First Hit: One of many inspirational stories about this amazing man and his power to change racism in our country.
One of the best things about this film was that Thurgood Marshall (Chadwick Boseman) was not allowed to speak in court for the accused he was defending. Marshall was sent by the NAACP around the country to defend blacks (colored people) in courts of law. In some cases, because he didn’t have a license to be a defending attorney in some states, he needed a sponsoring attorney.
It’s December 1940 and Sam Friedman (Josh Gad), a soft-spoken insurance lawyer, just finished a case. His office manager, his brother Irwin (John Magaro), surprises Sam that they need publicity and extra money, so he sponsors Thurgood who is going to defend a black man against a white woman’s rape charge. Their first meeting doesn’t go very well as Sam doesn’t like the idea of being involved in a criminal case, let alone one that is defending a black man. Sam’s worried about public opinion and what it will do to his business.
After meeting with the defendant Joseph Spell (Sterling K. Brown), Thurgood and Sam believe him to be telling the truth that he did not rape Eleanor Strubing (Kate Hudson). Entering court, Sam tries to tell the judge that Marshall will be trying the case and presents the sponsoring paperwork. Judge Foster (James Cromwell) obviously has a thing against the NAACP and refuses to honor Marshall being allowed to try the case. In fact, he states that Marshall can sit at the defendant’s table but cannot utter a word and if he does, Marshall and Sam will be charged with contempt.
The film does a wonderful job of showing how Marshall was able to influence, engage, and mentor Sam into being a great criminal lawyer.
This film is about the power and influence of Thurgood on people to do the right thing and how he was able bring out the power of belief in others.
I thought the film did an excellent job of showing the 1940's and how the fight against racism was slowly evolving and that Marshall was one of leaders and influencers.
Boseman was excellent as Marshall. How he demonstrated and showed the swagger and the inner belief needed to lead racial change in our country was wonderfully convincing. Gad was amazing. I loved his evolving understanding of how to be a good lawyer on the side of right, which was congruent with his inner belief structure. Brown was very strong as the defendant, he showed a perfect level of fear. Hudson was wonderful as the husband abused woman looking for a little love in her world. Cromwell was the perfect judge. His gruff nature was excellent. Jacob and Michael Koskoff wrote a powerful script. Reginald Hudlin did a great job of creating a feel and mood of the times while making the audience see the ways change in America came to us, one case at a time.
Overall: It was a pleasure to watch this film as it provided a small glimpse of history.