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Marshall (2017)

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The story of Thurgood Marshall, the crusading lawyer who would become the first African-American Supreme Court Justice, as he battles through one of his career-defining cases.

Director:

Reginald Hudlin
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3,978 ( 877)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Chadwick Boseman ... Thurgood Marshall
Josh Gad ... Sam Friedman
Kate Hudson ... Eleanor Strubing
Sterling K. Brown ... Joseph Spell
Dan Stevens ... Loren Willis
James Cromwell ... Judge Foster
Keesha Sharp ... Buster Marshall
Roger Guenveur Smith ... Walter White
Derrick Baskin ... Ted Lancaster
Barrett Doss ... Bertha Lancaster
Zanete Shadwick Zanete Shadwick ... Irene Lancaster
John Magaro ... Irwin Friedman
Ahna O'Reilly ... Mrs. Richmond
Jussie Smollett ... Langston Hughes
Rozonda 'Chilli' Thomas ... Zora Neale Hurston
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Storyline

In 1940, Thurgood Marshall is a young lawyer for the NAACP who criss-crosses the country defending innocent African-Americans from unjust indictments in court. His latest case is in Bridgeport, Connecticut where an African-American chauffeur is accused of rape of a wealthy white society woman. To admit Marshall into the local Bar, insurance lawyer Sam Friedman is picked over his objections to do introductions in court. However, Friedman's commitment changes drastically when the racist judge forbids Marshall to speak in court, forcing Friedman to act as lead counsel. Now in an intolerable situation for the pair, Marshall must guide his new compatriot through this criminal trial even as Friedman endures not only this unfamiliar area of law, but also the bigoted pressure he now must share. However, the case proves more complex than either anticipates with unexpected twists and turns even as it becomes a vital one that would define two careers as well as the fight for justice in America. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Live Hard. Fight Harder. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for mature thematic content, sexuality, violence and some strong language. | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA | China | Hong Kong

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 October 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Marshall See more »

Filming Locations:

Buffalo, New York, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,000,805, 15 October 2017

Gross USA:

$10,051,659

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$10,116,816
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.00 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Several scenes take place outside the courthouse. They were shot on the steps of Buffalo, New York, City Hall. See more »

Goofs

In the early 1940s, Marshall gives Friedman, whose experience is in civil law, books to get him up to speed on criminal law. However, none of the books focus on criminal law. The first, A Concise Restatement of Torts, Second Edition, about civil law, was published in 1965. The two volumes of Wigmore on Evidence are the McNaughton Revision, published in 1961. Evidentiary law discussed in Wigmore applies in both criminal and civil cases, so Friedman, a trial lawyer, would already be familiar with it. The fourth was Volume 308 of the United States Reports, which published all the US Supreme Court opinions for the 1939 October term. See more »

Quotes

Thurgood Marshall: I wouldn't be here if I didn't think we could win.
See more »


Soundtracks

Marshall V. Friedman
(uncredited)
Written by Marcus Miller
Performed by Marcus Miller Featuring Wynton Marsalis
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Marshall Is Good, But Not As Great As It Could Be
20 October 2017 | by travishouzeSee all my reviews

Growing up one of the first influential black figures I learned about was Supreme Court Judge Thurgood Marshall. While my life didn't veer in the path he took, it was a chance for me as a young black male to see the dedication and time he took to his craft and where it could take you. Almost 2 decades have passed since then, and found myself surprised to see a film finally based on him and his capabilities. While the younger me was excited, I found myself wondering how this film would hold up side by side with other black period films like itself in recent history.

Thurgood (Chadwick Boseman) is working in the NAACP when he is tapped for a court case of the accusation of a black male rumored to have raped a woman and thrown her off into the river and left for dead. While he travels to Connecticut for the trial, he finds himself hard pressed given he is a out of town lawyer unfamiliar to the client, and is left to have a inexperienced attorney (Josh Gad) to speak on his behalf in court. While Thurgood knows most of the material and how to move in court, he has to show Josh's character the way to observe things his way.

The performances are all relatively solid by no surprise given the cast. Josh Gad is able to sell the inexperienced character almost having to be hand held through every decision made in the courtroom. Also the development of him progressively becoming more confident as time goes forward. The writing in the courtroom is interesting enough to keep you invested in knowing what's the truth and the holes in one plaintiff and defendants stories.

Alas, my biggest issue with the film is really the lasting impact. While it is perfectly watchable in the moment, I felt as if a story like this should have had more lasting impact than what I saw given it's a film in a movie theater. It's not as riddled with clichés like preceding films I've seen in the past, but misses a strong distinctive voice. For some the issues I had with Hidden Figures, I at least know who the target audience was for the film and what they wanted to take from the movie. Marshall doesn't really have that same feeling. The writing is never bad, but never as sharp as it feels like it should be until the second half when more gets revealed.

Marshall in a nutshell I would say is "almost there" as a movie. Fine within the moment but leaves a bit desired when the credits rolled. I wouldn't turn anyone away from seeing this, but may be best suited seen at home.


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