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Lee Danials "The Butler" Movie Evaluatiom

In: Film and Music

Submitted By kynanhall1998
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Lee Daniels “The Butler” This is sort of the story of Eugene Allen, an African-American who was a butler at the White House from 1952 to 1986. During his period in office, he served presidents from Harry Truman to Ronald Reagan. In Lee Daniels’ The Butler Allen’s fictionalized substitute is Cecil Gaines who is played by actor, director, and producer Forest Whitaker, who leaves his burdened Southern life behind to start a new life in working in our nation’s capital. Much to the delight of his wife, Gloria, who is played by the media owner (OWN), talk show host, actress, producer, and philanthropist Oprah Winfrey, and the exasperation of his activist son, Louis who is played by the actor and producer David Oyelowo, Cecil’s attentiveness to the needs of the civic elite while working at the hotel earns him a job at the presidential mansion. It’s there that he spends several decades, observing as people of power deal with questions of war abroad and civil rights at home. Daniels’ film uses the unique perspective of a White House butler as a jumping-off point to explore questions of race in the 1960s, 70s and 80s. Lee Daniels “The Butler” has some accuracies based on Eugene Allen’s life and there are also some inaccuracies that is true about Cecil Gaines life that is not true about Eugene Allen’s life.
Born on July 14, 1919, in Scottsville, Virginia, he died in 2010 and had a movie made some what about his life in 2013. With the time that he was born it was a very horrific time in the history of our country for blacks. They had to deal with the tough Southern segregation and Jim Crow laws, “Eugene found work in adulthood as a waiter first at a Virginia resort then at a country club in Washington,D.C. , by the 1950’s Eugene had landed a job as a pantry worker at the White House and eventually was promoted to the position of the butler. Eugene seen his future wife for the first time at a 1942 D.C. birthday party where he was to shy to make a move on her but she tracked down Eugene and gave him a call. They got married and wed the next year and ended up going on to having a son named Charles who worked as an investigator with the State Department” (Biography.com Editors). “For more than three decades Eugene Allen worked in the White House, a black man unknown to the headlines. During some of those years, harsh segregation laws lay upon the land Allen work in the white house while all of these racial Brown v. Board of Education, the Little Rock school crisis, the 1963 March on Washington, the cities burning, the civil rights bills, the assassinations.” (Haygood). Eugene’s wife Helen didn’t like the fact of Eugene working for the “whites”. According to the Washington Post “He trekked home every night, his wife, Helene, keeping him out of her kitchen. At the White House, he worked closer to the dirty dishes than to the large desk in the Oval Office. Helene didn’t care; she just beamed with pride.”(Haygood) Helen wasn't the only person to let her pride get the best of her when it came to Eugene. Eugene’s Hometown didn’t like the fact that he wasn’t trying to help their cause by using his position to try to talk to people in the white house to help get change on the outside.
In the movie, Cecil Gaines grows up on a cotton field in Macon, Ga., where his family comes into conflict with the white farmers for whom they work. What befalls his parents on the cotton field was added for dramatic effect. That is an inaccuracy because Eugene Allen was born on a plantation in Virginia. In the movie, Gaines meets his wife, Gloria, at the Washington hotel where both work before Gaines gets his job at the White House. The fictional Gaines family has two sons. This is also an inaccuracy because the Eugene Allen met his wife at a party in D.C., where he was to shy to talk to her and then was tracked down by her. In the film,” a White House administrator, impressed with Gaines’ work at a D.C. hotel, immediately offers him the job. The matre d’ character, Freddie Fallows, initially does not like Gaines when he comes to the White House”(Dockterman). That was an inaccuracy because a woman told Allen of a job opening in the White House in 1952. He was not even looking for a job at the time, as he was happily employed at a Washington country club. He did not begin immediately as a butler but rather started as a pantry worker and was promoted to the position of butler later. “He interviewed with the matre d’ Alonzo Fields for the job, who immediately liked Allen”(Dockterman). Though tension between father and son over civil rights issues fuels most of the drama in the film, Charles Allen was not the radical political activist that Gaines’s son is in the movie. Charles Allen worked as an investigator for the State Department and never ran for public office. Charles Allen worked as an investigator with the State Department. So that was another inaccuracy that Lee added to the movie that was not in the life of Eugene Allen.
There were also some facts that Lee Daniels added to “The Butler” that was actually accurate. The Reagans did invite the couple to a state dinner for the West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl. Helene Allen was nervous because husbands and wives do not sit together for such events, and she didn’t know how to make small talk with so many college-educated people. Her son advised her to talk about her high school experience. Also, “Eugene and Helene both supported Barack Obama, but Helene died the day before Obama won the 2008 presidential election. The couple had been married 65 years. Allen received a VIP invitation to Obama’s inauguration and cried as he watched the ceremony”(Dockterman). The Butler” has some accuracies based on Eugene Allen’s life and there are also some inaccuracies that is true about Cecil Gaines life that is not true about Eugene Allen’s life.It’s there that he spends several decades, observing as people of power deal with questions of war abroad and civil rights at home. Daniels’ film uses the unique perspective of a White House butler as a jumping-off point to explore questions of race in the 1960s, 70s and 80s. Lee Daniels “The Butler” is one of the most inaccurate history movies that of all time stated by the guardian.
Work Cited

Biography.com Editors. "Eugene Allen Biography." Bio.com. A&E Networks Television, n.d.
Web. 10 Mar. 2016.
Dockterman, Eliana. "The True Story of 'The Butler'" Time. Time, 16 Aug. 2013. Web. 10 Mar.
2016.
Haygood, Wil. "A Butler Well Served by This Election." Washington Post. The Washington
Post, 7 Nov. 2008. Web. 10 Mar. 2016.…...

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