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Home Career Films (2017) Marshall

(2017) Marshall

Press Coverage
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Role: Bertha Lancaster
Rating: PG-13
Genre: Biography, Drama
Country: USA
Language: English
Release Date: October 13, 2017 (USA)
Running Time: 1h 58min
Directed by: Reginald Hudlin
Written by: Michael Koskoff, Jacob Koskoff
Produced by: Reginald Hudlin, Jonathan Sanger, Paula Wagner
Cast: Chadwick Boseman, Josh Gad, Kate Hudson, Sterling K. Brown, Dan Stevens, James Cromwell, Keesha Sharp, Roger Guenveur Smith, Derrick Baskin, Barrett Doss, Zanete Shadwick, John Magaro, ...
Based on an early trial in the career of Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. It follows the young lawyer (Chadwick Boseman) to conservative Connecticut to defend a black chauffeur (Sterling K. Brown) charged with sexual assault and attempted murder of his white socialite employer Eleanor Strubing (Kate Hudson). Muzzled by a segregationist court, Marshall partners with a courageous young Jewish lawyer, Samuel Friedman (Josh Gad). Together they mount the defense in an environment of racism and Anti-Semitism. The high profile case and the partnership with Friedman served as a template for Marshall’s creation of the NAACP legal defense fund.


Barrett plays Bertha Lancaster, a young mother, wife and nurse. Her husband is Tad Lancaster and they have a little daughter named Irene Lancaster. Bertha and her husband host Thurgood Marshall at their home while he is in town for the trial. She appears in two scenes. The first one is with her husband and Thurgood talking about the case and having a drink. Bertha gives Thurgood something to think about in regards to his case. The second is her saying goodbye to Thurgood and thanking him for what he has done and for being a good role model for her daughter.

Quotes from this film

Thurgood: Ah. So you like Langston Hughes, huh?
Bertha: Of course. Don't you?
Thurgood: I don't give a damn about no poetry.
Bertha: [chuckles] Come on.
Thurgood: I actually went to school with Langston. I just wish he'd do something more worthwhile with his time.
Tad: Another bourbon, Mr. Marshall?
Thurgood: Sure.
Bertha: You know, Tad's got a law degree, too, from Fordham.
Thurgood: You told me you were a driver.
Tad: Yep. The state of Connecticut decided not to allow me a license to practice law. They were generous enough to give me a driver's license, however.
Thurgood: I see. And what about you, Irene? What are you gonna be when you grow up? A nurse like your mother?
Irene: No.
Thurgood: A lawyer, then?
Irene: No. A fighter pilot.
Thurgood: A fighter pilot? Well, I feel a whole lot more safe knowing that, then.
Tad: All right, say good night to Mr. Marshall, Renie. [chuckles]
Thurgood: Good night!
Bertha: You got kids?
Thurgood: Ah, Buster and I have been trying for a while. Buster is my wife. Sometimes people think I'm talking about my dog.
Bertha: You should get a dog and name it "Mrs. Marshall." [chuckles]
Thurgood: Ah!
Bertha: So, you think this boy did it?
Thurgood: Hey, whose side you on?
Bertha: Women don't just go around lying about being raped, Mr. Marshall. You're going to have to figure out why she'd do such a thing.
Thurgood: Burden of proof is on the State.
Bertha: Is it now?
Bertha: You get the picture Renie left you?
Thurgood: Ah, yes! Now, what kind of plane is this?
Bertha: She said it's supposed to be you. Those are ears, not wings.
Thurgood: Ah! She's quite a talent. You were right, you know.
Bertha: About what?
Thurgood: "Why would she lie?"
Bertha: Hmm.
Thurgood: That is the question we needed to answer.
Bertha: Well, I'm thankful Renie got to see there's men like you in the world.

Photos from this film




Production & Reception

Principal photography began in Los Angeles in mid-December 2015, before moving to Buffalo in early 2016, including shoots at Buffalo City Hall, the Buffalo Central Terminal, Daemen College and Niagara Falls. Reginald Hudlin directed the film from Michael Koskoff and his son Jacob Koskoff's script. Chinese company Super Hero Films financed the film, which was produced by Paula Wagner through her Chestnut Ridge Productions, along with Hudlin, Jonathan Sanger.

Marshall was filmed in Buffalo, New York, USA and Niagara Falls, New York, USA.

The film had its world premiere at Howard University on September 20, 2017, and was released in the United States on October 13, 2017.

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 83% based on 128 reviews, with an average rating of 6.7/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Marshall takes an illuminating, well-acted look at its real-life subject's early career that also delivers as an entertainingly old-fashioned courtroom drama." On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating to reviews, the film has a weighted average score 66 out of 100, based on 34 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".

Writing for Rolling Stone, Peter Travers praised Boseman's performance, giving the film 3 stars out of 4 and saying, "Charged by Boseman's dramatic lightning, Marshall gives us an electrifying glimpse of a great man in the making."
In the United States and Canada, Marshall was released alongside Happy Death Day, The Foreigner and Professor Marston and the Wonder Women, and was expected to gross $3–4 million from 821 theaters in its opening weekend. It ended up making $3 million, finishing 11th at the box office.

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment released Marshall on DVD and Blu-ray on January 9, 2018. The only extras are 8 trailers for contemporary films.



Trivia & Fun Facts

This is Barrett's feature film debut.
Several scenes take place outside the courthouse. They were shot on the steps of Buffalo, New York, City Hall.
The film features art by American watercolorist Martha Burchfield Richter (1924-1977). She is the daughter of world-renowned watercolorist Charles E. Burchfield.
Some of the items in the law office were Roycroft antiques. Roycroft was a reformist community of craft workers and artists which formed part of the Arts and Crafts movement in the United States. Elbert Hubbard founded the community in 1895, in the village of East Aurora, New York, near Buffalo. Participants were known as Roycrofters. The work and philosophy of the group, often referred to as the Roycroft movement, had a strong influence on the development of American architecture and design in the early 20th century.
The film was shot in Buffalo, NY. Mj Myers, Greg Hinaman, Josie DiVincenzo, Stan Klimecko, and Steve Abbott are originally from Buffalo.