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Something the Lord Made (2004)

Cast: Alan Rickman, Alan Rickman, Mos Def, more...
Director: Joseph Sargent, Joseph Sargent
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Rating: Not Rated
Studio: HBO Home Video
Genre: Drama, Biopics
Running Time: 110 min.
Languages: English, Spanish, French
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
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The true story of two medical pioneers -- one celebrated, one overlooked -- is brought to life in this made-for-cable drama. Alfred Blalock (Alan Rickman) is chief surgeon at Johns Hopkins University, where he is pioneering new techniques in heart surgery. Blalock makes the acquaintance of Vivien Thomas (Mos Def), a carpenter hired to work at the University, and to his surprise discovers a man of keen intelligence who has a great interest in medicine. However, as a poor black man in the Jim Crow South, Thomas lacks the financial resources to obtain a medical degree, though he certainly has the knowledge and the desire. Blalock takes Thomas on as his lab assistant, and together they develop a technique that allows them to correct a common congenital heart defect in children. However, while they work side by side in the lab and in the operating room, Blalock and Thomas do not walk the same paths in society, and Thomas develops a deep resentment that he has been given little credit for his contribution to a medical innovation that makes Blalock famous. Produced for the premium cable network HBO, Something the Lord Made also features Gabrielle Union, Mary Stuart Masterson, and Charles S. Dutton. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Made-for-Cable Marvel by talltale April 15, 2005 - 4:52 PM PDT
6 out of 7 members found this review helpful
I'm surprised to find myself giving so high a rating to SOMETHING THE LORD MADE, but I can well understand why it won the 2004 Emmy for Best made-for-cable movie. Yes, there is a certain paint-by-numbers feeling to the film, but when the painting is done as beautifully and artfully as this, who cares?

Performances by Rickman and Def are simply wonderful, particularly the latter's; he brings such subtlety and quiet reserves of feeling to this role. The writing is especially strong and focused, and Joseph Sargent's direction (an old-timer who often comes through with yeoman work) captures so many moments that rise above cliché into real richness.

Doctors may pooh-pooh the medical scenes; as a layman, I found most of them as riveting as they were fascinating to contemplate. In fact, I learned a lot watching the film and felt I'd lived through decades of growth and change. I can't recommend this movie highly enough.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 7.41)
17 Votes
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Mike's 100 Very Entertaining Movies
Skews towards edgier adult fare (see also Favorite 50 & Most Favorite 25)

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