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The Great Debaters 2007

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This heartwarming drama is based on the true story of Melvin B. Tolson, a black professor at Wiley College in Texas who, in 1935, inspired his students to form the college's first debating team. He proudly watched the team challenge Harvard in the final of the national championship.

Starring:
Denzel Washington, Nate Parker
Runtime:
2 hours, 6 minutes

Available to watch on supported devices.

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Product Details

Genres Drama
Director Denzel Washington
Starring Denzel Washington, Nate Parker
Supporting actors Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Denzel Whitaker, Jermaine Williams, Forest Whitaker, Gina Ravera, John Heard, Kimberly Elise, Devyn A. Tyler, Trenton McClain Boyd, Ritchie Montgomery, Jackson Walker, Tim Parati, Robert X. Golphin, Justice Leak, Glen Powell, Brad Watkins, Brian Smiar, Damien Leake
Studio High Fliers
BBFC rating Suitable for 12 years and over
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By RD VINE VOICE on 18 Feb. 2008
Format: DVD
This is Denzel Washington at his best with the added bonus of him being the director. This is a true story about the debate team of Wiley College. Denzel Washington is the Professor who picks and leads the team every year. For the year in question he chooses Samantha, Henry and James Farmer Jr the latter of whom is only 14yrs old. He goes about training them to become an unstoppable force but life is not just about school and debates in the deep south. Black oppression, violence and lynching feature in all their lives and seep into their ties to each other and their families.
This is a movie about inner strength, belief and determination getting you to a better place and a better world. Utterly wonderful movie especially after finding out it is based on true characters who went on to achieve much.
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Format: DVD
We saw this film on a flight from the US, and were very moved by it. Denzel Washington is at his most visionary; unyielding in his vision of bringing equal rights to people of the Southern States of America in the 1930's. The film shows him inspiring a generation of black students to find their voices, to stand up and be heard in a series of intellectual debates with other universities - eventually, with "anglo-saxon" universitites; culminating in the most challenging of all. This is a true story; the uncompromising choices the students have to make to hold onto their own sense of worth and justice is riveting. Wonderfully acted, and directed by Denzel Washington himself, in a fine role. In the tradition of 'Dead Poets Society' - but much more profoundly based.
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Format: DVD
I personally think this is the absolute best of Denzel. Saw the characters and story line on Oprah and decided to buy it. The Characters were accurate, the acting superb. So brilliant I watched it with my 11 year old daughter to teach her to overcome in the face of adversity. Watched it 3 times since and will watch it again as I always get something new to raise the children with. We do what we have to do so we can do what we want to do'! watch it.
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By Kona TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 1 Mar. 2008
Format: DVD
It is 1935, and at a small Negro college in Texas, Professor Tolson (Denzel Washington) is coaching the debate team. Its members include a sweet girl, a ladies' man, and a 14-year old whiz-kid. The students blossom under Tolson's leadership, but his extra-curricular activities may be a problem; at night he is secretly unionizing the share croppers, and the sheriff doesn't like it one bit.

I never expected a movie about a debate team to be intense, scary, or exhilarating, but "The Great Debaters" is all that and more. There are two stories here - one is the debate team and the other is life under segregation; both stories are compelling. The acting is uniformly outstanding; Forrest Whitaker and Washington support some lesser-known, but extremely talented young stars. We get to know their characters and care about them as they overcome their various obstacles to become the top Negro college debate team in the country.

The injustices of segregation are vividly and heartbreakingly portrayed; it was quite a sobering look at the legalized cruelty of that time and place. The fact that this is a true story makes it all the more inspiring. Heartily recommended.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I loved this movie very uplifting. Makes you realise how lucky we are now with freedom of speech, without lynching involved. Not for the faint hearted but my teenage daugter watched it and now joined debating club at school can be that inspirational. Recommend buy.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
Found it very educational and in the same vain sickened by ramdom acts of killing, throughout history on mass oppresion of certain groups by someone deciding the where for whatever reason the right group and the other not, clouds history, to strip anyone of the right to expression freely and differential treatment, cruelty on mass murder, is aggorant and ignorant to presume that right is theirs to take and enforce
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Format: DVD
I am a BIG Denzel Washington fan, I have been waiting a very long time to see this film, it has only ever been released as a Region 1 film (America) and finally it has been released as a Region 2 film (Europe) and it has NOT disappointed me. The film is based on a True Story of Wiley College Debate Team. The main stars include the great Denzel Washington (also produced this film) and Forest Whitaker. The lesser known stars were also brilliant, I also found it good as there was no swearing in this film. This film is about winning and determination, not letting anyone stand in your way! Oh and yes there is some sad parts, so get a tissue at the ready!
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
This is a great movie of belief, hope, strong will, determination and persistence. I loved everything about it. As a lecturer this reminded me of "a teacher affects eternity". Each of the 3 debaters were greatly influenced by their teacher and decades later each made great achievements. Their teacher challenged them, showed them the way, gave them the tools, believed in them .... and they did the rest. I love it!

I strongly recommend this movie
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