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Amistad Details

FULL SYNOPSIS

This [[Performer~P112325~Steven Spielberg~stevenspielberg]]-directed exploration into a long-ago episode in African-American history recounts the trial that followed the 1839 rebellion aboard the Spanish slave ship Amistad and captures the complex political maneuverings set in motion by the event. Filmed in New England and Puerto Rico, the 152-minute drama opens with a pre-credit sequence showing Cinque ([[Performer~P33391~Djimon Hounsou~djimonhounsou]]) and the other Africans in a violent takeover of the Amistad. Captured, they are imprisoned in New England where former slave Theodore Joadson ([[Performer~P90514~Morgan Freeman~morganfreeman]]), viewing the rebels as "freedom fighters," approaches property lawyer Baldwin ([[Performer~P196967~Matthew McConaughey~matthewmcconaughey]]), who attempts to prove the Africans were "stolen goods" because they were kidnapped. Running for re-election, President Martin Van Buren ([[Performer~P31147~Nigel Hawthorne~nigelhawthorne]]) overturns the lower court's decision in favor of the Africans. Former President John Quincy Adams ([[Performer~P217525~Anthony Hopkins~anthonyhopkins]]) is reluctant to become involved, but when the case moves on to the Supreme Court, Adams stirs emotions with a powerful defense. The storyline occasionally cuts away to Spain where the young Queen Isabella ([[Performer~P198605~Anna Paquin~annapaquin]]) plays with dolls; she later debated the Amistad case with seven U.S. presidents. The character portrayed by [[Performer~P90514~Morgan Freeman~morganfreeman]] is a fictional composite of several historical figures. For authentic speech, the Africans speak the Mende language, subtitled during some scenes but not others. ~ Bhob Stewart, Rovi

  • Release date:December 4, 1997

Awards

Awarded by
Nominee
Category
Year
Status
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Djimon Hounsou Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy 1997 Nominee
American Society of Cinematographers Janusz Kaminski Best Cinematography 1997 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Janusz Kaminski Best Cinematography 1997 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences John Williams Best Dramatic Score 1997 Nominee
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Steven Spielberg Best Director 1997 Nominee
Directors Guild of America Steven Spielberg Best Director 1997 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Ruth E. Carter Best Costume Design 1997 Nominee
Broadcast Film Critics Association Anthony Hopkins Best Supporting Actor 1997 Winner
Screen Actors Guild Anthony Hopkins Best Supporting Actor 1997 Nominee
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Anthony Hopkins Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture 1997 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Anthony Hopkins Best Supporting Actor 1997 Nominee

Cast

Morgan Freeman
as Theodore Joadson
Anthony Hopkins
as John Quincy Adams
Matthew McConaughey
as Baldwin
Nigel Hawthorne
as Martin Van Buren
Djimon Hounsou
as Cinque
David Paymer
as Secretary Forsyth
Pete Postlethwaite
as Holabird
Stellan Skarsgård
as Tappan
Anna Paquin
as Queen Isabella
Tomas Milian
as Calderon
Austin Pendleton
as Professor Gibbs
Jeremy Northam
as Judge Coglin
Arliss Howard
as John C. Calhoun
John Ortiz
as Montes
Razaaq Adoti
as Yamba
Arliss Howard
as John C. Calhoun
Jeremy Northam
as Judge Coglin
John Ortiz
as Montes

Crew

Steven Spielberg
Director
Steven Spielberg
Producer
Debbie Allen
Producer
David H. Franzoni
Screenwriter
Janusz Kaminski
Cinematographer
John Williams
Composer (Music Score)
Michael Kahn
Editor
Rick Carter
Production Designer
Tony Fanning
Art Director
Christopher Burian-Mohr
Art Director
Jim Teegarden
Art Director
Tim Shriver
Co-producer
Bonnie Curtis
Associate Producer
Paul Deason
Associate Producer
Walter Parkes
Executive Producer
Laurie MacDonald
Executive Producer
Carl Sprague
Set Designer
Pamela Klamer
Set Designer
Patricia Klawonn
Set Designer
Nancy Deren
Set Designer
Suzan Wexler
Set Designer
Ruth E. Carter
Costume Designer
Ronald Judkins
Sound/Sound Designer
Ed Ricci
Special Effects
Denis L. Stewart
First Assistant Director
Sergio Mimica-Gezzan
First Assistant Director
Sean Hobin
First Assistant Director
Pete Romano
Camera Operator
Priscilla John
Casting
Nannette Rosa-Collazo
Production Manager
Tere Lopez
Casting
Jeanne McCarthy
Casting
Victoria Thomas
Casting
Angela Heald
Production Supervisor
Kokayi Ampah
Location Manager
Tony Sommers
Digital Effects
Paul Deason
Unit Production Manager
Danielle Hollowell
Costume/Wardrobe
Janna Stern
Script Supervisor
Jodie Maier
Digital Effects
Denise Ream
Visual Effects Producer
Craig Lyn
Digital Effects
Tami Carter
Digital Effects
Scott Farrar
Special Effects Supervisor
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