The Butler Movie Review
The purpose of this movie was to “tell the story of the Civil Rights movement through a prototypical American family and how they experienced those turbulent times (The Butler True Story vs. Movie)”. In other words, it’s goal was to show how life changed for African-Americans from the beginning of the Civil Rights movement up until present-day. Because the film was set in the perspective of a relatively poor black man, it was fairly biased. However, it did an excellent job of showing both the hardships and the successes of African-Americans during the Civil Rights movement. For example, the movie showed how blacks were often thrown in jail and abused just for peacefully protesting. It also showed the joy of Cecil Gaines and fellow African-Americans at the huge equal rights triumph that was achieved with the election of Barack Obama at the end of the movie.
Cecil Gaines’ character was based on Eugene Allen, who worked as a butler in the white house for 34 years under eight presidents. He was born on a plantation just like in the movie, although it was in Virginia, not Georgia, and there is no evidence that his father was shot or that his mother was raped (The Butler True Story vs. Movie). It is true that Allen first moved to Washington D.C. for a job at a country club, but the white house did not call him to come work as a butler like in the movie. Allen learned that the white house was looking for pantry workers, and did not actually become a butler until many years later. He started working there in 1952 during the Truman administration, and it is true that “Allen witnessed presidents mulling over important historical decisions, including Eisenhower’s fight with Arkansas governor Orval Faubus regarding the desegregation of Little Rock (Harris)”. His wife, Helene, also passed away just before Obama’s election like in the movie (Harris). Overall, the character of Cecil Gaines was fairly historically accurate....
Cited: "The Butler True Story vs. Movie." HistoryvsHollywood.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 May 2014.
Harris, Aisha. "How True Is The Butler?" Slate Magazine. The Slate Group LLC, 15 Aug. 2013.
Web. 27 May 2014.
"The Sit-In Movement." Ushistory.org. Independence Hall Association, n.d. Web. 26 May 2014.
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