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Thurgood [Blu-ray]


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Product Details

  • Format: AC-3, Dolby, Dubbed, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: English, Spanish
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: HBO Canada
  • Release Date: Jan. 17 2012
  • ASIN: B004LROMXO
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #63,281 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 32 reviews
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Justice Served In This Engaging One Man Theatrical Presentation March 1 2011
By K. Harris - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
In staging a one man theatrical presentation, two things are certain--you've got to have a subject that is compelling enough to maintain interest and you've got to have a dynamic actor that holds an audience. In HBO's filmed adaptation of the stage show "Thurgood," we've got both! Timed for airing with Black History Month, this dramatic monologue (filmed before a live audience) brings the best of theater right into your living room. Thurgood Marshall is certainly a fascinating subject--from his early Civil Rights battles to his historical positioning in school segregation to his ascendancy to the Supreme Court, Marshall defied conventional expectations to become one of the most influential legal minds of several generations. Laurence Fishburne (another terrific actor lately relegated to the rather uninspired world of procedural TV crime drama) has a field day bringing the charismatic Marshall to life. It is certainly his most inspired and lively work in years. So the winning combination of Marshall and Fishburne make "Thurgood" a can't miss proposition--especially to lovers of theater!

Those completely new to the concept of a one man show should be aware that this is a piece that is reliant on words and performance. Aside from a couple of props and a creatively used backdrop that sets any particular scene, there is nothing here to watch except for Fishburne. So if you require extravagant production values or excessive visual stimulation, attending or watching a one man show may seem akin to watching grass grow. But if you appreciate engaging and intelligent wordplay and enjoy relevant history or even down home storytelling, it's hard not to be caught up in this delightful presentation. Marshall's life is played through its episodic high points (courtesy of a screenplay by George Stevens Jr.). Some of the film's essential moments include the historic battle of Brown versus The Board of Education, descriptions of the division between state law and constitutional provisions, and the cantankerous Supreme Court years in which judicial appointments evolve with political changes.

"Thurgood" is, ultimately, quite successful in detailing Marshall's career highlights. Personally, however, it is (by necessity and structure) a bit more superficial. References to his home life and his wives are played for pathos and/or humor as the situation dictates, but we never really see that side of Marshall. There are also plenty of comic asides that reference Marshall's wilder side--from drinking to an appreciation of women--that serve as levity points without being explored except as punchlines. But the intent of the piece was not to be a full scale biographical treatment of an entire life--it is an evening with the fictional Marshall as he regales you with his stories interpreted through his voice. As such, it is both informational and entertaining. And really, that's all one could hope for...and all that is needed! KGHarris, 3/11.
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
"I'm going to live to be 100, and die from being shot by a jealous husband!" March 7 2011
By E. Hernandez - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
THURGOOD (2011) is one of those incredible HBO films that makes me believe in synchronicity.

I have always complained that a severe problem with American actors is they have never confronted their audience - unlike the British, who spend years performing in the streets, at Shakespeare's old haunts and tiny old theaters. The British practically lay (or jump into) the audience's lap. Americans have no idea what an "audience" is.

In THURGOOD, Lawrence Fishburne, about whom I know little other than he's an actor I love, portrays USSC Justice Thurgood Marshall, a man who was a hero to both me and my father. Hoofing about onstage at the John F. Kennedy Center, before a live audience no more than a few feet from him, Fishburne shoulders this awesome one-man-play film with such cool, studied professionalism, I felt like it was actually Marshall.

But I know all along it is Fishburne and his amazing talent. He begins old, hobbled as I recall Marshall when he announced his retirement. Then Fishburne does the amazing: he ages backward twice, with nothing more (nothing less!) than his skill. Once he ages backward to middle age, then again to about his 30s. At the end, in the space of about ten minutes, he ages back to 'old age'. And he nails Marshall spot-on, voice, gestures, jokes and foul language that were hallmarks I recall very well.

This play mainly covers the story of Marshall's rise to fame in the law, describing his major lifetime accomplishments. It is sadly thin on his Supreme Court years because he did have a habit of simply concurring with Justice Stevens and nothing more. The play is happily thin on gimmickry, but I did not like the music competing with Fishburne's lines.

I loved the way certain photographs were flashed on the giant screen behind Fishburne, but that wasn't overdone, either. It flavored and bolstered the performance. I cannot believe the discipline, the memory and the sheer nerve it takes to do something this powerful and unique. This is not Leonard Nimoy playing Vincent Van Gogh's brother in "Theo". It isn't John Gielgud in his one-man stage film SWAN SONG, but it's darned close.

It is transcends an imaginary night with Thurgood Marshall; it isn't imaginary but it is 100% Fishburne. This is not the sort of thing I like at all. Some of my friends almost killed me for refusing to attend Hal Holbrook's portrayal of Mark Twain back when they brought the show here. I STILL would not go to a thing like that.

Here I am sorry as hell that I missed being at JFK Center to see Lawrence Fishburne - and when you see this, you will be sorry you weren't there either. Marshall once said he'd "live to be 110, then die ... shot by a jealous husband." Fishburne delivers the line flawlessly, and we wish the longevity had been true for Marshall. Certainly for Fishburne, and no doubt for this film.

Get this DVD and always have the next best thing. Remember also that you will be seeing something unique in modern cinema, something I hope we'll see productions companies do a LOT more often.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Outstanding Feb. 17 2014
By Utahwoody - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
Someone said it was boring! I can't believe we saw the same performance. This was poignant, funny, fascinating and extremely educational. Laurence Fishburne was at his best in portraying this great man.
Four Stars July 9 2014
By William K. Jeffers - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
great show
... and was mesmerized by Lawrence Fishburne's protrayeral of this great man. I learned so much about Thurgood that ... July 6 2014
By Wanda M. Green - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I sat in the second row center of the Broadway play and was mesmerized by Lawrence Fishburne's protrayeral of this great man. I learned so much about Thurgood that I made sure to purchase this to share with my husband and son who are not theatre goers. They too enjoyed the production.

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