The Butler Movie Review The Analysis The purpose of this movie was to “tell the story of the Civil Rights movement through a prototypical American family and how they experienced those turbulent times (The Butler True Story vs. Movie)”. In other words, it’s goal was to show how life changed for African-Americans from the beginning of the Civil Rights movement up until present-day. Because the film was set in the perspective of a relatively poor black man, it was fairly biased. However, it did an excellent job of showing both the hardships and the successes of African-Americans during the Civil Rights movement.
For example, the movie showed how blacks were often thrown in jail and abused just for peacefully protesting. It also showed the joy of Cecil Gaines and fellow African- Americans at the huge equal rights triumph that was achieved with the election of Barack Obama at the end of the movie. Cecil Gaines’ character was based on Eugene Allen, who worked as a butler in the white house for 34 years under eight presidents. He was born on a plantation just like in the movie, although it was in Virginia, not Georgia, and here is no evidence that his father was shot or that his mother was raped (The Butler True Story vs.
Movie). It is true that Allen first moved to Washington D. C. for a job at a country club, but the white house did not call him to come work as a butler like in the movie. Allen learned that the white house was looking for pantry workers, and did not actually become a butler until many years later. He started working there in 1952 during the Truman administration, and it is true that ‘Allen witnessed presidents mulling over mportant historical decisions, including Eisenhower’s fight with Arkansas governor Orval Faubus regarding the desegregation of Little Rock (HarrisY’.
His wife, Helene, also passed away just before Obama’s election like in the movie (Harris). Overall, the character of Cecil Gaines was fairly historically accurate. His son, Louis Gaines, on the other hand, was completely fictional. In the movie, Louis joins the Freedom Riders and the Black Panthers and is extremely active in the most dangerous part of the civil rights movement. This creates a lot of tension between him and his father. In reality, the Allens only had one son, Charles Allen, who Charles Gaines was based on. Charles did fight in the Vietnam war, but he is still alive today.
Louis Gaines was most likely invented for this movie in order to show more of the civil rights battle and just how dangerous and enduring it Was for African-Americans (The Butler True Story vs. Movie). Although Louis Gaines was fictional, many of the historical events he participated in were not. For example, he participated in lunch counter sit-ins, which were very popular during the civil rights movement. The movie shows the students being instructed on what to do and what to say during the sit- ins, and how they should react to any name-calling or abuse.
They were told to simply sit at a white-only counter and politely ask to be served, and to not leave until they were either served or arrested. Sometimes they would be “pelted with food and ketchup (The Sit-ln MovementY’ as the movie portrays. The ultimate goal was to get people to see that only white people were causing violence, and to get more of the white public on their side. Although it ook a long time, restaurants in the south slowly began to desegregate (The Sit-In Movement). Louis Gaines also joined the Freedom Riders, whose goal was to desegregate public transportation.
Some participants were arrested in bus stations while others were attacked by vicious angry mobs. The movie shows Louis and his girlfriend on a bus that was attacked by the KKK. They were physically abused and the bus was burned down. This happened in real life in Anniston, Alabama where “an angry mob slashed the tires on one bus and set it aflame (The Sit-ln Movement)”. Those Freedom Riders were also violently attacked by southern whites. Eventually, federal marshals were ordered by Robert Kennedy to protect the Freedom Riders on their future journeys (The Sit-ln Movement).
Overall, many of the civil rights movement events, including sit-ins and freedom rides, portrayed in the movie were historically accurate. The Conclusion I would give the movie 3 stars. It was a very interesting story line and it was amazing to see how much America had changed throughout the Civil Rights movement, but it was not completely historically accurate. It was also a little onfusing at times because it jumped around a lot throughout history. It was very dramatic and enjoyTABLE, and also very heart-wrenching at times.
Although the characters weren’t very accurate, such as Louis Gaines, most of the events in the movie were, so it was fairly informational. would recommend this movie for ages 15 and older, because the film does require a certain maturity in order to get the full effect I feel that it would help high school students a lot, even freshmen, to better understand the Civil Rights movement and all the laws passed by presidents along the way. I just think hat the real-life Cecil Gains (Eugene Allen) must have had such an incredible life to look back on.