Movie: The Butler

the butler, lee daniels, white house butler, white house, american hero, african american, cecil gaines, forest whitaker, Academy Award

The Butler is an upcoming historical drama film directed by Academy Award nominated director Lee Daniels (PRECIOUS) and featuring an ensemble cast. It’s an epic drama tells the story of fictional Cecil Gaines (Forest Whitaker) an African-American who eyewitnesses notable events of the 20th century during his tenure as a White House butler. The film is based on the real-life account of Eugene Allen, who served as a White House butler during eight American presidencies from 1952 to 1986. John Lee Daniels’ The Butler is a story about the resilience of one man, the growth of a nation, and the power of family.

Cast: Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey, Terrence Howard, Mariah Carey, Alex Pettyfer, Cuba Gooding Jr, Robin Williams, John Cusack, Jane Fonda, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Elijah Kelley, Minka Kelly, Lenny Kravitz, James Marsden, Alex Pettyfer, Vanessa Redgrave, Alan Rickman, Liev Schreiber and Yaya Alafia.

Director: Lee Daniels



The film is inspired by Wil Haygood’s 2008 Washington Post article “A Butler Well Served by This Election” which chronicled the real life of former White House butler Eugene Allen. The film begins in 1926 and follows a young Cecil as he escapes the tyranny of the fiercely segregated South in search of a better life. Along his arduous journey to manhood Cecil learns invaluable skills that ultimately lead to an opportunity of a lifetime: a job as a butler at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

There, Cecil becomes a firsthand witness to history and the inner workings of the Oval Office as the civil rights movement unfolds. At home, his loving wife Gloria (Oprah Winfrey) raises their two sons, and the family benefits from a comfortable middle-class existence enabled by Cecil's White House position. But Cecil's commitment to his "First Family" fosters tensions at home, alienating Gloria and creating conflict with his anti-establishment son (David Oyelowo).

Through the eyes and emotions of the Gaines family, Daniels’ film follows the changing tides of American politics and race relations; from the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, to the Freedom Riders and Black Panther movements, to the war in Vietnam and the Watergate scandal, Cecil experiences the effects of these events as both an insider and a family man.

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