Thurgood 2011 NR CC

Amazon Instant Video

(34) IMDb 7.7/10
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Based on the one-man play and told in the first person by Laurence Fishburne, this film brings to life turning points in the life and career of civil rights pioneer Thurgood Marshall, the first African American to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Starring:
Laurence Fishburne
Runtime:
1 hour 46 minutes

Thurgood

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Product Details

Genres Drama
Director Michael Stevens
Starring Laurence Fishburne
Studio HBO
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

It flavored and bolstered the performance.
E. (Harry) Hernandez
This is the best insight into the Honorable Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall to date.
lonelynuts
Laurence Fishburne was at his best in portraying this great man.
Utahwoody

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By K. Harris HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on March 1, 2011
Format: DVD
In staging a one man theatrical presentation, two things are certain--you've got to have a subject that is compelling enough to maintain interest and you've got to have a dynamic actor that holds an audience. In HBO's filmed adaptation of the stage show "Thurgood," we've got both! Timed for airing with Black History Month, this dramatic monologue (filmed before a live audience) brings the best of theater right into your living room. Thurgood Marshall is certainly a fascinating subject--from his early Civil Rights battles to his historical positioning in school segregation to his ascendancy to the Supreme Court, Marshall defied conventional expectations to become one of the most influential legal minds of several generations. Laurence Fishburne (another terrific actor lately relegated to the rather uninspired world of procedural TV crime drama) has a field day bringing the charismatic Marshall to life. It is certainly his most inspired and lively work in years. So the winning combination of Marshall and Fishburne make "Thurgood" a can't miss proposition--especially to lovers of theater!

Those completely new to the concept of a one man show should be aware that this is a piece that is reliant on words and performance. Aside from a couple of props and a creatively used backdrop that sets any particular scene, there is nothing here to watch except for Fishburne. So if you require extravagant production values or excessive visual stimulation, attending or watching a one man show may seem akin to watching grass grow. But if you appreciate engaging and intelligent wordplay and enjoy relevant history or even down home storytelling, it's hard not to be caught up in this delightful presentation.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By E. (Harry) Hernandez VINE VOICE on March 7, 2011
Format: DVD
THURGOOD (2011) is one of those incredible HBO films that makes me believe in synchronicity.

I have always complained that a severe problem with American actors is they have never confronted their audience - unlike the British, who spend years performing in the streets, at Shakespeare's old haunts and tiny old theaters. The British practically lay (or jump into) the audience's lap. Americans have no idea what an "audience" is.

In THURGOOD, Lawrence Fishburne, about whom I know little other than he's an actor I love, portrays USSC Justice Thurgood Marshall, a man who was a hero to both me and my father. Hoofing about onstage at the John F. Kennedy Center, before a live audience no more than a few feet from him, Fishburne shoulders this awesome one-man-play film with such cool, studied professionalism, I felt like it was actually Marshall.

But I know all along it is Fishburne and his amazing talent. He begins old, hobbled as I recall Marshall when he announced his retirement. Then Fishburne does the amazing: he ages backward twice, with nothing more (nothing less!) than his skill. Once he ages backward to middle age, then again to about his 30s. At the end, in the space of about ten minutes, he ages back to 'old age'. And he nails Marshall spot-on, voice, gestures, jokes and foul language that were hallmarks I recall very well.

This play mainly covers the story of Marshall's rise to fame in the law, describing his major lifetime accomplishments. It is sadly thin on his Supreme Court years because he did have a habit of simply concurring with Justice Stevens and nothing more. The play is happily thin on gimmickry, but I did not like the music competing with Fishburne's lines.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By ProfStan on February 10, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Thurgood was the ultimate in a one man stage show. The super-simplistic stage set of a table, chairs, cane, and ultimately a judge's robe adds to the "tour de force" of this fantastic performance by Fishburne as Thurgood Marshall telling the story of his amazing life. With only a few background slides flashed on a textured wall of the American flag behind him, the performance is spellbinding from beginning to end.

Howard University auditorium is the location HBO chose to film it and it proved the perfect locale. Fishburne even incorporates a couple of late arrivers to the show into the performance for good effect.

History, humor, humanity and drama blend here in a way you have never seen before and may never seen again. I intend to buy copies to donate to several local schools.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Redell V. Napper on February 27, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I saw part of this stage drama on HBO a must it have for my collection. It was great to hear and see a superb depiction of a great legal adovocate for equal justice and civil rights. Mr Fishburne protrayed Justice Marshall is manner that gave life to the legal reasonings of great minds to utilize the essence of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights to obtain the basic freedoms and access upon which our Nation was founded for Black Americans. Definately looking forward to purchasing a copy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Utahwoody on February 17, 2014
Format: DVD
Someone said it was boring! I can't believe we saw the same performance. This was poignant, funny, fascinating and extremely educational. Laurence Fishburne was at his best in portraying this great man.
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Format: DVD
I am still glowing from the distinct pleasure of having watched Laurence Fishburne so thoroughly realize a very intriguing and important figure in the civil rights struggle, Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

Laurence Fishburne has indeed come a long way from Cornbread, Earl, and Me. He made his mark in his compelling portrayal of a struggling African-American father with fierce integrity in Boyz In the Hood and since then he has more than become the consummate actor. He has maintained an air of integrity around him and his characterizations regardless of the weaknesses seem to possess at the very least a measure of dignity.

This performance can certainly be counted as an accomplishment. Understanding of the world then is made very personal and thus very easy to relate to. Fisburne wonderfully exemplifies Marshall's strengths and poignantly reveals his weaknesses in this intriguing, very informative, difficult, colloquial, sad, and funny one-man show. The wonderful photography and sound effects combine to make for a compelling evening of theater. Fishburne is in his element portraying the very human and ultimately exceptional example of leadership in the fight for civil rights. I was a teenager when Marshall was appointed in the 60s and can assure you it was indeed a VERY tumultuous time. It was eerie trying to celebrate and appreciate the magnitude of this progress while cities were going up in flames all around you.....and on a fairly regular basis.

.....obviously this was far more than an excellent theater production for me.....but isn't this just what good art form is supposed to do?!! :0)

I highly recommend this as not only an excellent one-man show with a tour-de-force performance but as more than a worthy addition to any movie library! It has something to say to ANY disenfranchised community.
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