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Redemption: The Stan Tookie Williams Story (2004)

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Redemption tells the story of Stan "Tookie" Williams, founder of the Crips L.A. street gang. Story follows his fall into gang-banging, his prison term, and his work writing children's ... See full summary »

Director:

Vondie Curtis-Hall

Writer:

J.T. Allen
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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 12 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jamie Foxx ... Stan 'Tookie' Williams
Lynn Whitfield ... Barbara Becnel
Lee Thompson Young ... Charles Becnel
Brenden Jefferson ... Young Stan Williams (as Brenden Richard Jefferson)
Brenda Bazinet ... Barbara's Agent
Wes Williams ... Tony Bogard (as Wes 'Maestro' Williams)
Greg Ellwand Greg Ellwand ... Prison Chief
CCH Pounder ... Winnie Mandela
Barbara Barnes-Hopkins Barbara Barnes-Hopkins ... Mrs. Williams
Tom Barnett ... Jim Kates
Karl Campbell ... Deuce-Five
Joseph Pierre Joseph Pierre ... 17yr. Old Ray Washington
Vibert Cobham Vibert Cobham ... Buddha
David Fraser David Fraser ... Strange Man
Kahmaara Armatrading Kahmaara Armatrading ... Stan Williams (9-12)
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Storyline

Redemption tells the story of Stan "Tookie" Williams, founder of the Crips L.A. street gang. Story follows his fall into gang-banging, his prison term, and his work writing children's novels encouraging peace and anti-violence resolutions which earned him multiple Nobel Peace Prize nominations. After exhausting all forms of appeal, Tookie was executed by lethal injection at San Quentin State Prison, California; he was declared dead on December 13, 2005 at 12:35 a.m. PST (08:35 UTC). Williams is the 12th person to be executed by California since it reinstated the death penalty in 1977. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Gangster, Death Row Inmate, Nobel Peace Prize Nominee

Genres:

Drama | Crime

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

FX Network

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 March 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Redemption See more »

Filming Locations:

Fort Pierce, Florida, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jaime Foxx met the real Stanley "Tookie" Williams before the movie was released in TV. See more »

Connections

Featured in The 62nd Annual Golden Globe Awards (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Wait on Me
Performed by Heather
Written by George Howard & Fred Capitelli
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Redemption Song...
3 October 2005 | by jpschapiraSee all my reviews

This is not the movie I thought I'd see tonight, but…Even when I didn't want to, for the first time in a while, I doubted the intentions of a film. Doubting is not a negative thing, though, but it is in a lot of ways related to disappointment. "Redemption" is a well made TV film, and it has lots of elements that don't make it disappointing I will talk about, but again; the intentions. To explain the intentions I have to take myself back to the film itself, but I won't do that. When I refer to intentions I mean what the piece tries to generate on the viewer. This is stronger when the film is based in biographical or true events, as this feature. I don't know how much of exactitude this has with Stan Williams' life, but if you are trying to reach someone with something that actually happened, you have to keep it real.

Many parts in "Redemption" were unconvincing to me. I would like to research about "Tookie" Williams, the Crips, the Nobel Prize nominations…I would like to read biographies, the books he wrote…I would like to find out about who he was, what he did, how he did it; knowing that this is likely impossible, and having just seen a movie that should have explained it all. I wonder if it is possible for a man with no culture or education, having been a gangster half of his life, to learn the most difficult words, write with a capacity enough to be awarded, think philosophically and profoundly, and literally become a wise-ass just because of being locked up and having none other thing to do.

The story, despite having occurred in real life, follows common plot lines used in most of movies of the type today. The journalist who wants to write about a prisoner, and first thinks of it just like a job and as a chance of expressing herself, but eventually after getting to know the man behind bars, gets to involved with him and his thoughts, which might be dangerous for her life, etcetera. This is just the general overview, because the film covers different aspects, with flashbacks of Williams' (Jamie Foxx) past, situations in the journalist Barbara Becnel's (Lynn Whitfield) personal life, a glance at the society.

With all this the movie still seems unfinished. First, the movie introduces Williams as a leader and violent individual destined for prison. Then, when he ends up in prison, eventually isolates from the world, reads the definition of the word "redemption" out loud and meets Barbara Becnel, J.T Allen's screenplay presents him as something similar to a Buddha; with glasses, a long haircut that inspires peace and expressions that in occasions out limit the journalist's knowledge. The screenplay also contains phrases that don't seem honest, but convenient and intends that we think, for example, that Williams has one powerful talk with his mom almost at the end of the film, when supposedly she has been visiting the man for years. This does not mean the scrip is flawed but that of course, it is manipulative and not many will buy that.

Vondie Curtis-Hall's direction is way too noticeable for a TV feature. He is not fond of the still shots I witnessed constantly during "Everyday People". He prefers the constant movement, and expresses this during the whole movie, where a shot doesn't stay still during more than ten seconds. He puts the audience to think too, in a lot of instances. Consider the movie's most interesting scene, when Stan is working out and suddenly has a dream…I don't know if Williams ever dreamed that or something similar, but Curtis-Hall made me meditate about it. The director's work isn't disappointing and neither is the main actors'. Lynn Whitfield left me speechless. Besides her eyes being full of expression, almost about to cry and her power in the most stirring scenes, she reminded me of a live person I know. Her face, her ways, made me think of this person in the future.

Blame me, but this is just the fourth time I've regarded Foxx's work. I first saw him in the underestimated "Shade" and thought he overacted; then I watched "Collateral" and I was truly amazed by his gifts; and before this film, I was taken to the past, where in Ice Cube's "The Players Club" he seemed like a relaxed and natural actor. However it was last year when he became word everywhere. "Ray" is a movie I must see, but then here he looked a lot different than in "Collateral", and he achieved a different performance.

Here, the softness in his voice remained, but it was the manners of this more certain and confident man and the strength of this fighter that marked this portrayal. I think the industry may have rushed with him, and that we need to see what he does next. I hope he isn't just an actor who chose some right roles but then looked the other way. He recently starred in a science fiction film alongside Jessica Biel. He'll have to prove the talent to me in a movie like that, I mean; Halle Berry got it for "Monster's Ball", but look where she stands now.


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