Based on a true story, Cecil Gaines (played by Forest Whitaker) worked from 1952 to 1986 as a butler in the White House. He worked for eight U.S. presidents and witnessed the behind the scenes drama of power, politics and other issues. Blair Stover has more on this blockbuster hit below.
The drama “The Butler” by Lee Daniels (Precious – Life is Precious, The Paperboy) tells the 1919 story of Cecil Gaines in Takoma Park, Maryland, USA, born Eugene Allen, who is actually a butler in the White House for 34 years, serving eight U.S. presidents. In 1986, Eugene Allen, had finally risen to the highest rank, the maître d’hôtel, in his well-deserved retirement. On, 31 March 2010, the famous butler passed away.
In Lee Daniels’ biopic, based on the Washington Post article “A Butler Well Served by This Election (2008) by Wil Haygood,” Forest Whitaker takes over the main role of Cecil Gaines. In the roles of the former American presidents, John Cusack plays Richard Nixon, James Marsden plays John F. Kennedy, Alan Rickman plays Ronald Reagan and Robin Williams plays Dwight D. Eisenhower.
The movie is set in an era featuring the light of suppressing the African American population, the volatile nature of the political scene has Cecil Gaines’ son, Louis Gaines (played by David Oyelowo), participate as a political activist in the protests, which ultimately means his arrest for the umpteenth time. His father, Cecil, however, is forced not to comment on political issues. But he finds a way to influence the policy of his powerful employers as the years pass.
The movie is dramatic, political, and perfect for those who prefer a good story grounded in history. While it may not be one for the kids, “The Butler” is sure to please and older crowd.
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