Saturday, February 20, 2021

A scene in "Marshall": Thurgood Marshall, Langston Hughes, and Zora Neale Hurston

In Reginald Hudlin's 2017 film "Marshall", Chadwick Boseman plays Thurgood Marshall in a 1941 rape trial in Connecticut. Boseman's performance showcases his endless expressiveness, but for me, the most memorable moment is a brief and even superfluous scene about Marshall's connections to Black American culture of his time: Marshall and his wife Buster (Keesha Sharp) go to Harlem to hear some jazz at Minton's Playhouse, one of the hotbeds of the development of bebop in the 1940s, where they banter with Langston Hughes (Jussie Smollett) and Zora Neale Hurston (Rozonda 'Chilli' Thomas). Although Marshall didn't like poetry, he and Hughes went to Lincoln University together, and both were friends with Hurston. (Andrew Shields, #111words, 20 February 2021)

'Marshall' review: Chadwick Boseman stars - CNN
Chadwick Boseman and Sterling K. Brown in Marshall


plant.monkey said...

Who is the August character in this scene? He is completely uncredited in this movie. Is he a made-up extra character or does he reference an actual August {surname?} or refer to another figure in the Minton's, Marshall/Hughes/Hurston, WWII era Harlem bebop etc scene(s)?

I do not understand why go to the trouble of casting a person (esp giving them lines and a name), putting them on payroll and then excluding them from so-called "full" cast and credits. It's in the script: how is this character nowhere, bit part or not? This honestly feels contrary to the message in the film itself. Srsly peepl

Andrew Shields said...

I don't know! And I can't check the scene again because the film isn't on Netflix here in Switzerland anymore.