Thurgood Marshall on the Silver Screen: A Glimpse Beyond the Gavel

Categories: Movie

Films have an uncanny ability to transport us into different worlds, introduce us to compelling characters, and make us witness historical events as if we were there ourselves. The movie "Marshall," centering around the life of Thurgood Marshall, the first African American Supreme Court Justice, achieves just that. Rather than presenting a wide-lens biopic, the film delves deep into a slice of Marshall's life, offering viewers an intimate portrayal of his early legal career and the battles he faced both inside and outside the courtroom.

Directed by Reginald Hudlin, "Marshall" was released in 2017 and stars Chadwick Boseman in the titular role. Boseman, already renowned for his roles as iconic figures in American history, stepped into the shoes of Thurgood Marshall with an understanding of the weight and importance of the character he was portraying. Given Boseman's earlier portrayals of figures like James Brown and Jackie Robinson, he was no stranger to the responsibility of bringing justice to historical titans on the big screen.

Get quality help now
Sweet V
Sweet V
checked Verified writer

Proficient in: Movie

star star star star 4.9 (984)

“ Ok, let me say I’m extremely satisfy with the result while it was a last minute thing. I really enjoy the effort put in. ”

avatar avatar avatar
+84 relevant experts are online
Hire writer

The film does not attempt to encompass Marshall's entire life. Instead, it focuses on a singular, pivotal case in 1941 when Marshall was a young lawyer for the NAACP. This case involved a Black chauffeur accused of assaulting a white socialite, a charge fraught with racial tensions. The film masterfully captures the uphill battle Marshall faced: a hostile courtroom, a community ready to condemn without evidence, and the enormous pressure of standing up for justice in an environment teeming with prejudice.

"Marshall" is not just about the legal battles, though they are central to the narrative.

Get to Know The Price Estimate For Your Paper
Number of pages
Email Invalid email

By clicking “Check Writers’ Offers”, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy. We’ll occasionally send you promo and account related email

"You must agree to out terms of services and privacy policy"
Write my paper

You won’t be charged yet!

It sheds light on the man behind the public image. We see glimpses of his personal life, his relationships, and the sacrifices he made in his quest for justice. The film gives us a Marshall who is confident yet vulnerable, determined yet aware of his limitations.

One of the standout elements of the film is the dynamic between Thurgood Marshall and Sam Friedman, played by Josh Gad. Friedman, a local Jewish lawyer, initially has no interest in the case but gets roped in due to circumstances. Over time, the reluctant partnership evolves into mutual respect and camaraderie. Through their interactions, the movie underscores the importance of alliances in the fight against injustice.

What "Marshall" manages to encapsulate beautifully is the essence of Thurgood Marshall's spirit and tenacity. Despite being set in the 1940s, the themes of the movie are eerily relevant to contemporary times, reminding viewers of the progress made and the battles still left to fight. Racial prejudice, miscarriage of justice, and the struggle for equality are issues as pertinent today as they were during Marshall's time.

However, like any cinematic portrayal of real-life events, "Marshall" takes certain artistic liberties. While the essence of the story remains true, there are dramatized events, intensified confrontations, and moments included for their cinematic value. These changes do not diminish the film's value but serve as a reminder that while movies offer a lens to view history, they are not always strict documentaries.

In conclusion, "Marshall" stands as a powerful tribute to Thurgood Marshall's legacy. While it offers just a snapshot of his illustrious career, it provides a profound insight into the man's character, his commitment to justice, and the adversities he battled. As viewers watch Boseman's Marshall stride confidently into courtrooms and face down his adversaries, they are reminded of the enduring spirit of those who fight for justice and equality. And in an age where these battles continue in various forms, "Marshall" serves not just as a historical retelling but also as a beacon of inspiration for the future.

Updated: Aug 29, 2023
Cite this page

Thurgood Marshall on the Silver Screen: A Glimpse Beyond the Gavel. (2023, Aug 29). Retrieved from

Thurgood Marshall on the Silver Screen: A Glimpse Beyond the Gavel essay
Live chat  with support 24/7

👋 Hi! I’m your smart assistant Amy!

Don’t know where to start? Type your requirements and I’ll connect you to an academic expert within 3 minutes.

get help with your assignment