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on August 11, 2015
A rare bit of film making intended to animate the story of "separate but equal," from first instances and particular people's involvement to historic legislation to who really won or achieved some kind of social victory. I'm not a great one for reading history but like many people learned far more about the Civil War from Ken Burns ... though not enough of the full story of the Roosevelts and the European Jews in that Burns' documentary. So my quest for historical understanding often comes from the artistry of enactments and dramatists and actors. This particular film is amazing. I experienced the convergence of historical opportunities and felt the frustration of all that could be realized was still inadequate. Does this make sense to you? I don't know but I have watched this several times, often with others who also found a reality here on film, this film, that books and teachers were unable to make happen. I think this is a valuable film ... this dvd is the replacement for a much used vhs tape because I knew this needed to stay in my library.
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on June 18, 2014
I recently viewed this film on DVD many years after having initially seen it. It was every bit as compelling for me this time around as it was years ago. It had been my initial intention to screen it in one of my classes as the jumping off point for a discussion of issues of race, leading to research on the case for either a written or oral project. The problem is that the film focuses almost exclusively on Briggs v Elliot in Clarendon County South Carolina, giving short shrift to Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka Kansas, which is universally acknowledged as the landmark case which overturned Plessy vs. Ferguson, and resulted in the dismantling of segregation. Although Kansas is mentioned tangentially, and in Marshall's initial appearance before the Supreme Court he indicates that his colleagues will represent the other cases; they are entirely omitted from the film. My research has revealed that the reason for this is that (as hinted at in the film) Thurgood Marshall presented the Briggs case; however, it was actually Robert L Carter who represented Brown against Topeka Board of Ed. Consequently it becomes clear that Stevens wished to focus the film on Sidney Poitier's performance as Marshall (which is certainly understandable); however, from the point of view of history and teaching it obscures important facts and complicates matters. Moreover, given the striking similarities between the process of the Topeka case with that of Clarendon County as depicted in the film, some additional footage might reasonably have clarified the fact that this historic case was actually a compendium of different cases presented under the umbrella of Brown vs. Topeka Board of Ed.
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on May 20, 2014
We love Sidney so it would not have taken much for us to like this movie. Since we saw Sidney in "The Heat of the Night" or "To Sir with Love" we have been fans. I can relate to this movie. Perhaps, Africans Americans can relate to what we (Mexican Americans) go through every day since all this controversy started with illegal immigrants crossing the Border of Mexico. For enquiring minds: all Mexican Americans (also known as Hispanics) that came over to United States before 1933 are United States Citizens (see archives.gov/research/immigration/border-mexico.html#intro) no need for a green card. Separate but Equal is a television movie. This movie is three hours long. The movie kept me interested through the whole movie. I believe this was Burt Lancaster's last movie.
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on October 20, 2007
SEPARATE BUT EQUAL (1991-PG) is one of my favorite movies. Nominated for seven Emmy Awards. It is about the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court Case. Starring Sidney Poitier as Thurgood Marshall, the lead attorney for the NAACP, Burt Lancaster, as John W. Davis, arguing the other side, and Richard Kiley, as Chief Justice Earl Warren, it is a powerful story about one of the most important Supreme Court Decisions in the history of our country. The first half is set in South Carolina and depicts the human side of that tragic law called 'separate but equal'. They were separate but anything BUT equal. The second half is the legal battle. My only comment would be that this should be REQUIRED WATCHING to understand the background of the civil rights' movement and the racial situation in our country. As entertaining as it is educational. Five stars all the way. Unfortunately, it's hard to buy (VHS is still relatively cheap but very expensive on DVD). WWW.LUSREVIEWS.BLOGSPOT.COM
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on March 1, 2016
I always enjoy historical movies. I had a crush on Burt Lancaster (Earl Warren) when I was a child.

As a bonus when I moved into my place there was an old interior door in my garage. There was a sticker on the door that called for the impeachment of Justice Earl Warren.
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on October 27, 2015
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 years. It's too bad the blacks haven't learned as much about themselves as the whites have learned about their own attitudes. Education has been one of the great equalizers in this country and "Separate But Equal" does a pretty good job of covering needed changes in schooling in the South.
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on August 14, 2014
Purchased to replace my old VHS version of this film. This is a well produced film that covers a difficult time in our US history. This could be an eye opener for the younger generations that have been born well after the civil rights movement. Several scenes are quite vivid in my mind.
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on July 17, 2007
Originally a TV movie aired in two parts, this Emmy-winning film should be required viewing for kids age 12 and up. Poitier is perfectly cast as Marshall, who in 1950 was lead attorney for the struggling, undermanned N.A.A.C.P. Featuring a mellow Lancaster in his final role and a memorable supporting turn by Kiley as Earl Warren, "Separate" is an invaluable rendering of an historic moment in our country's evolution. Sidney does Mr. Marshall proud.
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on February 2, 2016
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.
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on October 10, 2015
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. There are many layers and lessons to the struggle for integration and equal education that are applicable to today.

The school that I worked in had the VHS version. I would show the first twenty minutes to give students a visual of the discrepancy between the "colored" and the "white" schools of the 1940's and 1950's.
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