Lee Daniels’ The Butler Combo Pack

Category: Blu-ray's and DVD's

Forest Whitaker performs beautifully in The Butler, a story derived from true events. With Oprah Winfrey, John Cusack, Jane Fonda, Cuba Gooding, Fr., Terrence Howard, James Marsden, David Oyelowo, Alan Rickman, Live Schreiber, Robin Williams, Clarence Williams III, and many others adding to the roster, The Butler is the story of Cecil Gaines (Whitaker), a man that went from picking cotton on a Southern farm to being a butler at The White House.


Gaines saw his father shot, his mother attacked, and his life going nowhere until he went up North and started working at a lavish hotel. It was there his strict work ethic paid off and he was offered a job as a butler in The White House. With a wife (Winfrey) and two sons to care for, this job was a Godsend and allowed him more prestige doing what he was trained to do. He enjoyed his surroundings and served several presidents – Eisenhower (Williams), Kennedy (Marsden), Johnson (Schreiber), Nixon (Cusack), and Reagan (Rickman).

The movie jumps back and forth from the happenings at The White House to the Civil Rights events around the country. After Cecil’s oldest son Louis (Oyelowo) graduated from high school and went to college in Tennessee, his consciousness was raised and he joined the Freedom Fighters with Martin Luther King, Jr. (Nelsan Ellis). The story follows the Civil Rights movement through the 60s and 70s all the while Cecil is serving each president with dignity.


Cecil Gaines was taken aback when his son joined the Black Panthers, and mourned when his youngest son was killed in Vietnam, but even as his personal life ebbed and flowed, his professional life excelled and he became a formidable employee of The White House, although sometimes he asked why the black employees earned less than the white ones. Gaines was a professional and took pride in his work and the fact that presidents often asked his opinion on issues.

This movie is more about the Civil Rights movement than it is about life in The White House. It is not a story of working for the president. It is a story of racial issues in the United States over a period of several decades.


This combo pack includes a Blu-ray, a DVD, and Digital HD. Bonus features are deleted scenes, a gag reel, a featurette on the story itself, and a featurette about the Freedom Riders.


The movie runs 132 minutes long. It’s basically a history lesson, which I found to have very little entertaining scenes. It is harsh and dramatic. Lee Daniels’ The Butler is rated PG-13 for some violence and disturbing images, language, sexual material, thematic elements and smoking.


About the Author

Francine Brokaw has been covering all aspects of the entertainment business for 20 years. She also writes about technology and has been a travel writer for the past 12 years. She has been published in national and international newspapers and magazines as well as Internet websites. She has written her own book, Beyond the Red Carpet: The World of Entertainment Journalists, from Sourced Media Books.

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