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The Help (2011)

PG-13 | | Drama | 10 August 2011 (USA)
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An aspiring author during the civil rights movement of the 1960s decides to write a book detailing the African American maids' point of view on the white families for which they work, and the hardships they go through on a daily basis.

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(screenplay), (novel)
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365 ( 153)
Top Rated Movies #237 | Won 1 Oscar. Another 79 wins & 116 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Skeeter Phelan
... Aibileen Clark
... Hilly Holbrook
... Minny Jackson
... Celia Foote
... Elizabeth Leefolt
... Charlotte Phelan
... Jolene French
Eleanor Henry ... Mae Mobley
Emma Henry ... Mae Mobley
... Stuart Whitworth
... Constantine Jefferson
... Johnny Foote
... Missus Walters
... Robert Phelan
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Storyline

Set in Mississippi during the 1960s, Skeeter (Stone) is a southern society girl who returns from college determined to become a writer, but turns her friends' lives -- and a Mississippi town -- upside down when she decides to interview the black women who have spent their lives taking care of prominent southern families. Aibileen (Davis), Skeeter's best friend's housekeeper, is the first to open up -- to the dismay of her friends in the tight-knit black community. Despite Skeeter's life-long friendships hanging in the balance, she and Aibileen continue their collaboration and soon more women come forward to tell their stories -- and as it turns out, they have a lot to say. Along the way, unlikely friendships are forged and a new sisterhood emerges, but not before everyone in town has a thing or two to say themselves when they become unwittingly -- and unwillingly -- caught up in the changing times. Written by Walt Disney Pictures

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Change begins with a whisper.

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Language:

Release Date:

10 August 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Historias cruzadas  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$26,044,590, 14 August 2011, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$169,708,112

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$216,639,112
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film features six Oscar winners: Sissy Spacek for The Coal Miner's Daughter (1980), Mary Steenburgen for Melvin and Howard (1980), Octavia Spencer for this film, Emma Stone for La La Land (2016), Viola Davis for Fences (2016) and Allison Janney for I, Tonya (2017); and two Oscar nominees: Jessica Chastain for this film and Zero Dark Thirty (2013) and Cicely Tyson for Sounder (1972). See more »

Goofs

The check received by Hilly in the mail from Celia Foote has an endorsement line on the back of the check. That line didn't exist on checks prior to 1987 when it was required by the federal government. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Aibileen Clark: I was born 1911, Chicksaw County, Piedmont Plantation.
Woman: And did you know as a girl growing up that one day you'd be a maid?
Aibileen Clark: Yes ma'am, I did.
Woman: And you knew that because...
Aibileen Clark: My mama was a maid. My grandmama was a house slave.
Woman: [whispering as she writes down] "house slave..." Did you ever dream of being something else?
Aibileen Clark: [nods yes]
Woman: What does it feel like to raise a white child when your own child's at home being looked after by somebody else?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Modern Family: The Help (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Rhythm of the Rain
Written by John Gummoe (as John C. Gummoe)
Performed by The Cascades
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records Inc.
By arrangement with
Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Mesmerizing - Pure Oscar Material!
17 August 2011 | by See all my reviews

Oscar Oscar Oscar – Kathryn Stockett's beautiful book is Oscar worthy in this film -- for editing, screenplay, supporting actress (several deserving) – Emma Stone just shines – at just 22 years old, this film proves she is a force to be reckoned with in Hollywood. There are so few roles written for black women and I was thrilled to see such great roles filled by Viola Davis (Abigail) and Octavia Spencer (Minnie) - both should be nominated for supporting roles although in my opinion, along with Emma Stone, all three share top billing.

The character development in this movie is really outstanding – I hate movies with flat single dimension characters and these from the lowest to those with the most screen time are just remarkably developed – even the newspaper editor, the lines they chose for him to keep gave you enough information that even he is a memorable character with only three scenes, maybe 4 in the entire movie. Same for Stuart, Skeeter's love interest – you actually like him then hate him and he only has maybe 3 minutes of air time. Great great job. Sissy Spacek with so few speaking moments is great as is Cicely Tyson who speaks volumes even in scenes with no words. Admittedly, being based on an amazing book the background story was already set out and tracks the book closely without some of the details but they have done a great job of putting it to film –

This movie sets out beautifully a terrible time in our history that unfortunately is not over – it is better, but not over by a long shot. Being a child of the south and coming up during that time, being raised by such bigoted grandparents and parents, it leaves me pause to wonder how I avoided this rabid virus of hate and takes me back to long hot lazy days in the deep south before every building was air conditioned – such attention detail right down to the Jesus fans they waved in church – awesome flick. You FEEL the heat, the tension, the pain, the injustice of the time but still you laugh with them even as you cry for them - both races - ignorance is to be wept over.

However, I think this movie does more, goes further in its exploration of the behavior of the privileged during that time. They were rabid toward blacks but were not that much better toward anyone who did not share their socio-economic status (the way the "Junior League" treated Celia) and the enormous peer pressure they put on one another (the club encouraging Skeeter's mother to make a poor decision). It visits the sins of the parents passed on to their children – the bigotry and injustice that is learned at the knee of our elders. OMG it is just an awesome, poignant, moving, NOT TO BE MISSED film.

Mesmerizing from start to finish – never once drags – just an easy easy easy 10


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