The great debaters

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Drawing inspiration from the true story of a temperamental debate coach who molded the students of a small East Texas college into a formidable team that gave even Harvard's elite squad a run for their money, Denzel Washington's The Great Debaters features the director himself as the ambitious educator, and Forest Whitaker as the resentful father of a student whose loyalties now lie almost exclusively with his coach. Melvin B. Tolson (Washington) is the kind of educator who truly recognizes the remarkable power of knowledge. An outspoken Wiley College professor who boldly challenged the discriminatory Jim Crow laws of the 1930s, Tolson's recognizes that his young debate students possess the spark of a new generation. Convinced that they could invoke great change if given the confidence and tools needed to do so, the tireless educator implores his students to take responsibility for the future while furtively attempting to protect them from his clandestine role as an organizer for the Southern Tenant Farmers Union. Chief among Tolson's promising young students is a 14-year-old prodigy named James Farmer, Jr. (Denzel Whitaker). Farmer's father, James Sr. (Forest Whitaker), is a renowned scholar and an important presence in the emerging student's life. Yet despite his formidable reputation, James Sr. has not yet learned how to truly harness the power of knowledge through action and assertion. James Jr. has seen the raving effects of racism all around him, and longs to live in a future where no one must be in fear simply because of the color of their skin. Other talented debaters on Tolson's team include fiercely independent student Henry Lowe (Nate Parker), and Samantha Brooke (Jurnee Smollett) -- the first ever female ever to join the Wiley College debate team. While most educators may not have recognized the remarkable potential of assembling such a disparate team, Tolson's unique vision truly set him apart from the pack as the team begins to experience a series of consecutive victories on their road to challenging Harvard at the National Championships. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi
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Grouping Information

Grouped Work IDd692cb6e-796b-e850-e2c4-fb7172449b8c
Grouping Titlegreat debaters
Grouping Authorweinstein
Grouping Categorymovie
Last Grouping Update2019-12-13 18:43:32PM
Last Indexed2019-12-13 18:50:17PM

Solr Details

auth_author2Black, Todd.
Boyd, Trenton McClain.
Crockett, David (Film producer)
Eisele, Robert, 1948-
Elise, Kimberly, 1971-
Forte, Kate.
Golub, Peter.
Heard, John, 1946-2017.
Howard, James Newton.
Parker, Nate, 1979-
Porro, Jeffrey.
Ravera, Gina.
Roth, Joe, 1948-
Rousselot, Philippe, 1945-
Smollett-Bell, Jurnee, 1986-
Tyler, Devyn.
Washington, Denzel, 1954-
Weinstein, Bob, 1953-
Weinstein, Harvey, 1952-
Whitaker, Denzel, 1990-
Whitaker, Forest.
Williams, Jermaine, 1982-
Winfrey, Oprah.
author2-roleBlack, Todd.
Boyd, Trenton McClain.
Crockett, David(Film producer)
Eisele, Robert,1948-
Elise, Kimberly,1971-
Forte, Kate.
Golub, Peter.
Harpo Films.
Heard, John,1946-2017.
Howard, James Newton.
Parker, Nate,1979-
Porro, Jeffrey.
Ravera, Gina.
Roth, Joe,1948-
Rousselot, Philippe,1945-
Smollett-Bell, Jurnee,1986-
Tyler, Devyn.
Washington, Denzel,1954-
Weinstein Company.
Weinstein, Bob,1953-
Weinstein, Harvey,1952-
Whitaker, Denzel,1990-
Whitaker, Forest.
Williams, Jermaine,1982-
Winfrey, Oprah.
available_at_pineriverPiner River Library
detailed_location_pineriverPine River Adult DVD
display_descriptionMelvin B. Tolson is a professor at Wiley College in Texas. Wiley is a small African-American college. In 1935, Tolson inspired students to form the school's first debate team. Tolson turns a group of underdog students into a historically elite debate team which goes on to challenge Harvard in the national championship. Inspired by a true story.
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subject_facetAfrican American college students -- Texas -- Drama
African American college teachers -- Texas -- Drama
Debates and debating -- Texas -- Drama
Feature films
Fiction films
Films for the hearing impaired
Historical films
Melodrama -- Feature
Melodramas (Drama)
Texas -- Drama
Video recordings
Video recordings for the hearing impaired
Wiley College (Marshall, Tex.) -- Drama
title_displayThe great debaters
title_fullThe great debaters [videorecording] / The Weinstein Company presents a Harpo Films production ; produced by Todd Black, Kate Forte, Joe Roth, Denzel Washington, Oprah Winfrey ; story by Robert Eisele & Jeffrey Porro ; screenplay by Robert Eisele ; directed by Denzel Washington
The great debaters [videorecording] / the Weinstein Company presents a Harpo Films production ; produced by Todd Black, Kate Forte, Joe Roth, Denzel Washington, Oprah Winfrey ; story by Robert Eisele & Jeffrey Porro ; screenplay by Robert Eisele ; directed by Denzel Washington
title_shortThe great debaters
topic_facetAfrican American college students
African American college teachers
Debates and debating