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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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Writers:

(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

Steve McQueen: [casting] Michael Fassbender. See more »

Goofs

When Solomon is being sold to Master Ford, the two nude women in the background both have shaved pubic hair, something virtually impossible in the 1840s. See more »

Quotes

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

Referenced in The Neighbors: Man, Actually (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Yarney's Waltz
Written by Nicholas Britell
Performed by Tim Fain and Caitlin Sullivan
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Astonishing and heartbreaking
18 October 2013 | by See all my reviews

I just saw this at LFF. It is a brilliant piece of cinema. Clearly it's central theme is slavery, and the depravity human nature can so easily reach; but it has many other small moments that trigger thoughts about wider issues - the role of religion being one for example. It is violent, and in some respects awful to watch, but this is the story of Solomon Northup told truthfully. There is nothing saccharine about the way Steve McQueen presents this and that is what makes it so astonishing. You cry because what you witness is truly terrible, not because the violins are out and the director's tugging on your heart strings. All the acting is first rate, as is the score by Hans Zimmer. This really should be essential viewing for everyone old enough to understand it.


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