Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The scene where William Wilberforce sings "Amazing Grace" at the card house was actually directly sung from Ioan Gruffudd at that moment. In the last several takes, a playback was used, but it is Ioan singing. Director Michael Apted had no idea whether or not Gruffudd could actually sing. Little did he know, Ioan is an accomplished soloist and choir singer. With a little practice, Ioan performed for the first time on set while the cameras were rolling. All much to the surprise of the cast, crew and director. See more »

Goofs

There were at least 3 grammar mistakes: several uses of "I" when "me" should have been used. Wilburforce also says "By who?" As a graduate of Cambridge, he would have said, "By whom?" See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
William Wilberforce: Stop a moment!
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Connections

Featured in Tavis Smiley: Episode dated 23 January 2007 (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Haydn Opus 64, Nos. 2, 4 and 5
Written by Franz Joseph Haydn (as Franz Joseph Haydn)
Performed by Quattro Mosaiques
Courtesy of Astree Records
by arrangement with Source Q
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Touching biography about William Wilberforce responsible for a bill which abolishes the slave trade
19 June 2012 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

The idealist William Wilberforce (finely played by Ioan Grufudd) along with Rhomas Clarkson (Rufus Sewell) and a group of anti-slave trade maneuver his way through Parliament, endeavoring to end the British transatlantic trade that would lead to a great victory . Wilberforce helped by his lifelong friend and future P. M . William Pitt (Benedict Cumberbatch) will fight to get their purports for social justice . Wilberforce encounters the inspiration in newfound love interest (Romola Garai) to rejuvenate the battle with new ideas . After many attempts to bring legislation forward over twenty years, he is eventually gets a bill being passed through Parliament in 1807, in which abolishes the slavery the British empire forever.

This is a bicentennial tribute to William Wilberforce and his parliamentary bill abolishing the slave trade . Thought-provoking and moving film dealing with interesting issues , including fidelity to historical accuracy and detailed moral battles . Ioan Gruffudd is good as obstinate , romantic parliamentary member who battles relentlessly injustices ; he does a dignified portrayal about a great man . The prestigious cast shows their awareness of the contemporary impact about the brooding themes and are allowed to step out of period detail . Special mention to Benedict Cumberbatch as his lifelong friend Prime Minister William Pitt and N' Dour realizing an enjoyable portrait of an ex-slave . All of them are quietly upstaged by Albert Finney as a repent , remorse ex-slaver . The motion picture was marvelously directed by Michael Apted , he's director, producer of several successes such as ¨The word is not enough¨, ¨Gorillas in the mist¨ , ¨Class action¨, ¨Nell¨, ¨Enigma¨ , ¨Chronicles of Narnia II : The voyage of Dawn Treader¨ among others . Rating : Above average and worthwhile seeing , the whole family will enjoy this film .It's a very likable biography and enormously appealing for students and scholars . Overall this is a really nice movie . If you are familiar with the history then you will like this splendid film .

This is a biopic well based on historical events , adding more details over the largely described in the movie are the following : William Wilberforce (24 August 1759 – 29 July 1833) was a British politician, philanthropist, and a leader of the movement to abolish the slave trade. A native of Kingston upon Hull, Yorkshire, he began his political career in 1780, eventually becoming the independent Member of Parliament for Yorkshire (1784–1812). In 1785, he underwent a conversion experience and became an evangelical Christian, resulting in major changes to his lifestyle and a lifelong concern for reform. In 1787, he came into contact with Thomas Clarkson and a group of anti-slave-trade activists, including Granville Sharp, Hannah More and Charles Middleton. They persuaded Wilberforce to take on the cause of abolition, and he soon became one of the leading English abolitionists. He headed the parliamentary campaign against the British slave trade for twenty-six years until the passage of the Slave Trade Act of 1807. Wilberforce was convinced of the importance of religion, morality and education. He championed causes and campaigns such as the Society for Suppression of Vice, British missionary work in India, the creation of a free colony in Sierra Leone, the foundation of the Church Mission Society, and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. His underlying conservatism led him to support politically and socially repressive legislation, and resulted in criticism that he was ignoring injustices at home while campaigning for the enslaved abroad.In later years, Wilberforce supported the campaign for the complete abolition of slavery, and continued his involvement after 1826, when he resigned from Parliament because of his failing health. That campaign led to the Slavery Abolition Act 1833, which abolished slavery in most of the British Empire; Wilberforce died just three days after hearing that the passage of the Act through Parliament was assured. He was buried in Westminster Abbey, close to his friend William Pitt.


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