Synopsis: The story of Thurgood Marshall, the crusading lawyer who would become the first African-American Supreme Court Justice, as he battles through one of his career-defining cases.
Genre: Biography, Drama
Director(s): Reginald Hudlin
  Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 16 nominations.
118 min

A confession.

Is that what they call it?

Billy Lyons was thrown

in jail for three days

without cause.

In the case of Inez Washington

v. the CR&L Bus Company,

gentlemen, I have reviewed all the

papers and briefs in my chambers

and I am prepared to rule.

The court finds that service

of the complaint was in fact

made at the wrong address, as

Attorney Friedman has argued.

Therefore, the defendant's

motion to dismiss

is granted.

Thank you, Your Honor.

Great work, Friedman.

And to get their confession,

Special Agent Cheatwood,

sent by the governor himself,

took this club...

his "n*gger beater,"

he called it.

He tied Billy Lyons

to a chair...

and he pounded Billy Lyons

in the head with it.

And still Billy Lyons insisted

he had not committed

these murders.

We had this one

pegged as a loser.

You've got a real knack

for spotting technicalities.

Thank you,

Mr. Sprague.

I'll be sending some more files

your way, if you've got the time.

I will make the time.


They forced him into their car

and hauled him off

to the murder scene.

The bodies had been burned

and were decomposing.

They took some of the bones

of these dead bodies,

put them in a pan and placed

them in Billy Lyons' hands.

They admitted this.


with exhaustion and pain,

Billy Lyons confessed to a

crime he did not commit.

And it is based upon

that confession alone

that they now seek to hang

Billy Lyons by the neck...

until he is dead.

You'll get them the next time, baby.

There may not be a next time.

We needed this one.

All right.

When you coming home? I'll be

on the next train to Knoxville.

I should be home

by midday Wednesday.

Okay. Be safe.

I love you.

I love you too.

Bye, baby.

See you soon.

Hey, boy.

Boy, what do you think

you're doing here?

What you gonna do, n*gger?

All aboard.

I'll see you boys another time.

That son of a b*tch.

Let's go scare him.

Shoot him.


Please hold.

Good morning, Mr. Marshall.

Good morning.

Welcome back.

Thank you.


you're going to Bridgeport.

What? Now?

No, I swore to Buster I would...

How many Thurgoods are there?

Five or 10? There's only one.

And that one is gonna get his

ass on the train tomorrow.



"Nightmare in Greenwich."

That's why, Thurgood.

"Wife Attacked by Negro

Driver." That's why, Thurgood.

How about,

"Fear Grips Connecticut"?

What's the reaction?


Getting calls from all over the country.

Negroes getting fired.

White families afraid

to have us in their home.

If we can't work as domestics, Negro

families are going to starve.

And this is a hell of a time

to lose half of our staff.

It's got everything, doesn't it?

"Eleanor Strubing,"


Greenwich socialite,

"was the victim of a beastly

attack in her own bedroom."

Yes, and the boy that they're holding

is straight out of Native Son.

Look at that.

"Joseph Spell."

"Uneducated Negro servant

with a criminal past."

A fable that the New York City press

is gonna feed on to the last morsel.

Yeah. They're starving for this one.

So are we.

We win this thing, our big donors

are coming right back, Thurgood.

There's only 13 million Negroes

depending on you.

Irwin said

I would find you here.


Your brother said I would find you here.

You know, swimming.

Nice swimsuit.

Who the hell are you?

Tad Lancaster.

Bridgeport High.




Still blowin' it too, man.

What are you doing here, Tad?

I am, working

with the Bridgeport NAACP.

Actually, I am the Bridgeport

NAACP, and I need a little favor.

Do you know that Spell case?

The guy who attacked the

girl from Greenwich? Yeah.

Now, National is sending a lawyer

from the city to handle his defense,

and we need a local guy

to get him admitted.

Sorry, no.

I'm not gonna do that.

- There's nothing else required.

- I'm not interested.

Think about the publicity. That's

exactly what I'm thinking of.

- Your brother seems to think...

- My brother is an absolute idiot.

Listen, Tad, thank you so

much for thinking of me.

Honestly, I'm grateful.

But I don't handle

criminal cases. Okay?

Find someone who wants

that kind of attention.

Irwin already filed the papers

with the court.

He did what?

Scattered over

many parts of the country.

Nazi aircraft were reported over the south

coast, the midlands... Paper, please.

As well as over the London area.

Thurgood Marshall.

National Association for the

Advancement of Colored People.

Sam Friedman.

Friedman and Friedman.

Good to meet you, Sam.

Give me a hand with

these, would you? Sure.

What have you got in here?



Books, Mr. Friedman.

My law library.

It goes where I go.

Look, I told Tad Lancaster I'll

get you admitted, as a favor.

But I can't get involved with a

case like this. Yeah? Why not?

Well, I do insurance defense.

You know, accident cases.

I've got a reputation

to think of.

That must be difficult.


Having a reputation to think of.

You meet our client yet? Your client.

And no, I was waiting...

Well, come on then.

Let's get to it.

Got another one coming in.


University of Maryland

Law School.

Was walking distance from home.

But they didn't accept colored,

so I had to go to Howard.

An hour and a half

each way by bus,

and well-known

as a school for failures.

That's too bad.

No. No, it was the best thing

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Jacob Koskoff

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Marshall" STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 15 Jun 2024. <>.

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