Separate But Equal
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Top Customer Reviews
This excellent 1991 docudrama was aired in two parts. The first part looks at the segregated school system in Claredon County, South Carolina, one of the four cases that comprised the ruling, and the harm of segregation is captured in a memorable sequence in which young black children always pick the white doll rather than the black doll to describe who is smarter, better, etc. The second part of the film deals with the lengthy process by which the high court deliberated the case, doing a better job of capturing the process than any drama I have ever seen.
Portier provides Marshall with all the dignity appropriate to the role, and it is a treat to see the actor play a lawyer arguing before the high court. Lancaster, in his final role, performs a key function: he is earnest and likeable, which means that in the context of this story our opposition has to be to his position and not to him personally. In other words, this is a legal matter that has to be determined on the point of law and not on our feelings about bigots and racism.Read more ›
Such is the case here. SEPARATE BUT EQUAL does personalize the issues surrounding the Brown vs. Board of Education fight in an engaging way, while also managing to sort through the gamut of relevant legal opinions. I think that in general, the film does a remarkable job in this regard, and would be an excellent place to begin one's appreciation for the legal issues surrounding the case.
Still, in its effort to give us drama, it invites questions about certain aspects of the personal history on display.
One of the most obvious problems is also something I would hesitate to change: Sidney Poitier's performance. Thurgood Marshall in interviews sounds NOTHING like Poitier. Forget that Poitier is too old to play a man in his thirties. Poitier, and perhaps the screenwriter, simply fails to capture the colloquial essence of the man. Even so, it's too mesmerizing a performance to simply dismiss.
In its conveyance of the Supreme Court Justices, however, SEPARATE BUT EQUAL falters over more than mere accent. Much of the last hour of the movie is the story of the deliberation of the Supreme Court Justices, and I found myself wanting documentation to support the scenes displayed. Clearly, a unanimous decision of the court after a two-year deliberation would've required the kind of diplomacy that Earl Warren is shown pursuing here.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It a very educational and long movie but it keeps your interest until the end.Published 3 days ago by Jadagirl
A sad part of American history, but oh so true. It's informative and if you like knowing about American history, try this. You'll like it.Published 10 days ago by Alice Grant
The movie was great.I enjoy it and it goes well with my collection.Published 1 month ago by claude santillo
An outstanding movie that depicts the start of efforts for equal access to fair schooling for ALL Americans!Published 1 month ago by R B
A fantastic account of the very long saga that led to the landmark Brown decision.Published 3 months ago by Tari Renner
Admittedly, I am not well read concerning the history of civil rights in this country, however, I do know how much my experience with the races has evolved over the past 60 odd... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Mark W. Johnson
This film gives a comprehensive examination of the work that was done leading up to the U.S. Supreme Court case of Brown v. Board. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Asa Gordon