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Selma (2014)

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A chronicle of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s campaign to secure equal voting rights via an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, in 1965.


Ava DuVernay


Paul Webb
3,589 ( 350)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 58 wins & 88 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
David Oyelowo ... Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Carmen Ejogo ... Coretta Scott King
Jim France ... Gunnar Jahn
Trinity Simone ... Girl #1
Mikeria Howard Mikeria Howard ... Girl #2
Jordan Rice ... Girl #3
Ebony Billups Ebony Billups ... Girl #4
Nadej K. Bailey ... Girl #5 (as Nadej Bailey)
Elijah Oliver Elijah Oliver ... Boy #1
Oprah Winfrey ... Annie Lee Cooper
Clay Chappell Clay Chappell ... Registrar
Tom Wilkinson ... President Lyndon B. Johnson
Giovanni Ribisi ... Lee White
Haviland Stillwell ... President's Secretary
André Holland ... Andrew Young


The unforgettable true story chronicles the tumultuous three-month period in 1965, when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led a dangerous campaign to secure equal voting rights in the face of violent opposition. The epic march from Selma to Montgomery culminated in President Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965, one of the most significant victories for the civil rights movement. Director Ava DuVernay's "Selma" tells the story of how the revered leader and visionary Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr and his brothers and sisters in the movement prompted change that forever altered history. Written by Miss W J Mcdermott

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


One dream can change the world. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for disturbing thematic material including violence, a suggestive moment, and brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »



UK | USA | France



Release Date:

9 January 2015 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Selma: El poder de un sueño See more »

Filming Locations:

Marietta, Georgia, USA See more »


Box Office


$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$633,173, 2 January 2015, Limited Release

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


There is still debate about whether Martin Luther King Jr. was right- or left-handed. See more »


When the police begin attacking the marchers at the bridge, the film depicts the event being broadcast live around the country. At the time, the event would've been filmed and shown later, after processing. Live news started many years later. See more »


Martin Luther King Jr.: Selma it is.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The initial credits are shown over stills from the film and from promotional materials. See more »


Referenced in Tosh.0: Puke Drummer (2015) See more »


Written by John Legend (as John Stephens), Common (as Lonnie Lynn), Rhymefest (as Che Smith)
Performed by Common & John Legend
Common appears courtesy of Artium Records/Def Jam Recordings
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
John Legend appears courtesy of Getting Out Our Dreams/Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment
By arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

8 December 2014 | by David SherwynSee all my reviews

Many times, films of a historical nature are hard to appreciate, as in most cases one knows the story and the outcome. All our lives we have read, heard of and some even experienced the efforts of Dr. Martin Luther King. There are many hours of footage, countless recounts of his modus operandi and volumes of writings that give insight into his minds. However, this film delves deeper than the King Jr. of Black History month, and gives you an experience with his humanity as a man.

Selma is quite possibly, the most powerful film ever to be made. It is very hard to describe with words, however, after leaving the theater I was obviously affected greatly by the depiction of the story behind the march from Selma to Montgomery. Director, Ava Duvernay, does an amazing job of capturing, what she refers to as, "small moments" that allows you to connect to the King Jr. character on a very intimate level. During a screening of the film, she spoke to this saying, "I knew that by doing a movie on King, we would have to do speeches, and early on I obsessed about the speeches. However, when I got on set, I began to focus on how to best capture the small moments that showed King's humanity."

In the film, King Jr., portrayed by David Oyelowo, experiences many emotions, not generally associated with the civil rights activist, including guilt, shame and defeat. Oyelowo does a masterful job of bringing these emotions to light in the most subtle way. When asked about his preparation for the role, he responded, "I always knew I would portray King Jr. I studied him, read and watched all of the video I could. I had been fortunate enough to play opposite of one of my acting idols, Daniel Day Lewis in Lincoln and see him take on the role as he did, so I did the same for King Jr. For three months, I became him. So much so that one night while looking in the mirror, I only saw King Jr., this may sound crazy, but I could not see myself."

Other strong performances include Oprah Winfrey as civil rights activist, Annie Lee Cooper. Carmen Ejogo as Coretta Scott King, Andre Holland as Andrew Young, Lorraine Toussaint as civil rights activist, Amelia Boynton, Stephan James as John Lewis and Trai Byers as James Forman.

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