Synopsis: Amistad is the name of a slave ship traveling from Cuba to the U.S. in 1839. It is carrying a cargo of Africans who have been sold into slavery in Cuba, taken on board, and chained in the cargo hold of the ship. As the ship is crossing from Cuba to the U.S., Cinque, who was a tribal leader in Africa, leads a mutiny and takes over the ship. They continue to sail, hoping to find help when they land. Instead, when they reach the United States, they are imprisoned as runaway slaves. They don't speak a word of English, and it seems like they are doomed to die for killing their captors when an abolitionist lawyer decides to take their case, arguing that they were free citizens of another country and not slaves at all. The case finally gets to the Supreme Court, where John Quincy Adams makes an impassioned and eloquent plea for their release.
Genre: Drama, History
Director(s): Steven Spielberg
Production: Dreamworks Distribution LLC
  Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 9 wins & 38 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
155 min

a receipt for purchase

executed in Havana, Cuba,

June 26, 1839,

I do hereby call upon this court

to immediately surrender...

- ..these goods!

And that ship out there

to my clients,

- Jose Ruiz...

- Yo soy Ruiz.

"Yoso" Ruiz, and... Pedro Montes?

Pedro Montes.

Ah, Mr. Tappan. How do you do, sir?

My name is Roger S Baldwin,


Real estate?

Real estate, inventories

and other assets.

- Can I help you with something?

- What is it that you do?

Well, I own various business...

and banks.

As a matter of fact, you probably

could help me, Mr. Tappan.

But that's not why I'm here.

I'd like to help you.

- Me?

- Yes. I deal with property.

Sometimes I get people's

property back,

other times I get it taken away,

as in this case.

Every one of the claims speaks

to the issue of ownership.

- Thank you, Mr... Mr. Baldwin.

- Baldwin, Roger S, attorney-at-law.

But I'm afraid what's

needed here is a criminal attorney.

A trial lawyer.

But thanks for your interest.

Yes. Well...

intending no disrespect, Mr. Tappan,

but if that were the way to go,

well, then...

Well, I wouldn't have bothered

coming down here.

Goodbye. I bid you gentlemen

a good afternoon.

In closing,...

I call upon our distinguished

colleague from Massachusetts,

Representative John Quincy Adams

to reweigh his unmeet

and unprecedented attempt

to convert this eccentric

bequest of - let's be frank -

a bunch of junk of

one James Smithson,

into a so-called institute

of national treasure!

Perhaps Mr. Adams is meditating

on his response.

Had I thought your remarks worthy

of riposte, Representative Pinckney,

be assured you'd have heard

from me... hours ago!

- Who?

- Mr. Tappan. Lewis Tappan.


I must see him?

I'm required to see him?

No, sir. He requests an audience.

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David Franzoni

David Harold Franzoni (born March 4, 1947) is an American screenwriter and producer. His best-known screenplays include King Arthur, Gladiator (which won the Academy Award for Best Picture), Amistad, and Jumpin' Jack Flash. more…

All David Franzoni scripts | David Franzoni Scripts

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Amistad" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 13 Apr. 2021. <>.

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