Amazing Grace

Synopsis: In 1797, William Wilberforce, the great crusader for the British abolition of slavery, is taking a vacation for his health even while he is sicker at heart for his frustrated cause. However, meeting the charming Barbara Spooner, Wilberforce finds a soulmate to share the story of his struggle. With few allies such as his mentor, John Newton, a slave ship captain turned repentant priest who penned the great hymn, "Amazing Grace," Prime William Pitt, and Olaudah Equiano, the erudite former slave turned author, Wilberforce fruitlessly fights both public indifference and moneyed opposition determined to keep their exploitation safe. Nevertheless, Wilberforce finds the inspiration in newfound love to rejuvenate the fight with new ideas that would lead to a great victory for social justice.
Director(s): Michael Apted
Production: Samuel Goldwyn Films LLC
  1 win & 6 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
118 min

Go on! Go on, you lazy nag!

Stop a moment!

Go on!

Go on!


Wilber, you're not well enough.

For once, let it pass.

If you leave your horse alone

for an hour, he might recover.

And who the hell are you?


I've seen him speak in London.

That's William Wilberforce.

- Now what?

- Leave it.

- Welcome home, sir.

- You're so late!

The mud stole half a day.

But Marianne, look.

I have a surprise for you.

- I hope a pleasant one.

- Wilber. Wilber, is that you?

Oh, it is, half of me. My idiotic

body is playing games with me again.

- I promised we'd make him well.

- Eat something.

Breakfast, perhaps.

Not too early. I'm on holiday.

Isn't that right, cousin Henry?

Don't you talk to each other?

Haven't you told him he's killing himself?

Now he's with us, he'll be fine.

What time is it?

This is your 3 a.m. dose.

So, cousin, you're waking me up

to give me medicine to help me sleep.

Ah. Now you're taking on the medical

profession, as well as everyone else.

Did you sleep?

Sleep is more exhausting than being awake.

The laudanum will sharpen your dreams.

It replays my life to mock me and shows

me things I should have done but didn't.

Wilber, Parliament doesn't deserve you.

Your last bill was defeated because

four of your loyal supporters

took free tickets to a comic opera '

rather than stay to vote.

In my dreams,

I turned over their tables.

But you know the worst thing?

I can't sing any more.

You remember how well I used to sing?

Marianne and I will find a way

to restore your voice.

The Romans believed this water

would restore the dead to life.

Most pump water I've investigated

works in the opposite direction.


- What was so urgent?

- Did I say it was urgent?

Marianne, are you expecting someone else?

Inside this building, you will find

the secret of health and happy life.

In a glass of water?

You may have noticed,

since I married Marianne,

I have been a picture of health.

- I'm very happy for you.

- It is almost a scientific fact.

Marriage and health are twins.


Single men wither away and die

in rooms that smell of feet and armpits.

Henry, what are you babbling on about?

Love, Wilberforce.

Come. Come, we're late.

The water has been here a million years.

How can we be late?

- So, what shall we discuss next?

- I don't know.

The abolition of the slave trade.

How about that?

Marianne, if I'd known you were so

starved of political conversation,

I'd have wrapped up a Tory and

sent him to your home by mail

for you to shout at.

Ah, now, look at that.

Here we are discussing the

abolition of the slave trade

and in walks my husband with

William Wilberforce himself,

the most committed abolitionist

in England and also, of course,

the most unmarried.

Oh. Look over there. It's Marianne.

And who's the charming-looking

woman with her?

- Marianne's here?

- Never mind about her.

Look at the woman she's with.

Barbara Spooner.

Very committed to very many good causes.

And also entirely unmarried.

Marianne, you're outrageous!

I do not need you or anyone else

to find a wife for me!

Carriage! Carriage over here.

- I'll never forgive him.

- I'll never forgive her.

However, Mr Wilberforce,

if we had met in other circumstances,

I would have told you how deeply

I admire your tireless efforts

to force our ridiculous Parliament

to abolish the slave trade.

If you had, I would have changed

the subject and talked about botany.

Botany? Why botany?

Anything but politics.

I'm in Bath to be cured of politics.

Well, I would have been bored by botany.

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Steven Knight

Steven Knight was born in 1959 in Marlborough, England. He is a writer and producer, known for Eastern Promises (2007), Peaky Blinders (2013) and Locke (2013). more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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