DETROIT (WWJ) – When many people hear the name Thurgood Marshall, they undoubtedly envision him sitting on the U.S. Supreme Court, or they may think of his groundbreaking victory in ‘Brown vs. Board of Education’. But, how did he get there? What took place in his life and career long before all of that?
Back in 1940, Marshall was a 32-year-old attorney for the NAACP. He traveled across the country fighting cases on behalf of innocent African-Americans, who otherwise wouldn’t be able to get a fair trial.
But, ‘Marshall’ isn’t the story of his life. It’s focused on the case of a black chauffeur by the name of Joseph Spell, who was accused by his white employer of sexual assault and attempted murder.
Chadwick Boseman (who also shined in 42 and Get on Up) is absolutely phenomenal as Thurgood Marshall. He was so good, in fact, that he deserves an Oscar nomination for his role. It’s effortless for Boseman to alternate between Marshall’s serious side and his funny side — Marshall enjoyed playing tricks on people. He was also a loving husband and a good friend. While some people viewed Thurgood Marshall as larger than life, he was a human being just like everyone else, but when it came to the law, he didn’t play.
As mentioned previously, this movie is not a Marshall biopic, it zeroes in on the Spell trial, which is a part of Marshall’s life that many people aren’t familiar with.
If you enjoy a good courtroom drama, make plans NOW to see ‘Marshall’. Directed by Reginald Hudlin. Rated PG-13.
Starring along with Boseman is Sterling K. Brown, who is mesmerizing as Joseph Spell, and Josh Gad, who was the absolute perfect choice to play attorney Sam Friedman who worked alongside Marshall on the Spell case.
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Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA)
Detroit Film Critics Society (DFCS)
African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA)