The Butler 2013

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(263) 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:
John Cusack, Forest Whitaker
Rental Formats:
DVD, Blu-ray

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature ages_12_and_over
Runtime 2 hours 12 minutes
Starring John Cusack, Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey
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 John Cusack, Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey
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

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

87 of 92 people found the following review helpful By Mr. R. W. Graham VINE 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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34 of 37 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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By josie paige on 2 Sep 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This was both fabulous and very sad at the same time. The acting was fabulous and the story too, but the sometimes sad content of the decisions made by some of the characters makes human beings look every bit as nasty and horrid as they appear to be be. On occasion though then a few great people shine through and give us some hope for our future.
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11 of 12 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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32 of 36 people found the following review helpful By rbmusicman TOP 100 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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23 of 26 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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By craig firth on 6 Aug 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
An extremely interesting film with the storyline following major events in history.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By prisrob TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 17 Jan 2014
Format: DVD
Real ambivalence watching this film, on the one hand a good review of Civil Rights and the country's march onwards. On the other hand, real dramatization of funerals, and the civil Rights Marches. There must be an in-between, but what we are offered is the extremes.

Forrest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey, play a married couple, Clarence and Gloria Gaines. Clarence witnessed the death of his father being shot by a white man, who had just raped his mother in the cotton fields. Clarence worked his way up from the cotton fields to the Butler at the White House. He and Gloria had good times and bad, Clarence spent most of his time at the White House, leaving Gloria to bring up their two sons. One son became estranged after he decided protest was his way of life, and the other son went to Vietnam.

What we are presented with is the life of the Butler in the White House, the Presidents he served from Eisenhower to Reagan. The Civil Rights of Afro Americans were discussed in front of him, as if he was not there. That was his life. All in all, both Clarence, Gloria and their sons did their own thing. The fault Dear Ceasar, is the director, who gave us reality with a reality show. The two do not mix.

Wonderful performances by Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey, but not Academy Award material. Lots of music that swelled and gave us moments of sadness, of course, I was all above that as I was weeping.

Recommended. 01-16-14
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