Separate But Equal

( 2 )

Overview

Based on the ground-breaking Brown vs. the Board of Education case, the made-for-television Separate But Equal follows a young Thurgood Marshall (Sidney Poitier) as a lawyer who argues the racially-charged lawsuit before the Supreme Court. When the black students of Clarendon County, South Carolina are denied their request for a single schoolbus, a bitter and courages battle for justice and equality begins. The NAACP lawyer's desparate fight for the civil rights that didn't come with the outlaw of slavery nearly ...
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Overview

Based on the ground-breaking Brown vs. the Board of Education case, the made-for-television Separate But Equal follows a young Thurgood Marshall (Sidney Poitier) as a lawyer who argues the racially-charged lawsuit before the Supreme Court. When the black students of Clarendon County, South Carolina are denied their request for a single schoolbus, a bitter and courages battle for justice and equality begins. The NAACP lawyer's desparate fight for the civil rights that didn't come with the outlaw of slavery nearly a century ago becomes an all-encompassing struggle both in his personal life as well as the courtroom. Marshall's opponent is John W. Davis (Burt Lancaster) and the two argue passionately and eloquently before a Supreme Court led by Chief Justice Earl Warren {($Richard Kiley). Separate But Equal is a moving and human dramatization of one of the most pivotal court cases in American history. ~ Tracie Cooper
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Special Features

The CBS news special "See It Now: a Study of Two Cities" hosted by Edward R. Murrow
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Tom Wiener
Documenting a landmark Supreme Court decision sounds like risky business for a dramatist, but writer/director George Stevens Jr. does an admirable job with this miniseries about the 1954 school desegregation case that went on to win an Emmy for Outstanding Miniseries. Sidney Poitier dominates the first three quarters of the film in what is an old-fashioned star performance. There are no concessions to disguising Poitier to look like Thurgood Marshall; one would think that Marshall, who retired from the court the year this film was shown on TV, must have been tickled to be forever remembered, at least by viewers of this film, as a dead ringer for the eternally handsome Poitier. The possibility of a courtroom showdown between Poitier and Burt Lancaster, as John W. Davis, who argued for the states' rights position in the case, doesn't develop into an Inherit the Wind-style showdown. This is due largely to the nature of the Supreme Court's sessions, in which there are no witnesses for the opposing attorneys to cross-examine. Lancaster, making his last screen appearance, is frail but still manages to convey enough vigor and zest to make Davis a worthy and even respectable adversary. In short, he doesn't come off as a racist. (The film points out that Davis even defended socialist activist Eugne V. Debs and alleged communist Alger Hiss during his career.) Davis' concession remarks to his daughter when the final decision is announced are gracious and couldn't be better delivered by any other American actor. The film very astutely details the divisions in the African-American community at the time; some felt that it was best to ask for equalizing the segregated facilities (which was how the case started in Clarendon County, SC) and that desegregation was pushing too hard too quickly. Nicely played, too, is Marshall's concern over his wife, Buster (Gloria Foster), and her encroaching cancer. Stevens also shows in great detail how the ascension of Chief Justice Earl Warren (Richard Kiley) to the bench in the middle of the case gave Marshall and his NAACP cohorts hope for victory, as Warren became a more active jurist than his predecessor, Fred Vinson. The scenes in which Warren persuades the dissenting justices one by one to make the decision unanimous conclude the film on a satisfyingly rich note.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/6/2014
  • UPC: 097368056749
  • Original Release: 1991
  • Rating:

  • Source: Paramount
  • Region Code: 1
  • Presentation: Pan & Scan
  • Language: English
  • Time: 3:11:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 12,630

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Sidney Poitier Thurgood Marshall
Burt Lancaster John W. Davis
Richard Kiley Earl Warren
Cleavon Little Carter
Albert Hall
Tom Aldredge
Graham Beckel Tulley
Cheryl Lynn Bruce Gladys
William Cain Waring
Beeson Carroll
Jon de Vries
Hallie Foote
Henderson Forsythe
Gloria Foster Buster
Ed Hall Rev. DeLaine
Tommy Hollis Briggs
Leonard Jackson
Damien Leake Dr. Clark
Macon McCalman Springer
John McMartin Gov. Byrnes
Randle Mell
Mike Nussbaum
Lynne Thigpen Alice
Technical Credits
George Stevens Jr. Director, Executive Producer, Screenwriter
Carl Davis Score Composer
Veronica Hadfield Production Designer
Nick Knowland Cinematographer
Stan Margulies Executive Producer
Joel Segal Associate Producer
Ted Adams Swanson Associate Producer, Production Manager
John W. Wheeler Editor
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Separate But Equal
1. Chapter 1 [19:55]
2. Chapter 2 [15:17]
3. Chapter 3 [11:27]
4. Chapter 4 [15:25]
5. Chapter 5 [10:27]
6. Chapter 6 [12:57]
7. Chapter 7 [9:11]
8. Chapter 8 [22:25]
9. Chapter 9 [12:14]
10. Chapter 10 [11:23]
11. Chapter 11 [16:48]
12. Chapter 12 [5:57]
13. Chapter 13 [13:46]
14. Chapter 14 [5:30]
15. Chapter 15 [8:11]
16. Chapter 16 [1:17]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Separate But Equal
   Play Movie
   Chapter Selection
   Subtitles
      English for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
      Subtitles: None
   Special Feature
      The CBS News Special: "See It Now: A Study of Two Cities" Hosted by Edward R. Murrow
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Outstanding Teaching Tool

    As a sixth grade teacher for twelve years, I have shown this film after reading the novel Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. It reinforces the injustices of Separate But Equal and also teaches about the role of the Supreme Court in our country. I recommend it to any teacher to use in the classroom. Some Pre-teaching is necessary as well as some pauses during the movie to discuss difficult-to-understand parts.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2014

    Highly Recommend

    Something everyone must watch. Teachers, Show this to your history & social studies students.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews