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The Help (2011)

PG-13 | | Drama | 10 August 2011 (USA)
Trailer
2:30 | Trailer
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.

Director:

Tate Taylor

Writers:

Tate Taylor (screenplay), Kathryn Stockett (novel)
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Popularity
459 ( 84)
Top Rated Movies #242 | Won 1 Oscar. Another 79 wins & 120 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Emma Stone ... Skeeter Phelan
Viola Davis ... Aibileen Clark
Bryce Dallas Howard ... Hilly Holbrook
Octavia Spencer ... Minny Jackson
Jessica Chastain ... Celia Foote
Ahna O'Reilly ... Elizabeth Leefolt
Allison Janney ... Charlotte Phelan
Anna Camp ... Jolene French
Eleanor Henry Eleanor Henry ... Mae Mobley
Emma Henry Emma Henry ... Mae Mobley
Chris Lowell ... Stuart Whitworth
Cicely Tyson ... Constantine Jefferson
Mike Vogel ... Johnny Foote
Sissy Spacek ... Missus Walters
Brian Kerwin ... Robert Phelan
Learn more

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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:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Skeeter is writing at her desk, one of the books on her shelf is Richard Wright's novel "Native Son." Towards the beginning of the movie, Skeeter's naiveté is exhibited through her well-intended but potentially harmful acts of kindness towards and interactions with black people in her community. This is very reminiscent of Mary Dalton's treatment towards Bigger Thomas in Wright's novel. See more »

Goofs

The red Corvette roadster driving past the station wagon in the beginning of the film is a 1965. Later in the film Medgar Evers is shot (1963). 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 Movie 43 (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Don't Think Twice, It's All Right
Written by Bob Dylan
Performed by Bob Dylan
Courtesy of Columbia Records
By arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
(1963)
See more »

User Reviews

Mesmerizing - Pure Oscar Material!
17 August 2011 | by deborahjwoodSee 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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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

Official site [Japan]

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 August 2011 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Help See more »

Filming Locations:

Clarksdale, Mississippi, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$26,044,590, 14 August 2011

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:

Dolby Digital | SDDS | Datasat

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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