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The Great Debaters

The Great Debaters

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Well it's debate season, if you can call it that. So our next Rialto Recommends is Denzel Washington's 2007 film THE GREAT DEBATERS. Poet and professor Melvin B. Tolson (Denzel Washington) teaches at the predominately black Wiley College in 1935 Texas. He decides to start a debate team, something nearly unheard of at a black college. While at first he butts heads with the influential father (Forest Whitaker) of one of his best debators, eventually he is able to form a team of strong-minded, intelligent young students, and they become the first black debate team to challenge Harvard's prestigious debate champions. The Saint Louis Post Dispatch said "The Great Debaters is well-acted, deeply felt and delivers a positive message about the importance of education." While the Washington Post raved "A rouser, a stunner, almost a jubilee of emotion and suspense by the old standards of Hollywood melodrama, circa the time the actual events themselves took place." Normally we limit our Rialto Recommends to films that are streaming or available for rental. THE GREAT DEBATERS is only available for digital purchase which means you will own a copy of the film on your chosen video service. You can purchase THE GREAT DEBATERS from Amazon, GooglePlay and YouTube HERE.

Film Facts
Running Time
Historical Drama
MPAA Rating
Denzel Washington
Denzel Whitaker
Jurnee Smollett
Nate Parker
Forest Whitaker
Directed by
Denzel Washington
Written by
Robert Eisele
Produced by
Oprah Winfrey
Todd Black
Kate Forte
Joe Roth
Admission & Prices
Virtual Cinema prices vary by film