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With All Deliberate Speed (2004)

Vernon Jordan , Thurgood Marshall Jr. , Peter Gilbert  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Vernon Jordan, Thurgood Marshall Jr., Barbara Johns, Julian Bond, Joe Delaine
  • Directors: Peter Gilbert
  • Writers: Nathan Antila
  • Producers: Peter Gilbert, Adam Singer, Billy Campbell, Bruce Kennedy, Don Baer
  • Format: Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
  • DVD Release Date: January 25, 2005
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0006GQKBG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,650 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "With All Deliberate Speed" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

In the powerful documentary With All Deliberate Speed, producer-director Peter Gilbert commemorates the 50th anniversary of Brown vs. the Board of Education. The landmark ruling overturned the doctrine of "separate but equal," but Gilbert takes issue with the phrase "with all deliberate speed" added to the 1955 court order. It meant that schools could take as long as they wanted to comply or, as Julian Bond of the NAACP puts it, "with any conceivable delay." Gilbert, who produced Hoop Dreams, interviews some of the key figures involved with the decision and recreates the original case by having performers read the words of participants, like Alicia Keys as student activist Barbara Johns and Mekhi Phifer as Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. With All Deliberate Speed is a stirring, thought-provoking look at one of the most significant achievements of the civil rights movement. Narrated by Emmy Award-winner Jeffrey Wright (Angels in America). --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Product Description

History ignored is history repeated. On May 17, 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the case of Brown Vs. Board of Education that the concept of "separate but equal" school segregation was unconstitutional. But in this landmark ruling, the Justices used a four-word phrase that many believe has delayed the process of change for over 50 years: "With All Deliberate Speed."

Direct Peter Gilbert (producer of Hoop Dreams and Stevie) explores the shocking history and legacy of the legal decision that tore our nation apart and still divides us today. Jeffrey Wright narrates this acclaimed documentary featuring stunning archive footage, powerful readings by Mekhi Phifer, Larenz Tate, Terry Kinney, and Alicia Keys, and revealing new interviews with the heroic men and women who fought - and still fight - the battle for racial equality in America.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars should be shown in classrooms August 4, 2007
This is the only documentary I have ever seen on the historic Brown vs. education decision. As an educator, I think it should be shown in contemporary high school classrooms to help our students understand that it wasn't that long ago that racial prejudice was institutuionalized in this country, and what a struggle it was to even start to bring about change. This video is a little on the long side, but can be watched over several class periods. An excellent discussion started and educational tool for the high school classroom. Teachers of history, psychology, street law, and civics classes should seriously consider making this a part of their curiculum.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Civil War isn't over. February 2, 2008
In 1896, the Supreme Court ruled that "seperate but equal" was a legal doctrine, with a sole dissenting vote, the first John Marshall Harlan. In 1954, NAACP attorney, and later the first black Supreme Court justice Thurgood Marshall argued--and won--that it is NOT legal, in the milestone "Brown v. Board of Education" decision. The title of this film is the phrase which gave the states "adequate" time to integrate--or desegregate--their school systems.

I was impressed with the film for a couple of primary reasons: (1) We are accustomed to celebrity knowledge. Anyone remotely aware of civil rights know of King, or Malcolm X, of Medgar Evers. But there were and are others--many others--working in the dark before those figures even became celebrities. (And we know little, if anything, of them!) (2) Desegretation wasn't just a movement pushed by black people, but blacks and whites has to work TOGETHER. And they did, hence the laws going the way they did.

The important theme of the film is that, despite Brown v. Board, there were two counties, one in South Carolina and the other in Virginia, who resisted the law using the phrase that makes up the film's title. One went so far as to close the school system for some time, lest they have to permit black people into white classrooms!

I thought the film put together the history of these events appropriately. They fit into contexts, for example, and the film included those contexts. For instance, our school history/fairy tales indicate that slavery/racism was at least deinstitutionalized after the Civil War. Not so. As many an activist points out in the story, much of the South was using any technique they could to continue the caste system by which black people were "inferior," maintained that way by inferior schools.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars an important documentary November 30, 2007
Viewing "With All Deliberate Speed" is a very discomforting experience. For that reason, it is essential to ignore the inclination to avoid this glimpse of the historical BROWN V. THE BOARD OF EDUCATION decision. At the eve of 2008, hearts are still closed to the message that "homo sapiens" is a unitary genus. Exposure to this work can chip away at long-held erroneous misconceptions.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
No history of the United States is complete without a mention of the landmark Brown v. Board of Education ruling in 1954. With this unanimous decision, the U. S. Supreme Court struck down all the laws that kept segregation in place. The fundamental "separate but equal" concept was declared constitutional by the Supreme Court in the landmark Plessy v. Ferguson case in 1896. Therefore, not only was there over 50 years of "settled" law, but there was also a long tradition of social mores based on segregation.
When the Brown v. Board of Education case is covered in history classes, often the only mention of the educational facilities and background that the case was based on is the specific suit against the Topeka, Kansas public school district. Generally lost in these specifics are the courageous actions of other people geographically removed from Kansas. As seems to always be the case, one of the starting points of the action that led to the case were the actions of students at some small schools on the east coast. This video describes many of the actions of those very brave people that helped start a nationwide change.
It started because the students and their parents wanted buses so that the black children would not have to walk miles to school. The white children had buses, so this was a fundamental violation of the "equal" part of the supposed "separate but equal" concept stated in the Plessy case. Their actions were not without danger, some of the black parents lost their job, one black minister that was a leader was gunned down and threats of violent retaliation were frequent. One white judge that sided with the blacks in his dissent on a case that upheld the segregation was forced out of town.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
There is no mention of Linda Brown on the entire video. After watching this I really wished that the Supreme Court case were named Briggs v Elliot so that school kids would grow up learning this story. 5 cases were grouped together under the title Brown v Board. With All Deliberate Speed focuses on Davis v Prince Edward County and Briggs v Elliot. The story is very inspirational in that young and old African-Americans knew their constitutional and natural rights, fought for them, and through their actions ended de jure segregation at the federal level. This DVD does not go on to the state battles in places like Little Rock and Ole Miss. I wish Gilbert would do a second video on the battles it took to enforce the Brown v Board decision.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
Wonderful documentary about the aftermath of Brown v. Board of Education. I use it in my classroom and the students seem to get a lot out of the film.
Published 5 months ago by punkyjam
1.0 out of 5 stars If you don't feel like a scapegoat yet,
Buy this movie! It only took 2 chapters for me to feel like I was oppressing the blacks by just being white and wanting a better education for my children. You know what? Read more
Published 10 months ago by Michael
4.0 out of 5 stars Running In Place
What I got out of this documentary was that after the effort put in to bring the state of equality up to standards, we arrive with no real progress being made. Read more
Published 12 months ago by philo46
3.0 out of 5 stars See those involved in Brown v Board of Education
This is a very good documentary regarding the Brown decision, with interviews from those who experienced the segregated schools and were chidren when "separate but equal"... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Eye Opening
We have all heard about the Brown vs The Board of Education case, but this DVD takes you behind the facts leading to it and after it.
Published on April 29, 2012 by Jersey Fisherman
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT BUY!
I needed this movie for class and it came very fast and was very cheap! And NEW which is a plus!
Published on March 7, 2012 by Starr
5.0 out of 5 stars with all deliberate speed
this is a great movie to explain the desegreation program it is a visual record of what happened back then
Published on January 21, 2012 by ruthie
5.0 out of 5 stars all deliberate speed
The video arrived quickly and in perfect condition. Thank-you for great Service! (I apologize this review is so late- for some reason the website wouldn't let me submit my... Read more
Published on December 6, 2009 by Tanya Eustace
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