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King (1978)

Paul Winfield , Cicely Tyson , Abby Mann  |  NR |  DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Paul Winfield, Cicely Tyson, Tony Bennett, Roscoe Lee Browne, Lonny Chapman
  • Directors: Abby Mann
  • Writers: Abby Mann
  • Producers: Bill Finnegan, Edward S. Feldman, Paul Maslansky, Ted Swanson
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Full Screen, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: January 11, 2005
  • Run Time: 271 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00066VTU8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #36,182 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "King" on IMDb

Special Features

  • The complete 1978 miniseries
  • In Conversation with Tony Bennett and Abby Mann
  • Two new documentaries featuring Ossie Davis and Bishop Kenneth C. Ulmer: The Struggle, The Civil Rights Movement
  • Re-creating History: The Making of King

Editorial Reviews

The late, great Paul Winfield tackles the role of his career in King, an NBC miniseries originally broadcast over three nights in February 1978. Demonstrating a deeply inspired commitment to his performance as civil rights leader Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Winfield's voice and presence are different from King's, but he flawlessly conveys the physical and psychological essence of the man. In the six-hour telefilm written and directed by Judgment at Nuremberg Oscar®-winner Abby Mann, King is portrayed as a courageously devoted crusader for a just cause, whose commitment to nonviolent protest was a heavy burden he bore with miraculous poise and conviction, often at the expense of his health and well-being. Like Winfield, Cicely Tyson is uncannily convincing in her role as King's noble wife, Coretta.

From King's beginnings as a Baptist minister in the early 1950s to his assassination in Memphis, Tennessee on April 4, 1968, King recreates the pivotal events and speeches of King's life in meticulous detail, and many of those who participated in these historical civil-rights milestones appear in the film (including Rosa Parks, Ramsey Clarke, Ossie Davis, and singer Tony Bennett) or served as consultants during production. And while Mann's first and only directorial effort is somewhat dry and artless, his devotion to factual detail is apparent in every frame, making King the definitive dramatization of MLK's extraordinary life and legacy. The DVD bonus features include three substantial mini-documentaries that explore King's struggle, the civil rights movement, and the making of the film, featuring extensive interviews with Ossie Davis (who plays MLK's father in the miniseries) and civil rights leader Bishop Kenneth C. Unger. --Jeff Shannon

Product Description

Nominated for nine Emmy AwardsÂ(r), this "astute and compelling" (Variety) biographybased on the remarkable life of Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., takes an intimate look at one of the world's most public heroes during one of the most tumultuous times in American history. Starring Paul Winfield, Cicely Tyson and Ossie Davis, King is a riveting tale that appropriately honors a true legend.In 1950s/60s America, the civil rights movement found its leader in a Southern Baptist minister. Using lyrical eloquence, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., motivated masses of peopleblack and whiteto demand equality by way of nonviolent protest. But in spite of his peaceful agenda, Dr. King was often the target of terrible violence. He was never swayedfrom his path, however; for by the time he was assassinated in 1968, Dr. King had already defined adream that would change a nation forever.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great intro January 18, 2005
This miniseries is great in that it presents Dr. King as the complex human being that he was with some of his insecurites and personal issues intact as opposed to the saint that he is often portrayed. The intracacies behind the Birmingham, Memphis, and Vietnam campaigns are handled well and Winfield makes a very good MLK. Cicely Tyson does very well as Coretta and incidentally, Rosa Parks is played by MLK's daughter Yolanda. The scenes of MLK smoking cigarettes and the adultery issue will shock a lot of people, but after all, the man was born in Atlanta and not Bethlehem, and these are based on acknowledged facts.

However, these is a scene that will annoy historians and Malcolm X fans. The treatment of King's meeting with M/X is an unfair fictionalization of what really happened. M/X is shown as hatemongering lunatic who encourages people in the ghettoes to burn down their cities. The producers have Malcolm confused with a later generation of militants, as the record shows that while the real Malcolm had his faults, he never publicly condoned mindless violence aside from self-defense.

This aside, and the composition of characters as prototypes of Bayard Rustin and Jesse Jackson aisde, this stays pretty close to the facts. Watch and enjoy, but read a good King bio such as "Bearing the Cross" by Taylor Branch, or "Let the Trumpet Sound" by Stephen Oates afterwards to get a broader picture.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The struggle to do good January 15, 2006
I've seen a few movies on King and have gotten something out of all of them. What I particularly enjoyed about this presentation is how it showed King's vulnerability, his concerns over where political activism would take his life, and how it would effect (even endanger) his family. That's a quandary for many activists, activists we'll never know the names of. I know lawyers who have challenged large polluting businesses and have received threats for their efforts. There are people all over this country/world challenging powerful interests in one way or another who encounter challenges similar to those that King did, or Jesus did.

This DVD provides a good depiction of how it is that people often choose to keep supporting efforts for justice, including people in the entertainment industry like Tony Bennett, and people who once were part of the establishment like Ramsey Clark - both of whom make appearances in the film.

I'm going to get a copy of this DVD and donate it to a Goodwill after all my friends and co-workers have seen it. I want to be sure that people with few resources have a chance to discover it.

"The United States is the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today." -MLK
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars TIMELESS January 20, 2005
What's funny is I was just asking why KING had not been released on DVD, having watched it ALL DAY this past King Day on TV One anad to my surprise...BOOM! It came out on Jan. 11th. Having grown up watching King I'm at a loss for words...the late Paul Winfield's protrayal of Dr. King was superb, and the march/arrest scenes were almost identical to the actual footage. Watching King for me was almost like being there, I only wish that I'd been blessed with the chance to meet him in person as my mother did. That having been said,off to Media Play & Best Buy I go, GOD BLESS DR. KING(RIP) and PAUL WINFIELD(RIP).
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally, both MLK & MX are on DVD! September 19, 2005
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Having enjoyed watching the movie Malcolm X with Denzel Washington in the title role, I wondered if a movie had been made about the other major figure in the civil-rights/human-rights movement of the 1950s & '60s, Dr Martin Luther King Jr. I searched Amazon's DVD section for him, & sure enough, there was a movie--with Paul Winfield playing the title role. Although the movie itself was made in 1978, the DVD's copyright year is this very year, 2005. The DVD bonus material includes interviews of Ossie Davis, who knew & admired both MLK & MX, as well as played Daddy King in the movie. I was amazed to learn that Al Freeman Jr (who played Elijah Muhammad in the MX movie) also played one of MLK's colleagues in the MLK movie, & that all 4 of the real King children (Yolanda, Martin III, Dexter & Bernice) played other characters in the movie.

Among the differences between the movie & the facts is that the church bombing in which the 4 girls died actually happened after, instead of before, MLK's "I Have A Dream" speech. Also, the funeral scene shows 4 caskets, whereas in real life one family opted for a separate funeral. As for the meeting between MLK & MX, it happened in Washington DC surrounded by reporters & photographers, not in Chicago behind a closed door; in fact, MX had already been killed by the time MLK went to Chicago. And of course, the names of a few characters were changed.

All in all, it's a wonderful movie, with 3 parts lasting about an hour & a half each. Now that I have DVDs of both MLK & MX, I keep them side by side in front of the rest of my DVD collection.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome January 11, 2005
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I watched this miniseries the other day and wow was it great. It's very long but every moment is just classic.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Civil Rights History Lesson March 13, 2006
This series allows the viewer to see inside the private and public life of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his family. Paul Winfield is an exceptional actor and his protrayal of Dr. King is outstanding. Viewers of this series will learn details of the courtship of Coretta Scott King through Dr. King's assassination. Most notable and enjoyable to see are the cameo appearances of all four of Dr. King's children throughout the series. It is a must see.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Excellent. What more to say. Paul winfield and Cicely Tyson!!!!
Published 2 months ago by monica lee
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT DEAL.
Published 2 months ago by Mark Walthour
5.0 out of 5 stars King Review.
I saw this movie when it was originally on and I always wanted a copy of it. Fine acting in it. The one criticism of it is I don't know how historically correct it is simply... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Jeff Bryant
5.0 out of 5 stars King
For those of us who know what the man stood for, this movie was great. The wonderfully talented Paul WInfield/God rest his soul, and Cicely Tyson both did a fantastic job in this... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Debbie
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie to watch
This a very good movie to watch very interesting just to know just to know how mush you had to go through with for FREEDOM VERY INTERESTING A MUST SERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Published 6 months ago by Big C
5.0 out of 5 stars A great movie.
I enjoyed this movie very much and I strongly recommend it highly. It was a great movie and the actors were great!!!
Published 6 months ago by Geri Crawford
4.0 out of 5 stars Great movie
I had already seen this when it aired on TV. But my hustand had never seen it. It is a great portrayal of a good man.
Published 6 months ago by Becha Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars Love the King in Every Way
This is a GREAT! Video. I love it. So very important to document some of our important moments in history. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Chicquita M. Crawford
4.0 out of 5 stars THE BEST KING MOVIE
I have always considered this to be the best "King" story done.
Paul Winfield was absorbed by this part. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Joan Simpson
5.0 out of 5 stars "REVEREND" Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
This movie had a profound impact on white me! I thought Paul Winfield did an excellent job as Dr. King. Read more
Published 7 months ago by John (Jack) D. Tobin
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