Thurgood [Blu-ray]

4.7 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Thurgood was filmed in front of a live audience at the Kennedy Center’s Eisenhower Theater in Washington, D.C. during Black History Month, and aired exclusively on HBO. The one-man play stars Laurence Fishburne in his Tony-nominated performance as Thurgood Marshall, the remarkable Civil Rights lawyer and Supreme Court Justice. Thurgood was written by Academy Award and Emmy Award winner George Stevens, Jr., directed by Emmy Award winner Michael Stevens, and executive produced by Bill Haber.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Laurence Fishburne
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Blu-ray, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: English, Spanish
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: HBO Studios
  • DVD Release Date: January 17, 2012
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004LROMXO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #111,026 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By K. Harris HALL OF FAMETOP 100 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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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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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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We usually don't like theatrical performances as movies, but this one worked well. The staging is creative and Laurence Fishburne does a nice job of portraying this man in different stages of his life. Loved the dialogues with Lyndon Johnson - they were superb.
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This is truly outstanding. I couldn't help thinking throughout the entire film that Laurence Fishburn has not received even 1/3 the acknowledgement of his talent as he should have. I am buying several copies of this film to distribute to my students. In saying this I'm not merely making the statement on the basis of his performance, but also on his depth of knowledge about the man. I feel, as someone who was around when Thurgood was in office, and who was well acquainted with the situation in the South, during the 1950s and the restricted rights of African-Americans during the Civil Rights Movement, that Fishburne is practically a reincarnation of Thurgood. The film is funny and sad. Many of the unspoken nuances defy misinterpretation and lend a good deal of humor to the presentation. I would definitely recommend that anyone who has not seen this film, see it and live the experiences of those living in America during the 1950s,1960s and 1970s.

Bonita Evans, Ph.D.
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