The Great Debaters

The Great Debaters (2007)

When the nation was in need, he inspired them to give us hope.

  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Date: 2007-12-27
  • User Rating: 7.2/10 from 271 ratings
  • Runtime: 2h 6min
  • Language: English
  • Production Company: Marshall Production
  • Production Country: United States of America
  • Director:
star 7.2/10
From 271 Ratings


The true story of a brilliant but politically radical debate team coach who uses the power of words to transform a group of underdog African American college students into an historical powerhouse that took on the Harvard elite.

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  • Denzel Washington

    as Melvin B. Tolson
  • Nate Parker

    as Henry Lowe
  • Forest Whitaker

    as Dr. James Farmer Sr.
  • Denzel Whitaker

    as James Farmer Jr.
  • Kimberly Elise

    as Pearl Farmer
  • Jermaine Williams

    as Hamilton Burgess
  • Gina Ravera

    as Ruth Tolson
  • John Heard

    as Sheriff Dozier
  • Devyn A. Tyler

    as Helen Farmer
  • Trenton McClain Boyd

    as Nathaniel Farmer
  • Ritchie Montgomery

    as Deputy
  • Jackson Walker

    as Pig Owner
  • Tim Parati

    as Pig Farmer
  • Robert X. Golphin

    as Dunbar Reed
  • Justice Leak

    as Harland Osbourne
  • Glen Powell

    as Harvard Debater #1
  • Brad Watkins

    as Harvard Debater #2
  • Brian Smiar

    as Harvard Dean
  • Damien Leake

    as Wilson
  • Voltaire Sterling

    as Paul Quinn Debater #1
  • Stephen Rider

    as Paul Quinn Debater #2
  • Gordon Danniels

    as Paul Quinn Debate Judge
  • Donny Boaz

    as Oklahoma City College Debater #1
  • Samuel Elliott Whisnant

    as Oklahoma City College Debater #2
  • Bonnie Johnson

    as Dr. Jennings
  • Charissa Allen

    as Benita
  • Michael Beasley

    as Trudell
  • Gary Mathis

    as Enormous Man
  • Georges Wilson

    as Samuel
  • Fahnlohnee R. Harris

    as Clementine
  • Harold Evans

    as William Taylor
  • J.D. Evermore

    as Captain Wainwright
  • Sharon Jones

    as Lila
  • Kelvin Payton

    as Joseph
  • Southey Blanton

    as White Labor Organizer
  • Michael Mattison

    as White Sharecropper #1
  • Jeff Braun

    as White Sharecropper #2
  • Milton R. Gipson

    as Prairie View Professor
  • Frank Ridley

    as Security Guard
  • Jeremiah Kissel

    as Radio Announcer at Harvard Debate
  • Jack Radosta

    as White Man at Lynching
  • Alvin Youngblood Hart

    as Juke Joint Musician #1
  • Dom Flemons

    as Juke Joint Musician #2
  • Justin Robinson

    as Juke Joint Musician #3
  • Rhiannon Giddens

    as Juke Joint Musician #4
  • Ahmad Powell

    as Fisk Professor
  • Marcus Lyle Brown

    as Howard Debater #1
  • Jurnee Smollett

    as Samantha Booke
  • Gary Mattis

    as Enormous Man
Directing Denzel Washington Director
Writing Robert Eisele Writer
Writing Jeffrey Porro Story
Production Molly Allen Co-Producer
Production Todd Black Producer
Production David Crockett Executive Producer
Production Kate Forte Producer
Production Melody Fowler Associate Producer
Production Joe Roth Producer
Production Valeria Scoon Associate Producer
Production Bob Weinstein Executive Producer
Production Harvey Weinstein Executive Producer
Production Oprah Winfrey Producer
Editing John Breinholt Editorial Coordinator
Editing Hughes Winborne Editor
Production Denise Chamian Casting
Art David J. Bomba Production Design
Art John R. Jensen Art Direction
Art Patrick Cassidy Set Decoration
Costume & Make-Up Sharen Davis Costume Design
Directing Karen Golden Script Supervisor
Sound James Newton Howard Original Music Composer
Camera Philippe Rousselot Director of Photography
Sound Peter Golub Original Music Composer