The Great Debaters


Character: Preston Whittington

Directed by: Denzel Washington

Written by: Robert Eisele (screenplay), Jeffrey Porro (story), Tony Scherman (inspired by the American Legacy article)

Produced by: Molly Allen, Todd Black, David Crockett, Kate Forte, Melody Fowler, Joe Roth, Valerie Scoon, Bob Weinstein, Harvey Weinstein, Oprah Winfrey

Cast Members: Denzel Washington, Forest Whitaker, Kimberly Elise, Jurnee Smollett, John Heard, Jermaine Williams, Nate Parker, Denzel Whitaker

Released date: December 25, 2007

Genre: Biography, Drama, Romance

Duration: 2hr 6min

Marshall, Texas, described by James Farmer, Jr. as "the last city to surrender after the Civil War," is home to Wiley College, where, in 1935-36, inspired by the Harlem Renaissance and his clandestine work as a union organizer, Professor Melvin Tolson coaches the debate team to a nearly-undefeated season that sees the first debate between U.S. students from white and Negro colleges and ends with an invitation to face Harvard University's national champions. The team of four, which includes a female student and a very young James Farmer, is tested in a crucible heated by Jim Crow, sexism, a lynch mob, an arrest and near riot, a love affair, jealousy, and a national radio audience.

Production Photos

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Script developed by Never Enough Design

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