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The Butler (2013)

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As Cecil Gaines serves eight presidents during his tenure as a butler at the White House, the civil rights movement, Vietnam, and other major events affect this man's life, family, and American society.

Director:

Lee Daniels

Writers:

Danny Strong, Wil Haygood (article)
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Popularity
2,803 ( 403)
Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 18 wins & 50 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Forest Whitaker ... Cecil Gaines
David Banner ... Earl Gaines
Michael Rainey Jr. ... Cecil Gaines (8)
LaJessie Smith LaJessie Smith ... Abraham
Mariah Carey ... Hattie Pearl
Alex Pettyfer ... Thomas Westfall
Vanessa Redgrave ... Annabeth Westfall
Aml Ameen ... Cecil Gaines (15)
Clarence Williams III ... Maynard
John P. Fertitta ... Mr. Jenkins (as John Fertitta)
Jim Gleason ... R.D. Warner
Oprah Winfrey ... Gloria Gaines
Isaac White ... Charlie Gaines (10)
David Oyelowo ... Louis Gaines
Joe Chrest ... White Usher
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Storyline

Cecil Gaines was a sharecropper's son who grew up in the 1920s as a domestic servant for the white family who casually destroyed his. Eventually striking out on his own, Cecil becomes a hotel valet of such efficiency and discreteness in the 1950s that he becomes a butler in the White House itself. There, Cecil would serve numerous US Presidents over the decades as a passive witness of history with the American Civil Rights Movement gaining momentum even as his family has troubles of its own. As his wife, Gloria, struggles with her addictions and his defiant eldest son, Louis, strives for a just world, Cecil must decide whether he should take action in his own way. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

One quiet voice can ignite a revolution

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some violence and disturbing images, language, sexual material, thematic elements and smoking | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 August 2013 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Lee Daniels' The Butler See more »

Filming Locations:

New Orleans, Louisiana, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$24,637,312, 18 August 2013, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$116,632,095

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$176,598,908
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

First inspired by a feature article published November 7, 2008, in the Washington Post: "A Butler Well Served by This Election." See more »

Goofs

When his fellow butler clears Cecil's empty plate at the state dinner, he clears it from Cecil's left. Proper etiquette calls for dishes to be cleared from the diner's right side. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Cecil Gaines: The only thing I ever knew was cotton. It was hard work.
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Connections

Featured in The EE British Academy Film Awards (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Family Reunion
Written by Kenny Gamble (as Kenneth Gamble) and Leon Huff (as Leonard Huff)
Performed by The O'Jays
Courtesy of Philadelphia International Records and Sony Music Entertainment
By Arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
If you have the guts
22 August 2013 | by nancygoldsenSee all my reviews

Go see this movie..It shook me to my core..As a white person I've never been more ashamed in my life..And saddened.. We are in the midst of racial struggle for equal rights right now..I sat in a packed theater with all white old people and you could've heard a pin drop.. It felt like a Forest Gump movie but with the racial history of our country as the topic.. and it was NOT a pretty picture. Thank you for doing this movie Lee, it is something we all need to see as Americans and we all have to face that we still have MAJOR racial bigotry. It must NOT be tolerated! I am white, 63 yrs old, born in Miami Fl and living in LA. Please go see this and then go about being an agent of change..we need to move on to better things and stamp out racism in America..it has NO place here..and we should all be ashamed of it's existence and allowing it to persist.. The cameos were priceless and OPRAH, (tho I am not a fan) was incredible!


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