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Hidden Figures (2016)

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The story of a team of female African-American mathematicians who served a vital role in NASA during the early years of the U.S. space program.

Director:

Theodore Melfi

Writers:

Allison Schroeder (screenplay by), Theodore Melfi (screenplay by) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
639 ( 58)
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 37 wins & 82 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Taraji P. Henson ... Katherine G. Johnson
Octavia Spencer ... Dorothy Vaughan
Janelle Monáe ... Mary Jackson
Kevin Costner ... Al Harrison
Kirsten Dunst ... Vivian Mitchell
Jim Parsons ... Paul Stafford
Mahershala Ali ... Colonel Jim Johnson
Aldis Hodge ... Levi Jackson
Glen Powell ... John Glenn
Kimberly Quinn ... Ruth
Olek Krupa ... Karl Zielinski
Kurt Krause ... Sam Turner
Ken Strunk ... Jim Webb
Lidya Jewett ... Young Katherine Coleman
Donna Biscoe ... Mrs. Joylette Coleman
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Storyline

As the United States raced against Russia to put a man in space, NASA found untapped talent in a group of African-American female mathematicians that served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in U.S. history. Based on the unbelievably true life stories of three of these women, known as "human computers", we follow these women as they quickly rose the ranks of NASA alongside many of history's greatest minds specifically tasked with calculating the momentous launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, and guaranteeing his safe return. Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, and Katherine Gobels Johnson crossed all gender, race, and professional lines while their brilliance and desire to dream big, beyond anything ever accomplished before by the human race, firmly cemented them in U.S. history as true American heroes. Written by 20th Century Fox

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Based on the untold true story See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements and some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 January 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hidden Figures See more »

Filming Locations:

Atlanta, Georgia, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$515,499, 25 December 2016, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$169,607,287

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$235,956,898
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS (DTS: X)| Auro 11.1 | SDDS

Color:

Color | Black and White (some sequences)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Before presenting the award for Best Documentary Feature at The Oscars (2017), the film's stars, Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monáe, introduced Henson's real life counterpart, 98 year old Katherine Johnson, to the stage, where she received a standing ovation from the audience. See more »

Goofs

The phone cord used by John Glenn on Pad 14 in Cape Kennedy is one that is metal reinforced to deter vandalism which would not have been deployed in 1961. See more »

Quotes

Katherine Johnson: There are no colored bathrooms in this building, or any building outside the West Campus, which is half a mile away. Did you know that? I have to walk to Timbuktu just to relieve myself! And I can't use one of the handy bikes. Picture that, Mr. Harrisson. My uniform, skirt below the knees and my heels. And simple necklace pearls. Well, I don't own pearls. Lord knows you don't pay the colored enough to afford pearls! And I work like a dog day and night, living on coffee from a pot none of you ...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Film '72: Episode #46.5 (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Crave
Written and Performed by Pharrell Williams
Pharrell Williams performs courtesy of i am OTHER Entertainment/Columbia Records
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User Reviews

 
History Dumbed Down
21 January 2017 | by ronityagurSee all my reviews

Engineers and adding-machine operators (called "computers") working at NASA in the early 1960's included a few black women. Since the Civil Rights movement was only beginning, and NASA was located in southern regions of the US, these women were subject to legal discrimination. "Hidden Figures" follows the careers of some of these women. But it does this in a heavy-handed, formulaic way.

Ever since "The Ugly Duckling" of Hans Christian Anderson, the formula has been predictable: a member of a despised minority is grudgingly admitted into a previously exclusive activity. Will the minority figure excel in the new position, or will he/she fail miserably, justifying the prejudices of the ruling class? Telling you the answer would be a spoiler, so you'll have to guess it for yourselves, but it's not too difficult.

In "Hidden Figures", all the whites are bigots (except for John Glenn and one department head), and all the blacks are hard-working, clean, patriotic moral wonders. This is history dumbed down to junior high-school level. The heroine, a mathematically gifted black widow has managed to stay chaste and raise three perfect children while handling a difficult job under trying conditions. The other characters are no more believable.

The period detail is mostly well done, with electric typewriters and glass-knobbed coffee percolators. But in the early '60s, all engineers would have carried slide rules, the way doctors wear stethoscopes. There are none to be seen here. Also, any time the heroine wants to work out a mathematical problem, she has to climb a ladder and write it out on a large blackboard. Scrap paper existed in the '60s.

If you want to watch a simple-minded morality play rather than a movie, history reduced to the level of "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer", then "Hidden Figures" is for you.


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