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The extraordinary tale of Harriet Tubman's escape from slavery and transformation into one of America's greatest heroes, whose courage, ingenuity, and tenacity freed hundreds of slaves and changed the course of history.


Kasi Lemmons


Gregory Allen Howard (screenplay by), Kasi Lemmons (screenplay by) | 1 more credit »
3,536 ( 377)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 22 wins & 50 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Cynthia Erivo ... Harriet / Minty
Leslie Odom Jr. ... William Still
Joe Alwyn ... Gideon Brodess
Clarke Peters ... Ben Ross
Vanessa Bell Calloway ... Rit Ross
Omar J. Dorsey ... Bigger Long
Henry Hunter Hall ... Walter
Tim Guinee ... Thomas Garrett
Nick Basta ... Foxx
Joseph Lee Anderson ... Robert Ross
Antonio J Bell ... Henry Ross (as Antonio J. Bell)
CJ McBath ... Junyah Ross
Alexis Louder ... Jane
Aria Brooks ... Anger (8)
Janelle Monáe ... Marie Buchanon

The Rise of Cynthia Erivo

Cynthia Erivo received two Oscar nominations this year for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role and Best Original Song for Harriet. "No Small Parts" takes a look at her career.

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Based on the thrilling and inspirational life of an iconic American freedom fighter, Harriet tells the extraordinary tale of Harriet Tubman's escape from slavery and transformation into one of America's greatest heroes. Her courage, ingenuity, and tenacity freed hundreds of slaves and changed the course of history. Written by Focus Features

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Be free or die See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic content throughout, violent material and language including racial epithets | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


In a deleted scene, the fourth name on the list of conductors is visible and it is George Wilmer at 39-3 for a success rate of 92.8%. See more »


When the slave catcher was to be paid a dollar, the coin he gets is a seated half dollar. So this is either a mistake, or he only got paid a half dollar out of defiance. See more »


Harriet: [addressing the Colored Union regiment] Suppose there's a snake coiled at your feet, and it shoots up to bite you. Folks get scared and send for a doctor to cut out the bite. But the snake, he rolled up there and while the doctor cutting, he bites you again, in a new place this time. The doctor makes another cut, the snake spring up and bites again. Finally you realize the snake ain't gonna stop till someone kills him. Slavery is still alive. Those rice fields downriver are feeding Rebel troops,...
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Crazy Credits

1800's type photographs of the cast with their names in the credits. See more »


Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Will Ferrell/King Princess (2019) See more »


Hold On
Produced by Harvey Mason Jr.
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User Reviews

Harriet Tubman's Heroes Journey -- this film moved me!
11 February 2020 | by Sasha_LaurenSee all my reviews

HARRIET (2019)

Abolitionist Harriet Tubman escaped from Maryland to Philadelphia in 1849 on foot by following the North Star and utilizing the help of the Underground Railroad, a network of secret routes and safe houses set up by white abolitionists and free people of color to help slaves to freedom. She then repeatedly risked her life by going back into the lion's den over a period of eleven years to lead other slaves to their freedom. She never lost a passenger. This is so damn brave it makes my head spin.

This film served up a substantantial serving of history, embellished by a modicum of fiction. Though it's not a movie masterpiece, it's a strong depiction of Harriet's Heroes Journey that lifted me up for days. Cynthia Erivo's portrayal of a determined Harriet, known before her liberation as Araminta "Minty" Ross, (and later nicknamed Moses because she helped her people escape to freedom), was stirring; her singing was the gold on the edges. Harriet used spirituals as coded messages to warn fellows of danger or to signal a clear path.

The antagonist in the story is the racist, corrupt system of slavery embodied in part by her heartless owners. Plagued by hypersomnia sleeping spells caused by a head injury when she was thirteen, Minty's owner Edward Bodess tried to sell her. This would separate her from her family. There were no buyers for her. Angry, Minty prayed, "Oh Lord, if you ain't never going to change that man's heart, kill him, Lord, and take him out of the way." Edward died. Harriet expressed regret for that prayer.

Joe Alwyn played Gideon Brodess, Edward's grown son, with a conniving, lecherous sneer. Guideon leered after Minty and tormented her. Harriet's husband was a free black man in theory, but not reality; any future children of the couple would be slaves, regardless of papers granting manumet to Harriet's kin, which the Brodesses ignored. She and her husband planned to escape together, but Tubman fled alone and travelled a hundred miles through wilderness to Pennsylvania, being followed by her scummy owner Gildeon. Well, screw him, she made it, and became a heroine.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Official Sites:

Official site


China | USA



Release Date:

1 November 2019 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Harriet See more »

Filming Locations:

Richmond, Virginia, USA See more »


Box Office


$17,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,676,720, 3 November 2019

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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