Something the Lord Made
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(Drama) Something the Lord Made tells the emotional true story of two men who defied the rules of their time to launch a medical revolution, set against the backdrop of the Jim Crow south. Working in 1940s Baltimore on an unprecedented technique for performing heart surgery on "blue babies," Dr. Alfred Blalock (Alan Rickman) and lab technician Vivien Thomas (Mos Def) form an impressive team. As Blalock and Thomas invent a new field of medicine, saving thousands of lives in the process, social pressures threaten to undermine their collaboration and tear their friendship apart.]]>
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"Something The Lord Made" is the real-life story of Dr. Alfred Blalock and technician (later Dr.) Vivian Thomas, both of whom pioneered open-heart surgery in America in the mid-twentieth century.
Rickman, as Blalock, gives a flawless, charismatic portrayal of an egotistical surgeon who gains nobility of spirit while he defies (and yet is simultaneously confined by) the customs of his society. Rickman's performance is all the more impressive because he is British, and Blalock was an American from the south; nevertheless, Rickman's southern accent is natural and effortless.
Rickman brings likability and humanity to what could otherwise be an unsympathetic character; and this core humanity gives "Something The Lord Made" a depth not often seen in tales of bigotry within American society. Too often, tales of this sort delineate the bad guys from the good guys in an almost cartoonish fashion, but Rickman's Blalock is both good and bad, reflecting more accurately the reality of the times in which both characters lived.
Mos Def gives a subtle, moving and sympathetic performance as Vivian Thomas, a gifted man who is caught in the trap of prejudice and the expectations of an unenlighted society. The film clearly demonstrates that Thomas is the intellectual peer of Blalock; it is society and circumstance that for years robs Thomas of the practical opportunity to become Blalock's actual peer in terms of status. Def gives us the portrait of a man who chooses patience over reaction; through him, we feel outrage at the denial of the respect due Thomas, time and again.Read more ›
Racism is the subtext of "Something the Lord Made," an HBO movie that dramatizes the story first told in the "American Experience" documentary "Partners of the Heart." This is the story of Dr. Alfred Blalock, who pioneered cardiac surgery in 1944 when he and Dr. Helen Taussig developed the Blalock-Taussig technique, a surgical procedure that repaired the faulty blood vessel in the hearts of babies that was causing a lack of oxygen. This fatal birth defect turned babies a light shade of blue, resulting in their being commonly called "blue babies" (Fallot's tetralogy). The story of "Something the Lord Made" is about not only this pioneering medical work, but also the relationship between Blalock and Vivien Thomas, a lab technician. Blalock (Alan Rickman) is white and Thomas is black (Mos Def), which is why racism keeps rearing its head throughout the tale.Read more ›
Seeing the history and background of this operation hit me, as you may imagine, on a very personal and emotional level. It's also a little humbling to know that, basically, ALL open-heart surgery performed today, saving so many lives, is related to the surgery designed fix the condition; I came into this world with. Thereby, breaking the convention of not messing with the heart.
Thing is, I had thought this movie had a great impact on my emotions, which it did. But, that was nothing compared to watching this movie with my mother. Whenever the focus was on blue babies in particular, she about fell apart. While she was interested in the truths and history portrayed in this film, she was unable to complete watching the film. The names, the symptoms and the babies, just rang to true and real for her to handle.
So, I guess I would caution parents of a child that has had to go through this that, you may want to think twice about watching this movie. I would however, recommend that if said child is old enough to understand, you should buy them a copy of this movie. I think I will help them understand what a wonderful gift they have been given.
The second reason is because, of the historical value of this film. They way people treated each other then was just so... While better today, I still think there is a ways to go.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very powerful film. True story. Used it in my 12th grade classroom.Published 13 days ago by Maris Almanza
very innovative & very telling, loved this movie
and great delivery service too