Two men–one a wealthy white chief surgeon, the other a poor black lab technician achieve a monumental medical breakthrough that earned one accolades…and the other a painful lesson in racism and unequal opportunity in 1940s Baltimore. Alan Rickman and Mos Def star in this ‘HBO Films’ drama.
Something the Lord Made is a TV movie made for HBO. Though it has a made for TV feel it has a great story about how two people, a White surgeon and a Black lab assistant, worked together to perform the first heart surgery during a time of racism and segregation.
Some scenes are very good like the scene where Vivien cannot enter John Hopkins University through the front door or the many scenes involving their experimental surgeries on dogs or the scenes where he sees Dr. Blalock crediting other doctors and getting all the acclaim post the Blue Baby surgery or the scene where Vivien is finally honored by John Hopkins University. The best scenes of the movie is the scene where Dr. Blalock performs the first Blue Baby surgery.
Alan Rickman is excellent as Dr. Alfred Blalock. Mos Def is excellent as Vivien Thomas and was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Miniseries or a Motion Picture Made for Television. Both Alan Rickman and Mos Def were nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie.
Kyra Sedgwick is good as Mary, Dr. Blalock’s wife. Gabrielle Union is good as Clara, Vivien’s wife. Mary Stuart Masterson is good as Dr. Taussig. Clayton LeBouef is good as Harold, Vivien’s brother. Charles S. Dutton is good as Vivien’s father. The rest of the cast is good too. Merritt Wever is good as Mrs. Saxon.
The movie was nominated for 2 Golden Globes including Best Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television. The movie was nominated for nine Emmy Awards and won three Emmys for Outstanding Made for Television Movie, Outstanding Cinematography for a Miniseries or Movie and Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special. The movie also won the Peabody Award.
Direction by Joseph Sargent is very good. The movie uses quite a bit of medical terminology and doesn’t try to dumb down the medical procedures. Joseph Sargent won the Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directing in a Television Film. Something the Lord Made is excellent and one of the best movies ever.