The extraordinary tale of Harriet Tubman's escape from slavery and transformation into one of America's greatest heroes, whose courage, ingenuity, and tenacity freed hundreds of slaves and changed the course of history.
Consummate con man Roy Courtnay has set his sights on his latest mark: the recently widowed Betty McLeish, worth millions. But this time, what should have been a simple swindle escalates into a cat-and-mouse game with the ultimate stakes.
Based on the thrilling and inspirational life of an iconic American freedom fighter, Harriet tells the extraordinary tale of Harriet Tubman's escape from slavery and transformation into one of America's greatest heroes. Her courage, ingenuity, and tenacity freed hundreds of slaves and changed the course of history.Written by
In a deleted scene, the fourth name on the list of conductors is visible and it is George Wilmer at 39-3 for a success rate of 92.8%. See more »
The ironclad gunboats in the background when Harrirt is leading Union troops in a raid in South Carolina were used on the rivers in the Western theater of the Civil War. They would not have been seen in South Carolina, since they were not designed to be ocean going. See more »
I'm suffocating in this place. It's like a prison where I'm awaiting my execution, surrounded by hostile, black-faced guards.
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1800's type photographs of the cast with their names in the credits. See more »
The script is too bare bones and saccharine but a good biopic nonetheless.
The film is ultimately fairly frustrating. The central performance by Erivo was really good and powerful. The film is quite handsome-it was nice seeing some photography by Toll with a budget. The technical aspects provoke period and the director gets a lot of suspense out of Tubman's escape and rescue missions. The film takes a pretty narrow range of Tubman's life as its plot but working within that range it seems to be fairly accurate. It certainly was engaging. The film resists centering whiteness-abet not fully-and I was glad to see that the Underground Railroad seemed to be almost exclusively black. The film doesn't contain a white savoir trope so there's at least that.
However, the film's narrowness results in a too simple and too short of a rendering of Tubman's life. Her work on Women's suffrage was a mere footnote. Arguments around what sort of actions the abolitionist movement should take were greatly reduced. John Brown was omitted entirely. Fredrick Douglas was given a cameo. The film jumps years at a time and it results in narrative that is merely a skeleton of Tubman's most well known experiences.
The film is weirdly hesitant around Tubman committing justified violence. At times the film contorts itself to avoid showing Tubman hurting people, especially white people. It seemed to be too saintly of a characterization especially as the film leans heavily on Tubman's faith. (In general the faith stuff lands with emotional resonance). This is a far less visceral portrayal of slavery than 12 Years a Slave.
Overall I think this is pretty good biopic.
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