Band of Angels

Synopsis: Living in Kentucky prior to the Civil War, Amantha Starr is a privileged young woman. Her widower father, a wealthy plantation owner, dotes on her and he sends her to the best schools. When he dies suddenly however, Amantha's world is turned upside down. She learns that her father had been living on borrowed money and that her mother was actually a slave and her father's mistress. The plantation is to be sold to pay off her father's debts and as the daughter of slave, Amantha is also to be sold as property. She is bought by a Louisiana plantation owner, Hamish Bond and over time she grows to love him until she learns he was a slave-trader. She tries again to become part of white society but realizes that her future lies elsewhere.
Director(s): Raoul Walsh
Production: Warner Home Video
Rotten Tomatoes:
125 min

Put your hands up.

Get down.

Where were you running off to?

He was going across the river

to Cincinnati, master.

He was scared to go by himself

and he done made me go with him.

You lying scamp.

A flogging, Mr. Starr,

will take the running out of them.

No flogging.

They're new here

or they wouldn't run away.

Take them up to the old cemetery

and have them pull the weeds.

Get up.


Long as I have been in Starrwood,

he's never whipped a slave.

Never sold one, neither.

They sure got funny ideas

up here in Kentucky.

Manty, darling.

Father, why isn't she buried

over yonder with our other folks?

Well, Manty, I told you...

...I wanted your mother near the house,

where she'd be closer to me, to you.

- Oh, Shad?

- Yeah, Master Aaron?

Manty, you go along with Shad.

Tell old Sukie to bake us

a nice, big berry pie for supper.

Doesn't that sound good?

Now, now, sweetheart,

what are little girls made of?

- Sugar and spice, I guess.

- And everything nice.

You run along now.

I catched you giving my berries away.

And you put her up to them tricks.

You no good, Shaddie.

That baby girl has got to eat big

to grow big like me.

She's growing up.

Blooming out pretty all over.

Before you know it, someday

she gonna be owning Starrwood.

Her? Own Starrwood?

Yes, her.

And that's enough from you.

- But she couldn't.

- Shut your mouth.

No, I want to hear about it. Shad?

- If Master Aaron finds out...

- Master Aaron? Him?

Them muckety-mucks ain't nothing.

Pull off their fancy clothes

and they ain't nothing different.

And Manty, what's she?

She ain't nothing.

Ain't no better than nothing.

You get up and get yourself

up out of my kitchen.

Out of my kitchen right now,

before I hit you upside your...

"No better than nothing"?

What did he mean?

He just crazy, that's all.

- I'll ask Father.

- Manty? Manty.

That man from Danville took Shaddie.

- You sold him, you sold him away.

- I had to.

Certain things have to be done.

Nobody can change them.

Now listen, honey,

here's some good news.

You've sort of outgrown Starrwood...

...and Miss Tottenham...

I mean, your governess...'ve learned most everything

she could teach you.

Well, you're going away to school.

First you send Shad away and now me.

I won't leave you.

I won't leave Starrwood.

I don't want you to leave me, Manty.

But this is just a little place

in a great big world.

Someday you'll come back to it,

Miss Amantha Starr.

A great lady with a head full of learning.

It won't be too far away.

I'll see you often.

Try to get some sleep now, honey.

Sweet little Manty,

what are little girls made of?

I don't know, Father. I don't know.

Dear Sukie:
You know I would

write to you more often...

...but Father comes to Cincinnati

so frequently.

"And each time,

I have sent my love to you.

I am now a graduate student

at the conservatory...

...not as homesick as I used to be,

because I have some fine friends.

Especially the Reverend Seth Parton,

he's a young Divinity student...

...who conducts chapel for us

at the conservatory.

He is so splendid and strong

and earnest..."

That child's sick.

No, I'd say she's just busting with health.

"As you know, Father

will be in Cincinnati this weekend...

...and I am taking Seth to meet him

at a tea which Miss Idell... French teacher, is giving for me

and some of the girls from my dormitory.

She's quite fascinating,

and Father seems to think so too. "

- Doesn't she play divinely?

- If you like arias of unbridled passion.

I'm sorry, Mr. Parton, perhaps a sonata

would have been more fitting.

Possibly so, Miss Idell.

Some music lifts the soul.

Some expresses a baser instinct.

Please forgive my ignorance.

There is the unsolid happiness of virtue...

...and good works

and the sanctified happiness of marriage.

Aside from these conditions,

man's only true joy is self-denial.

I always thought a woman was,

until I met Seth.

You should have heard his last sermon,

"Plowing Under the Wicked."

Well, today, Amantha,

I am troubled by a graver subject...

...more than anything you heard

in that sermon.

Slavery, Mr. Starr.

I declare to you, sir, my burning belief

in the natural equality of all humans.

I'm not prepared for debate, sir.

But I believe you would agree

that my slaves are treated kindly.

That's it, sir. That's just it.

Kindness can be the mask for evil.

The kindness of deluded persons

ensnared in the works of wickedness.

For indulgence rivets the shackle,

kindness seduces the... The...

I'm listening, Mr. Parton.

That is all, sir.

Truth gives pain sometimes.

That doesn't mean I lack regard

for the one who might be hurt.

You don't hurt anybody, Seth.

You know how preachers

give tarnation in the sermon...

...and then shake hands

when church is out.

My hand, sir.

It's been pleasant.

Good afternoon, all.

Good day, sir.

Come along, girls.

But Seth has to go and work

on his new sermon.

I'm sure nobody would go to sleep

when you preach, young man.

Good day. Amantha.

Isn't he wonderful, Father?

If you say so,

Miss Sugar-and-Spice.

Big, aren't you?

Strong as a bull, I imagine.

My strength is of the spirit, Miss Idell.

Maybe so, Seth.

But if your muscles ever get

to wrestling with your spirit...

...Ill buy a ticket to the contest.

Good day.

I'll tell Sukie how well you look.

She's asking about you all the time.

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John Twist

John Twist (July 14, 1898 – February 11, 1976) was an American screenwriter whose career spanned four decades. Born John Stuart Twist in Albany, Missouri, he began his career in the silent film era, providing the story for such films as Breed of Courage, Blockade, and The Big Diamond Robbery. He earned his first screenwriting credit for The Yellowback in 1929. Twist died in Beverly Hills, California. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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