The Butler 2013

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(172) IMDb 7.1/10
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As Cecil Gaines serves eight presidents during his tenure as a butler at the White House, the civil rights movement, Vietnam, and other major events affect this man's life, family, and American society.

Starring:
Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey
Rental Formats:
DVD, Blu-ray

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature ages_12_and_over
Runtime 2 hours 12 minutes
Starring Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, John Cusack
Director Lee Daniels
Genres Drama
Studio ENTERTAINMENT IN VIDEO
Rental release 10 March 2014
Main languages English
Hearing impaired subtitles English
Original title Lee Daniels' The Butler
Discs
  • Feature ages_12_and_over
Runtime 2 hours 12 minutes
Starring Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, John Cusack
Director Lee Daniels
Genres Drama
Studio ENTERTAINMENT IN VIDEO
Rental release 10 March 2014
Main languages English
Subtitles English
Original title Lee Daniels' The Butler

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

73 of 78 people found the following review helpful By Mr. R. W. Graham TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 8 Jan 2014
Format: DVD
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 By D. MALTBY on 5 July 2014
Format: DVD
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 By markr TOP 500 REVIEWER on 23 Mar 2014
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 By Joshua Glennon on 16 Feb 2014
Format: DVD
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 By rbmusicman TOP 500 REVIEWER on 13 Mar 2014
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 By Charles Vasey TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 12 Aug 2014
Format: DVD
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 By Geena Emily Andrews on 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.

Geena.
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Format: Blu-ray
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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