on June 26, 2002
The Color of Courage covers the relationships between a white family and a black family. Linda Hamilton is wonderful as the obedient, quiet, and bored housewife who shyly reaches out to welcome her new neighbor (Lynn whitefield, who is very effective as the woman who dreams of her own home in a sweet neighborhood). The relationship between Linda Hamilton and her husband (played by Bruce Greenwood) suffers as a result of her friendship; he is anxious to be accepted as part of the neighborhood of shallow, click-ish bigots, but is finally brought around by his wife's devotion to the black family and her quiet disappointment in his support of the bigotry. In one wonderful, pivotal scene, after his neighbors have manipulated him to use his name in a lawsuit to force the black family out, the leaders of this movement discuss what other options they can exercise to remove the family, completely ignoring Greenwood's character. He effectively throws them out and gains his wife's pride and approval. Although he is the last one to offer his hand to his black neighbor, it is a genuine acceptance. The phone call from the lawyer to the McGhee family is a -particularly effective scene. I wanted to applaud when I heard his name (Thurgood Marshall). Watch for several scenes between Greenwood and his black neighbor - particularly the scene in the bowling alley. A truly effective film.
on May 10, 2000
This movie had so many positive elements and wonderful actors. And perfect for the family. (ie: clean)
It tells the story of the 1940's Sipes v. McGhee trial - the case which considered the question of the legality of restrictive deed covenants. (Restrictive covenants created segregated neighborhoods and kept blacks out of all white neighborhoods)
I was born and raised in the South and at one point, I did a title search on my home and my mother's home and found "deed restrictions" on both properties (one built 1928, the other 1949) that said "no person of African descent may occupy or purchase this property."
The movie begins with a black family (the McGhees) moving into an all white Detroit neighborhood in cover of darkness. It is night and they hustle to get settled in before the neighbors discover them.
Mac McGee (Roger Guenveur Smith) and his wife Minne (Lynn Whitfield) just want a nice home in a nice area for their two sons. They both do an exceptional acting job and you really gain an understanding of the price they paid to be pioneers in very hostile territory.
Anna Sipes (Linda Hamilton) is the white next door neighbor who is lonely and bored and strikes up a friendship with Minnie. Her hubby - Benjamin Sipes (Bruce Greenwood) is an overbearing jerk at times who is more bent on keeping up appearances than taking a moral stand for what is right.
"The Color of Courage" does a good job of telling what the McGee family endured in the midst of that long hard lonely fight.
The movie gets a wee bit slow in places, but overall, this flick is a solid five stars. And when our family watches these kind of films, I'm always amazed at how little my kids know about "the way things used to be".
This movie has the capacity to really open up discussion on these topics and also helps educate.
And it is a movie with great acting, too. The two McGhee kids were masterfully played but their characters could've been developed a wee bit more.
But this is a good movie and above that - a very important movie.