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Harriet (2019)

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2:32 | Trailer
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.

Director:

Kasi Lemmons

Writers:

Gregory Allen Howard (screenplay by), Kasi Lemmons (screenplay by) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
1,413 ( 52)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 19 wins & 34 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Cynthia Erivo ... Harriet / Minty
Leslie Odom Jr. ... William Still
Joe Alwyn ... Gideon Brodess
Clarke Peters ... Ben Ross
Vanessa Bell Calloway ... Rit Ross
Omar J. Dorsey ... Bigger Long
Henry Hunter Hall ... Walter
Tim Guinee ... Thomas Garrett
Nick Basta ... Foxx
Joseph Lee Anderson ... Robert Ross
Antonio J Bell Antonio J Bell ... Henry Ross (as Antonio J. Bell)
CJ McBath ... Junyah Ross
Alexis Louder ... Jane
Aria Brooks ... Anger (8)
Janelle Monáe ... Marie Buchanon

The Rise of Cynthia Erivo

Cynthia Erivo received two Oscar nominations this year for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role and Best Original Song for Harriet. "No Small Parts" takes a look at her career.

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Storyline

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 Focus Features

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The unbelievable true story of Harriet Tubman, an American legend. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic content throughout, violent material and language including racial epithets | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Eliza Brodess: 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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Crazy Credits

1800's type photographs of the cast with their names in the credits. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Oscars (2020) See more »

Soundtracks

Wade in the Water
Traditional
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User Reviews

 
The script is too bare bones and saccharine but a good biopic nonetheless.
1 February 2020 | by CubsandCultureSee all my reviews

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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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA | China

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 November 2019 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Harriet See more »

Filming Locations:

Richmond, Virginia, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$17,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,676,720, 3 November 2019

Gross USA:

$43,082,155

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$43,282,155
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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