Amistad (1997 film)


Amistad (1997 film)

Infobox Film
name = Amistad


caption = Theatrical release poster
director = Steven Spielberg
producer = Debbie Allen
Steven Spielberg
Colin Wilson
writer = David Franzoni
starring = Morgan Freeman
Matthew McConaughey
Anthony Hopkins
Stellan Skarsgård
Djimon Hounsou
Justice Harry Blackmun
Anna Paquin
music = John Williams
cinematography = Janusz Kaminski
editing = Michael Kahn
distributor = DreamWorks Distribution
released = December 10, 1997
runtime = 152 minutes
language = English
Mende
Spanish
budget = $40 million USD
amg_id = 1:158798
imdb_id = 0118607

"Amistad" is a 1997 Steven Spielberg film based on the true story of a slave mutiny that took place aboard a ship of the same name in 1839, and the legal battle that followed. It shows how that, even though the case was won at the federal district court level, it was appealed by President Martin Van Buren to the Supreme Court, and how former President John Quincy Adams took part in the proceedings.

This was the second film for which Anthony Hopkins received an Academy Award nomination for playing a United States President, having previously been nominated in 1995 for playing Richard Nixon in "Nixon".

Cast

* Morgan Freeman - Theodore Joadson
* Anthony Hopkins - Representative John Quincy Adams
* Nigel Hawthorne - President Martin Van Buren
* Djimon Hounsou - Joseph Cinqué/Sengbe Pieh
* Matthew McConaughey - Roger S. Baldwin
* David Paymer - Secretary of State John Forsyth
* Pete Postlethwaite - Mr. Holabird
* Stellan Skarsgård - Lewis Tappan
* Razaaq Adoti - Yamba
* Abu Bakaar Fofanah - Fala
* Anna Paquin - Queen Isabella II of Spain
* Tomás Milián - Calderon
* Chiwetel Ejiofor - Ens. James Covey/Kai Nyagua
* Derrick Ashong - Buakei
* Geno Silva - José Ruiz
* John Ortiz - Pedro Montez
* Ralph Brown - Lt. Thomas Gedney
* Darren E. Burrows - Lt. Meade
* Allan Rich - Judge Juttson
* Peter Firth - Capt. Fitzgerald
* Xander Berkeley - Hammond
* Jeremy Northam - Judge Coglin
* Arliss Howard - Senator John C. Calhoun
* Austin Pendleton - Prof. Josiah Willard Gibbs, Sr.
* Harry Blackmun - U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Joseph Story (uncredited)

Quotes

"The issue is not whether some rag-tag bunch of Africans raised swords against their enemies, but rather, must we?" - Senator John C. Calhoun, a hint at the coming American Civil War

"Is there anything so pathetic as an ex-President?" spoken of John Quincy Adams, but overheard by Martin Van Buren and mistakenly interpreted to mean him.

"A chief cannot be anything less than a chief." Cinqué's words to John Quincy Adams, when the latter informs him that he was 'once a great chief of America'.

Production

This was the first film directed by Spielberg that was released by DreamWorks, of which Spielberg was a co-founder.

The first sixteen minutes of the film are entirely in the Mende language, with no subtitles, depicting the seizure of the Amistad by its captive slaves and their subsequent capture by the United States Navy. Djimon Hounsou learned a certain amount of Mende, one of the languages of Sierra Leone, for his role as Cinque. The ship "La Amistad" in the film was not played by the Freedom Schooner Amistad from New Haven, which was re-created in 2000 after the film had been released. The role of La Amistad was in fact played by another Baltimore Clipper - "Pride of Baltimore".

The majority of this film was filmed in Newport, Rhode Island's downtown historic district, which has many colonial buildings. The scenes of the United States Capitol building were that of the Rhode Island State House, while some scenes were filmed at Mystic Seaport in Mystic, Connecticut. The Slave Fortress destroyed at the end of the movie is actually El Morro, an old colonial fort in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

A number of American roles in this film were played by leading British actors.

Historical accuracy

Many academics, like Eric Foner, DeWitt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia Universityhave criticized the film Amistad for historical innacuracy and the misleading characterizations of the Amistad case as a "turning point" in American perspective on slavery. In his essay "The Amistad Case in Fact and Film" (http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/74/) Professor Foner states, "Amistad‘s problems go far deeper than such anachronisms as President Martin Van Buren campaigning for reelection on a whistle-stop train tour (in 1840, candidates did not campaign), or people constantly talking about the coming Civil War, which lay twenty years in the future."

Awards

*Academy of Motion Pictures, AMPAS (1998) Nominations:
**Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Anthony Hopkins
**Best Cinematography, Janusz Kaminski
**Best Costume Design, Ruth Carter
**Best Music, Original Dramatic Score, John Williams

ee also

*The Amistad, an 1841 United States court case concerning a slave rebellion on that ship.
*Supreme Court of the United States in fiction
*Trial movies
*Tecora

External links

*imdb title | id=0118607 | title=Amistad
* [http://www.americanrhetoric.com/moviespeeches.htm 2 Speeches from the Movie in Text, Audio, Video] from AmericanRhetoric.com
* [http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/19971212/REVIEWS/712120301/1023 Rogert Ebert Film Review]
* [http://history.sandiego.edu/gen/filmnotes/amistad-review.html Review Sally Haden] (Educational POV)


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Amistad — is a Spanish noun meaning friendship . It may refer in English to:* La Amistad , a 19th century Spanish schooner on which enslaved Africans rebelled and took control. ** Amistad Africans v. United States (1841), United States Supreme Court case… …   Wikipedia

  • Amistad — Données clés Réalisation Steven Spielberg Scénario David Franzoni Acteurs principaux Morgan Freeman Matthew McConaughey Anthony Hopkins Stellan Skarsgård Djimon Hounsou Justice Harry Blackmun Anna Paquin …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Amistad - Das Sklavenschiff — Filmdaten Deutscher Titel: Amistad Originaltitel: Amistad Produktionsland: USA Erscheinungsjahr: 1997 Länge: 152 Minuten Originalsprache: Englisch …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Amistad – Das Sklavenschiff — Filmdaten Deutscher Titel: Amistad Originaltitel: Amistad Produktionsland: USA Erscheinungsjahr: 1997 Länge: 152 Minuten Originalsprache: Englisch …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Amistad (Film) — Filmdaten Deutscher Titel Amistad Produktionsland USA …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Amistad (1841) — Infobox SCOTUS case Litigants=The Amistad ArgueDateA=February 22 ArgueDateB=March 2 ArgueYear=1841 DecideDate=March 9 DecideYear=1841 FullName=The United States, Appellants v. The Libellants and Claimants of the schooner Amistad, her tackle,… …   Wikipedia

  • 1997 in film —             List of years in film       (table) … 1987 .  1988 .  1989 .  1990  . 1991  . 1992  . 1993 … 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 …  …   Wikipedia

  • Amistad-Prozesse — Sengbe Pieh, Anführer beim Aufstand (Porträt von 1839) John Quincy Adams Die Amistad Prozesse waren mehrere Gerichts …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Jurassic Park (film) — Jurassic Park Theatrical …   Wikipedia

  • Jaws (film) — Jaws …   Wikipedia


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