Drama | 2017

Thurgood Marshall, in the early ’40s, was a NAACP lawyer fighting cases of racial injustice around the country.  His latest case took him to Greenwich, Connecticut. Eleanor Strubing, the white wife of a wealthy executive, accused Joseph Spell, an African-American, of raping her. The antagonistic Judge Foster, ruled that because Marshall was not  licensed in Connecticut, he can be present in the courtroom, but he cannot participate. Marshall convinces a local insurance lawyer, Sam Friedman, to do the talking for him. Marshall achieved this by rehearsing Friedman outside of the courthouse and passing him notes during the trial. They worked as a team as they unfolded evidence that Spell was framed. After the trial, Friedman became a prominent Civil Rights lawyer while Marshall became the first African-American appointed to the Supreme Court.

Chadwick Boseman (Thurgood Marshall) / Kate Hudson (Eleanor Strubing) / Josh Gad (Sam Friedman) / Sterling K. Brown (Joseph Spell) / James Cromwell (Judge Foster)
Why Stream This Film?
Another magnificent performance by Chadwick Boseman. Thurgood Marshall, an NAACP attorney, was fighting a case of a white woman in Greenwich, Connecticut, wife of a rich executive, who accused her innocent African-American chauffeur of raping her. Activist W.E. Du Bois stated at that time that the idea there was no racial prejudice in the North was a fable. “The difference between North and South in the matter of racial prejudice,” he wrote, “is largely a difference of degree.”
  • Chicago International’s Film Festival: Winner, Best Narrative English-speaking Feature
  • Academy Awards: Nominated, Stand Up for Something, Best Song
  • Hollywood Film Awards: Winner, Song of the Year, Stand Up for Something
MARSHALL is not a soup-to-nuts biography of one of the most significant figures in U.S. legal history, but a legal potboiler dependent on teamwork. It pays attention to issues of racial, religious and gender discrimination without wavering from its main objective: giving us a very entertaining film.
Roger Ebert

Some biopics go for sweeping and exhaustive, trying to cram an entire life into a tidy two hours or so. MARSHALL smartly opts for modest. With economy, a bit gauzy nostalgia and likable performances, it revisits an early episode from the life of Thurgood Marshall, the civil rights lawyer who became the first African-American to hold a seat on the Supreme Court.
Manohla Dargis

The New York Times

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