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The Butler [DVD]

Forest Whitaker , Oprah Winfrey , Lee Daniels    Suitable for 12 years and over   DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (175 customer reviews)
Price: 7.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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The Butler [DVD] + Saving Mr Banks [DVD] + Philomena [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, John Cusack, Mariah Carey, Alex Pettyfer
  • Directors: Lee Daniels
  • Format: PAL, Anamorphic, Dolby
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Entertainment in Video
  • DVD Release Date: 10 Mar 2014
  • Run Time: 127 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (175 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00HNQK1T4
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 133 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Historical drama directed by Lee Daniels and starring Forest Whitaker. The film tells the story of Cecil Gaines (Whitaker)'s 34-year career working as head butler at the White House. Beginning his tenure under President Eisenhower (Robin Williams), Cecil would see another seven presidents come and go throughout his career and was present at the highest level of the state during some of the most tumultuous periods in the 20th century including the American Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War. The ensemble cast includes John Cusack, James Marsden, Liev Schreiber, Alan Rickman and Oprah Winfrey.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
73 of 78 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sentimental but powerfull film 8 Jan 2014
The Butler tells the true story of Cecil Gaines, a young man who runs away from a slave plantation in the 1920's and after a string of odd jobs ends up as a butler in the White House where he serves several American Presidents and witnesses several historic moments while his son gets caught up in the growing civil rights movement. Some superb performances here noteably from Forrest Whittaker giving one of his best performances as The Butler himself and Operah Winfrey giving her best performance ever as his loyal wife with excellent support from Terrance Howard and John Cusack, Robin Williams, James Marsden and Alan Rickman give good cameo appearances as presidents Nixon, Eisenhower, Kennedy and Reagan respectively with Jane Fonda also appearing as Nancy Reagan. Yes it gets very sentimental but this is ultimately a powerfull piece of filmmaking from Lee Daniels the director of Precious.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
I am not an expert on the intricacies of Northern American history, native or its subsequent annexation. So I won't dream of critiquing this film on the historical front. I just didn't enjoy it as much as I thought I might. That might be because certain elements didn't feel like they rang true, or that truth is less appealing than a dramatisation, or just that expectation is the ruin of art as a medium. Judge it for yourselves.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deeply moving and ultimately uplifting 23 Mar 2014
By markr TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I loved this movie, which brilliantly depicts the history of civil rights in the United States from the 1950s to the election of President Obama, through the eyes of a White House butler, played here superbly by Forest Whitaker, and his family. Oprah Winfrey is magnificent here as his wife

Mixing history with a moving family story this is a highly emotional movie, which charts the progress of the last 60-70 years alongside the life experience, triumphs and tragedies and the aging of the central characters.

Deeply moving, and utlimately uplifting, this is a great movie which I am sure I will watch again
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb 16 Feb 2014
Fantastically acted and directed, it's moving and a perfect history lesson. Seriously powerful stuff. Would happily see again. Loved it.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'SOME STORIES JUST HAVE TO BE TOLD' 13 Mar 2014
By rbmusicman TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
The film is adapted from 'Will Haywood's' 2008 Washington Post article,
a 'Butler' well served by this election.
Telling the real-life story of former 'White House' butler 'Eugene Allen'
In this film the butler is called 'Cecil Gaines' (Forest Whitaker)
It tells of his start in life working with his parents in the 'Cotton Fields'
At a, still young age he sets off to find his own way in life, finding it to be
as it was in the fields......he remains a second class citizen....he gradually
works his way up in life becoming a 'butler' eventually being offered a
position in the 'White House' as a butler, in all serving seven presidents.
Down the years he has learned to block out the prejudices that follow him
and his family down the years.
He brings up his family in 'Washington' with his wife 'Gloria' (Oprah Winfrey)
'Cecil' serves in the White-House at a time when...
The assassination of JFK a President who had spoke of change, and later the
killing of 'Martin Luther King' (civil-rights spokesman)
We see the violence of organisations such as the 'Klu Klux Klan' his son
joining civil rights movements whilst another son signs up to join the army
serving in 'Vietnam'
The rise of the 'Black Panther' movement in which his son becomes involved
in the late sixties.
The film had mixed reviews when released as it does with reviews on this site,
The story deals with race relations a subject that has never quite gone away
down the years, though progress has been made as the film portrays.
Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They Also Serve Who Only Stand And Wait 12 Aug 2014
Typical exuberant American biopic based (very very loosely) on the life of Eugene Allen; you have a hard life in the cotton fields, the move north, the skills and rules of butlering, a son in the Freedom Riders and the Panthers another in Vietnam. It is a clever and effective moulding of a lot of the black experience in those years. A great opportunity for guest "presidents" and some real drama and tragedy. All lifting to the election of Obama. All the more effective for Forest Whitaker's skilful playing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed in this one 4 Aug 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Mmmm..Disappointed in this one. All kinds of famous names in the cast list, but, sadly, it just seemed like a parade of President look-alikes.

Forrest Whitaker did his best, but he had little time to develop his character, which made this particular butler difficult to pin down. Is he a sympathetic character? Do you really care what happens to him?
No. Not really.

Maybe we all expect too much, and are therefore, disappointed.

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3.0 out of 5 stars very "inspired" by true events........ 16 Aug 2014
By sp
i would have given this film 5 stars if i didnt read up on it. i know nearly all films based on true events are exaggerated but this film crosses the line. the main family character names are made up and one family member totally made up. i understand the subject of this film is very delicate to comment on, but the evil of man is disgusting enough with out having to make it up, for example some of the horrific scenes are totally made up for shock purposes only, when reality of evil is shocking enough, especially the opening scene which did not happen at all. i know the film is "inspired" by true events but i can not understand why some events have to be up and put in this film just to add to the story. if you enjoyed this film like i did, do not research the true story this was "inspired" by.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Such a great movie...a must see !!!
Incredible, with ther right tone and play of the actors, I learnt a lot of things and it made me realise how strong and aweful racism has been in the States... Read more
Published 3 hours ago by Betty
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story
Excellent movie
Published 5 hours ago by Mr. A. Mccarthy
4.0 out of 5 stars I like it
Well acted. A different perspective on the role of race in US society and politics.
Published 17 hours ago by Akhter Matin Chaudhury
4.0 out of 5 stars Quite a good film
Not the best film I have ever seen - but I enjoyed it; its a little slow. Based on a true story.
Published 1 day ago by M Blackhall
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent performances by all the cast bringing the issue of perseverance, honesty, committment and honesty to mind.
Published 3 days ago by June Gascoyne
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very good film well acted.
Published 4 days ago by Mrs. M. Sutcliffe
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 5 days ago by Catherine Marshall
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting !!! So So
Excellent acting by Forest as usual.
That’s the best thing you can say about this film. It's fairly slow (not an issue) but also a fairly boring film. Read more
Published 10 days ago by GH
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie!
I thought this was a great movie. Forest Whitaker is not my favorite actor, but he did an excellent job here so I have to give 5 stars.
Published 10 days ago by Aasrun Engstrom
4.0 out of 5 stars good film
Enjoyable to watch and historically interesting
Published 11 days ago by tea jenny
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