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Amazing Grace
List Price: $19.98

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Product Description


In this inspirational costume drama, Michael Apted (49 Up) recounts a period in British history sure to be unfamiliar to most Americans. In fact, his eye-opening biography of 18th century abolitionist William Wilberforce (Ioan Gruffudd) is likely to come as a revelation to many Britons, as well. After all, despite the presence of his wife, Barbara (Romola Garai), this isn't a particularly "sexy" story, but it is a powerful one. The title comes from John Newton's hymn "Amazing Grace" ("I once was lost but now am found"). Newton (Albert Finney) was a former slaveholder, who became a clergyman and spent his days repenting. While America had John Brown, England had Wilberforce, and Newton is one of many who helped the MP to abolish slavery in the UK. The story begins towards the end of Wilberforce's mission when he's sick with colitis and addicted to laudanum. Apted continues to alternate between 1797 and 1789, when Wilberforce was fitter and more idealistic, and ends in 1807 as his efforts come to fruition. Apted and writer Steven Knight (Dirty Pretty Things) do right by their hero. Unlike Amistad, however, slaves are largely off-screen, with the exception of author Equiano (Senegalese vocalist Youssou N'Dour). Amazing Grace reserves its focus for the politicians who risked their reps for the greater good, like Wilberforce and Prime Minister Pitt (an excellent Benedict Cumberbatch), and those more concerned with the income slavery provided their constituents, like Lord Tarleton (Ciar¨¢n Hinds) and the Duke of Clarence (Toby Jones). --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Customer Reviews:

  • Ioan Gruffudd is outstanding in Amazing Grace!
    Ioan Gruffudd is truely a talented actor overall, but this movie is perhaps his best--since The Forsyte Saga. The whole cast delivers in Amazing Grace and it is a definite movie to have in your DVD collection....more info
  • Not every movie is worth 5 stars, but THIS ONE IS !!!
    "Amazing Grace" tells the story of the fight to overthrow the British government's support of the African slave trad during the late 1700s, as well as the story behind the popular Christian hymn of the same name.

    Ioan Gruffudd is outstanding as William Wilberforce, the man that leads the figtht against slavery in Britain's Parliament. The rest of the cast is equally magnificent. Watch as Wilberforce spends his time, efforts, energy, health, and reputation fighting the deplorable, yet government sanctioned slave trade.

    Every time I watch this movie I think to myself, "Why has it been so long since I last watched this!?"

    What should you know about this movie if you are considering it?
    1) It has a fantastic set of actors and actresses in the cast.
    2) This is a period drama, based on historic events mainly in the late 1700s in Great Britain
    3) The costumes, sets, etc., are incredible.
    4) The main focus of the movie is the British slave trade, and the battle in Parliament to make that practice illegal.
    5) Though this film carries only a PG rating, the focus of the fllm - slavery - contains dailog and some images that are not appropriate for younger children.
    6) This is top-notch drama, and the fact that it's based on historical events makes it all the more compelling!

    In my opinion, this 5-star movie belongs in the collection of any thinking viewer.

    I recommend the following products as companion items to go along with this movie: Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World and Six Frigates: The Epic History of the Founding of the U.S. Navy. "Cod" contains infornmation about how the cod industry helped fuel the slave trade by providing a cheap source of protein to British-held plantations in the West Indies. "Six Frigates". while mostly about the birth of the US Navy, touches on importnat issues regarding international shipping, practices of the Royal Navy, and the British merchant fleet, including British slave ships.

    Broaden your world and deepen your understanding: read these books and watch this film!

    5 stars, and no doubt about it!...more info
  • A must see!
    This movie is one of the "must sees" of our time. It brings to life a man only vaguely remembered by most people from their history class of long ago. It is excellently illustrated, acted and produced and makes me wonder why it didn't get more mention at the Academy awards. Anyway, I guess it is a sign of the times that anything that demonstrates the powerful results of faith in God gets little mention in the mass media. Thanks for reselling this. It was received in great condition and fast too....more info
  • Great condition!
    The product that I received is in great condition however, it didn't come as quickly as I expected. Would recommend using again....more info
  • Amazing Grace -- an inspiration and a challenge
    An excellent film. It is inspiring in that it shows how one man's faith in God translated into persistent, intelligent action in the face of many daunting obstacles, to produce world-changing results. Thought-provoking in that it challenges us to reflect on how we can have an impact on society in our context, if we are willing to take risks for what we say we believe in. It deals with core issues such as guilt, redemption, integrity, human rights, responsibility and of course, grace....more info
  • Not exactly what the title leads one to believe...
    I will share that part of my disappointment may have been that the film toted itself as "How the song Amazing Grace came to be". Not really what the film was about. While the song was penned and tuned during this time, the film is actually about William Wilberforce and his decades long struggle to abolish the British slave trade. The song is mentioned and it's author is a pivotal figure in the film, but it's not the main focus. I thought this film took an interesting look as Wilberforce's life and the relationships formed that inspired and supported Wilberforce during his quest. The movie jumps quite a bit between two periods with a sort-of "flashback" mentality. I found it a bit difficult to keep up with the concepts and am not sure it was a useful tool within this story. I learned more of the "players" during this period of abolition and am looking forward to researching their stories. The acting is fabulous.

    *For parents: I believe you could watch this with children even as young as elementary age. However, the jumping back & forth between time periods may be confusing for younger viewers. Be prepared, there some graphic descriptions/depictions of what slaves endured especially as it pertained to traveling from Africa on the ships....more info
  • I finally understand the lyrics of Amazing Grace (My chain was gone)
    This is really a story that many have missed. We are fimilar with the story of Amazing Grace. But how many of us know that the man behind Amazing Grace also tries to influence another man to promote anti-slavery? This DVD shows that a man can do much more if only one man continues to believe in him....more info
  • Exciting and Inspiring Movie!
    "Amazing Grace" was a movie that made my husband and me want to work with zeal and persistence in our life pursuits for good! The fact that this was a true story made it even more meaningful. The characters were excellent, as was the setting and entire quality of the film. The movie was an exciting drama that we will watch again and again....more info
  • Christian Activism--Not Personal Piety-- Ends Slavery
    This movie hits home. Should Christians be involved in political issues? Yes! "Against slavery? Don't own any. Slavery is the Briton's right to choose. Keep your moral views to yourself...or you're violating the separation of church and state."---were someone to say that, one could well imagine Wilberforce's reaction!

    Although this movie can be boring and hard to follow at times, it does capture the dilemma faced by Wilberforce: Should he just stick to personal piety, or get involved in the battle against current injustices?

    He shows compassion even on a fallen horse getting beaten. The movie describes how the slaves were shackled in chains and transported across the ocean under horrible conditions. Those who survived the crossing were tattooed to show that they now belonged to a man, not God.

    The battle to end slavery wasn't a simple one. It would take many tries. And it had to be done in a manner that would not cause a collapse of the British economy.
    ...more info
    Amazing Grace is a very interesting period movie.Wonderful acting by Ioan Gruffudd.Albert Finney is very good in such a very different role than he has ever done before.All the cast did Excellent Job!!!!...more info
  • Amazing!
    Everyone should see this film. It made me want to go out and fight injustice. I think this is the reason God gave us movies, so that men and women of great talent could tell inspiring stories like this one. The script was complex and thought provoking, with moments of incredible emotion. The whole thing was a little over-dramatic, I must admit, but this is good storytelling, not a documentary film.

    Maybe not everyone should see this film. Small children will be disturbed by graphic descriptions of slavery and some frightening scenes of slave children working in a sugar refinery. But anyone old enough to face the world's injustices ought to see this film. It is one of those rare films that will change your life....more info
  • Really Good
    A great period piece. Not preachy but could have been. Acting was great. Historical content accurate. Do not pass on the chance to see this. ...more info
  • Exciting and Inspiring Movie!
    "Amazing Grace" was a movie that made my husband and me want to work with zeal and persistence in our life pursuits for good! The fact that this was a true story made it even more meaningful. The characters were excellent, as was the setting and entire quality of the film. The movie was an exciting drama that we will watch again and again....more info
  • I waited so long to see this film...
    When I heard that Amazing Grace was being made, I was so anxious to see it. However, when the film finally was released, I couldn't bring myself to see it, out of fear that a story of this magnitude would be trivialized, grossly misrepresented or factually twisted to infuse some bazaar and irrelevant agenda of modern political correctness.

    Amazing Grace demonstrates a reach for perfection beyond anything that could be expected in a commercial film -- brilliant and not to be missed.

    ...more info
  • A Moving And Inspirational True Story
    Why sit down to see a mindless, massively historically altered, action film like 300 when one can see something that is not only for the large part historical accurate but moving as well. That is exactly what Amazing Grace is. Amazing Grace is a moving, inspirational, true story of what one man and a righteous cause can accomplish. Add on to the story itself some terrific acting and excellent production values and you get one of the best films of 2007.

    Ioan Gruffudd gives an outstanding (for which he should have been Oscar worthy) performance as William Wilberforce. He is intense in the scenes where he is passionate and he is just as believable in the scenes where he is disgruntled. Not to mention him and Romola Garai share chemistry as a romantic couple and that he also is highly believable as the best friend of the Prime Minister. This is Grufford's best work to date and I hope to see more work of this caliber in the future.

    The supporting cast is top-notch as well. Benedict Cumberbatch is excellent as Prime Minister Pitt and, as I wrote above, he shares a lot of chemistry with Gruffudd. The same is true of Romola Garai who plays the wife of Wilberforce. She is convincing as a figure whose passionate views could make Wilberforce fall in love and continue a struggle he has lost faith in. Albert Finney makes a few dabbles into the film as the man behind the song, John Newton. He is excellent as the guilt ridden slave ship captain turned preacher. Michael Gambon is also excellent as one of Wilberforce's biggest supporters in Parliament. Roundign out this amazing cast is the villains: Ciar¨¢n Hinds and the ever excellent Toby Jones.

    The film's script is near perfect. The story is a true one which proves that fact is, as always, better then fiction. The story never delves too deeply into sentimentally but keeps the story's emotional power in firm check. The scenes of debate are tense and even at times frustrating. The only fault of the writing is the lack of a point of view from the slaves themselves. We are given only a few brief glimpses into their world and the basis of the film is given to us only in those glimpses and some of the dialog. Yet the writing supplements the acting and by the end of the film the viewer(at least the audience I saw this film with in theatres when it came out)cheering and applauding the final vote in Parliament.

    The production values of the film are high and impressive. The film manages to take you in and bring back to a distant and gone time and place. The world as it was then comes alive in a way that few other films manage to do. This is evident throughout the sets and costumes. Also there is the score by David Arnold who creates a score that captures all the emotional power of the story and is the composers best work to date.

    It is a shame that other, lesser films hovershadowed this film in both box office dollars and in the minds of audiences while it was in theatres. This a film that leaves you believing that with the right cause and a passionate person to back it and nurture it, anything is possible. It is a story that should not, and hopefully never will, be forgotten. ...more info
  • amazing grace "proudly South-African"
    Amazing Grace was made by Hansie Cronje's brother, creative studio's that made the bio about Angus Buchan- Faith like potatoes. I enjoyed Amazing grace and will never listen to the song without thinking about the life of William Wilberforce.

    ...more info
  • Amazing Grace is well done
    I ordered Amazing Grace after seeing part of it on television. I was impressed with the quality of the movie. I also am a big fan of the tune Amazing Grace played on the bagpipes, and the version at the end of this movie was impressive--it brought tears to my eyes.

    Some have described this as the true story behind the song, but that is not accurate. It is a depiction of the fight in British Parliament to pass a law banning slavery in that country and its territories. I am intrigued by true stories from history, and was not disappointed in this one.

    I recommend this movie because of the historical significance of the subject, but also because of the well-acted rendering of the movie.
    ...more info
  • Great story - well presented
    Not what I expected but an excellent true story of one man's long struggle to end the slave trade in England. The acting is very good and the director gives viewers a small taste of the horrors of slavery without being too graphic. Not recommended for young kids and even tweens without parental presence; some scenes are very depressing. Highly recommended viewing, especially in light of recent world events in Darfur and similar locations. There still exist people who need help to survive....more info
  • Historic drama from the heart.
    An amazing historic drama inspired by real events that brought a great song and a great cause into the forefront, helping those wishing to put an end to slavery change minds, and hearts. An emotionally intense story that brings an important historic brawl between right and wrong into perspective. I hadn't fully grasped the difficult journey William Wilberforce and his friends took on their path to bring truth into the light. Wonderful movie!

    Chrissy K. McVay - Author...more info
  • Excellent
    This item arrived earlier than I expected and in excellent condition!!! Thank you for making my Chirstmas shopping a pleasant one!!! God bless!!!...more info
  • Great Movie
    This is a great movie about a one of the leaders in the early abolishionist movement in England. An outstanding historical film on a true character in history. This film was about as good as Luther....more info
  • small misunderstanding on my part, seller fixed it anyway!
    i didnt realize the movie was coming without a case, i voiced my displeasure. the seller pointed out that i had overlooked it in the description and is sending me a new movie anyway!...more info
  • Amazing Grace
    This is the true story of one Englishman's crusade -- and ultimate victory-- against slavery in England. From what I have read on the subject, the film stays close to fact. Although this is a serious film, it is not overly heavy, and is not preachy. The seriousness of the matter is balanced with humor and wit about the human condition. There's matchmaking, schemes to outfox politicians, etc.
    One of my favorite scenes is when one self-important politician finally gives in and grudgingly comes to an abolitionist meeting. The first thing out of his mouth is --- Well, do any of you, "saints", drink? Promply a bottle of whisky is produced!

    Also in the film, our hero - Ioan Gruffudd- can actually sing as well as act Some may recognize him from his lead role in the PBS series "Horatio Hornblower".
    The only slight negative to the film IMHO is that it incorporates flash-backs, which sometimes threw me off regarding where exactly we were in the scheme of things. Other than that, it's a terrific film. I highly recommend it....more info
  • Compelling and Powerful
    This is a brilliant movie that spans the many years of Wm Wilberforce's struggle to abolish slavery in the UK. Like "Gandhi", the compelling and noted dates and happenings are melded to represent, with as much dramatic interest as possible, the essence of the man and the fight. The want for abolition of slavery has caused conflict all over the world, between many cultures, since the beginning of time and this particular effort by Wilberforce stands out because the time and country it took place. The English were a much more powerful colonial power than today and the suppression of the native peoples of the countries they ruled was harsh and bordered on indenture more than actual until WWII. But this could have been so much worse had Wilberforce not sought to permanently outlaw the trade and profit from the enslavement of human beings, regardless of origin. The law, like the US Emancipation Proclamation, had little teeth until the 20th century whereas they lost a great majority of their colonies and we had the Civil Rights movement.
    This movie is hearfelt and dramatic and does justice to the facts enough to get the meaning and story across.
    What impresses Metaldiva is the irony of the hymn "Amazing Grace" being a sort of funeral anthem for the rebel south/secessionists and racial terrorists to this day in the US. But all through the years, it was actually an anthem written by a parson (and former slave trader) to express his change in heart and mind for the respect and freedom of those enslaved persons, in his case Africans.
    Metaldiva Sez: Entertainment and learning can go hand in hand, in this case it is a lovely historical telling of a subject that is more in the minds of people today than has been in many way. We owe to our kids to let them know about abolition, sufferage, civil rights and overall human rights and the struggles that led to their acceptance and eventual laws....more info
  • A big yawn!

    what a waist of money I bought it from a bible store and I wanted a refund or something. ((It's slow and boring)) I don't know what the other reviewer saw but this isn't a good movie...more info
  • Well-Intentioned, but Plodding
    Amazing Grace is like a bookend to Spielberg's Amistad from the late '90s. Both have their hearts totally in the right place, but the story just kind of moseys along, a good historical account told without a great deal of flair. You know William Wilberforce is a rebel right away because he's the only one who doesn't wear a wig in Parliament. He also scores 100 percent on the debate rejoinders that leave his opponents speechless and his supporters in stitches. He suffers from colitis, but refuses to take laudanum. He is, in short, a living saint, and about as interesting. It doesn't help the movie that it is filmed in such constant near darkness, even in the interior or outdoors in daylight scenes, that it is sometimes difficult to recognize characters. At the end of the movie I found myself wishing for less Wilberforce and more of John Newton, the slavetrader who found religion, renounced his past and years later wrote Amazing Grace. He is played by Albert Finney in the film and there is way too little of him seen. ...more info
  • Amazing Grace
    Wonderful movie. Eye opening reality of the life of a slave and how one person can make a difference in the lives of many....more info