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12 Years a Slave (2013)

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In the antebellum United States, Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery.

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(screenplay by), (based on "Twelve Years a Slave" by)
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Top Rated Movies #203 | Won 3 Oscars. Another 235 wins & 326 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Solomon Northup
... Uncle Abram
Dickie Gravois ... Overseer
... Judge Turner
... Anna
... Anne Northup
... Margaret Northup
Cameron Zeigler ... Alonzo Northup
... Mr. Moon
... Brown
... Hamilton
... Burch
... Radburn
Mister Mackey Jr. ... Randall
... Clemens
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Storyline

Based on an incredible true story of one man's fight for survival and freedom. In the pre-Civil War United States, Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery. Facing cruelty personified by a malevolent slave owner, as well as unexpected kindnesses, Solomon struggles not only to stay alive, but to retain his dignity. In the twelfth year of his unforgettable odyssey, Solomon's chance meeting with a Canadian abolitionist will forever alter his life. Written by Fox Searchlight

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The extraordinary true story of Solomon Northup


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence/cruelty, some nudity and brief sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site |  »

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

8 November 2013 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Twelve Years a Slave  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$923,715, 20 October 2013, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$56,671,993

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$187,733,202
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Digital DTS Sound)| | |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At first, Chiwetel Ejiofor turned down Steve McQueen's offer to play the leading role of Solomon Northup, but then realized he had to get over his initial fear of taking on what McQueen thought would be the role of the actor's lifetime. Ejiofor prepared for his role by immersing himself in the Louisiana plantation culture and learning how to use and play the violin. See more »

Goofs

Platt's fiddling for the forced merriment, does not synchronize with the fiddle sound. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Overseer: Alright now, y'all fresh niggers. Y'all gonna be in the cuttin' gang.
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Soundtracks

My Lord, Sunshine
Written by Nicholas Britell
Performed by Roosevelt Credit and David Hughey
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
As high as cinema can go
12 January 2014 | by See all my reviews

It's rare that a movie lives up to its hype, even rarer that the hype is transcended by the actual achievement. 12 YEARS A SLAVE does both. Aided by powerful performances and cinematography, director McQueen exposes the barbarity of dehumanisation, of treating people as property. Reviews focus on the brutality on display, and it's true that the film is not easy to watch, with its powerful juxtaposition of sublime scenery and human degradation. But to me the final scene is the most powerful of all: we are party to the kind of raw emotion that in the hands of lesser artists could easily descend into tawdriness or sentimentality. Here, as in the rest of the film, it is raised up high, as high as cinematic art can go.


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