One quiet voice can ignite a revolution

LEE DANIELS' THE BUTLER tells the story of a White House butler who served seven American presidents over three decades. The film traces the dramatic changes that swept American society during this time, from the civil rights movement to Vietnam and beyond, and how those changes affected this manas life and family. Forest Whitaker stars as the butler with Robin Williams as Dwight Eisenhower, James Marsden as John F. Kennedy, Liev Schreiber as Lyndon B. Johnson, John Cusack as Richard Nixon, Alan Rickman as Ronald Reagan, and many more. Academy Award nominated Lee Daniels (PRECIOUS) directs and Emmy-award winning Danny Strong (GAME CHANGE) wrote the script.

  • 2 hr 12 minPG13HDSD
  • Aug 16, 2013
  • Drama

More Trailers and Videos for The Butler

Cast & Crew

  • Oprah WinfreyGloria Gaines

    Oprah Winfrey was born on January 29, 1954 in Kosciusko, Mississippi, USA as Orpah Gail Winfrey. She is a producer and actress, known for The Oprah Winfrey Show (1986), Lee Daniels' The Butler (2013) and A Wrinkle in Time (2018).
    More
  • Terrence HowardActor

    Terrence Howard was born in Chicago, Illinois, to Anita Jeanine Williams (née Hawkins) and Tyrone Howard. He was raised in Cleveland, Ohio. His love for acting came naturally, through summers spent with his great-grandmother, New York stage actress Minnie Gentry. He later began his acting career after being discovered on a New York City street by a casting director. Soon, he followed with several notable TV appearances on shows such as Living Single (1993), NYPD Blue (1993) and Soul Food (2000). He became well known for his lead role in the UPN TV series Sparks (1996). Howard broke onto the big screen with his riveting performance in Mr. Holland's Opus (1995). Howard's most memorable performances to date are of scene-stealing characters such as "Cowboy" in the Hughes brother's film Dead Presidents (1995) and as "Quentin" in Malcolm D. Lee's Independent film The Best Man (1999). The latter earning him a NAACP Image Award, Independent Spirit Award nomination and a Chicago Film Critics Award nomination. A self taught musician, Howard plays both the piano and the guitar. You can see Terrence display his musical talents opposite Jamie Foxx in this year's breakout film Ray (2004). A promising songwriter, Howard's lyrics are soon to be acquired by some of today's biggest artists. In addition to his musical talents, Howard also has a strong interest in science.
    More
  • Vanessa RedgraveAnnabeth Westfall

    On January 30, 1937, renowned theatre actor Michael Redgrave was performing in a production of Hamlet in London. During the curtain call, the show's lead, Laurence Olivier, announced to the audience: "tonight a great actress was born". This was in reference to his co-star's newborn daughter, Vanessa Redgrave. Vanessa was born in Greenwich, London, to Michael Redgrave and Rachel Kempson, both thespians. Three quarters of a century after her birth (despite numerous ups and down) this rather forward expectation has definitely been lived up to with an acclaimed actress that has won (among many others) an Academy Award, two Emmys, two Golden Globes, two Cannes Best Actress awards, a Tony, a Screen Actors Guild award, a Laurence Olivier theatre award and a BAFTA fellowship. Growing up with such celebrated theatrical parents, great expectations were put on both herself, her brother Corin Redgrave and sister Lynn Redgrave at an early age. Shooting up early and finally reaching a height just short of 6 foot, Redgrave initially had plans to dance and perform ballet as a profession. However she settled on acting and entered the Central School of Speech and Drama in 1954 and four years later made her West End debut. In the decade of the 1960s she developed and progressed to become one of the most noted young stars of the English stage and then film. Performances on the London stage included the classics: 'A Touch of Sun', 'Coriolanus', 'A Midsummer's Night Dream', 'All's Well that Ends Well', 'As You Like It', 'The Lady from the Sea', 'The Seagull' and many others. By the mid 1960s, she had booked various film roles and matured into a striking beauty with a slim, tall frame and attractive face. In 1966 she made her big screen debut as the beautiful ex-wife of a madman in an Oscar nominated performance in the oddball comedy Morgan! (1966), as well as the enigmatic woman in a public park in desperate need of a photographer's negatives in the iconic Blow-Up (1966) and briefly appeared in an unspoken part of Anne Boleyn in the Best Picture winner of the year A Man for All Seasons (1966). She managed to originate the title role in "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie" the same year on the London stage (which was then adapted for the big screen a few years later, but Maggie Smith was cast instead and managed to win an Oscar for her performance). Her follow up work saw her play the lead in the box office hit adaptation Camelot (1967), a film popular with audiences but dismissed by critics, and her second Academy Award nominated performance as Isadora Duncan in the critically praised Isadora (1968). Her rise in popularity on film also coincided with her public political involvement, she was one of the lead faces in protesting against the Vietnam war and lead a famous march on the US embassy, was arrested during a Ban-the-Bomb demonstration, publicly supported Yasar Arafat's Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and fought for various other human rights and particularly left wing causes. Despite her admirably independent qualities, most of her political beliefs weren't largely supported by the public. In 1971 after 3 films back to back, Redgrave suffered a miscarriage (it would have been her fourth, after Natasha Richardson, Joely Richardson and Carlo Gabriel Nero) and a break up with her then partner and father of her son, Franco Nero. This was around the same time her equally political brother Corin introduced her to the Workers Revolutionary Party, a group who aimed to destroy capitalism and abolish the monarchy. Her film career began to suffer and take the back seat as she became more involved with the party, twice unsuccessfully attempting to run as a party member for parliament, only obtaining a very small percentage of votes. In terms of her film career at the time, she was given probably the smallest part in the huge ensemble who-dunnit hit, Murder on the Orient Express (1974) and given another thankless small part as Lola Deveraux in the Sherlock Holmes adventure The Seven-Per-Cent Solution (1976). After a celebrated Broadway debut, she created further controversy in 1977 with her involvement in two films, firstly in Julia (1977) where she acted opposite Jane Fonda as a woman fighting Nazi oppression and narrated and featured in the documentary The Palestinian (1977) where she famously danced holding a Kalashnikov rifle. She publicly stated her condemnation of what she termed "Zionist hudlums", which outraged Jewish groups and as a result a screening of her documentary was bombed and Redgrave was personally threatened by the Jewish Defense League (JDL). Julia (1977) happened to be a huge critical success and Redgrave herself was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar, but Jewish support groups demanded her nomination to be dropped and at the event of the Academy Awards burned effigies of Redgrave and protested and picketed. Redgrave was forced to enter the event via a rear entrance to avoid harm and when she won the award she famously remarked on the frenzy causes as "Zionist hoodlums" which caused the audience to audibly gasp and boo. The speech reached newspapers the next morning and her reputation was further damaged. It came as a surprise when CBS hired her for the part of real life Nazi camp survivor Fania Fenelon in Playing for Time (1980), despite more controversy and protesting (Fenelon herself didn't even want Redgrave to portray her) she won an Emmy for the part and the film was one of the highest rating programs of the year. Her follow up film work to her Oscar had been mostly low key but successful, performances in films such as Yanks (1979), Agatha (1979), The Bostonians (1984), Wetherby (1985) and Prick Up Your Ears (1987) further cemented her reputation as a fine actress and she received various accolades and nominations. However mainly in the 1980s, she focused on TV films and high budget mini-series as well as theatre in both London and New York. She made headlines in 1984 when she sued the Boston Symphony Orchestra for $5 million for wrongful cancellation of her contract because of her politics (she also stated her salary was significantly reduced in Agatha (1979) for the same reason). She became more mainstream in the 1990s where she appeared in a string of high profile films but the parts often underused Redgrave's abilities or they were small cameos/5-minute parts. Highlights included Howards End (1992), Little Odessa (1994), Mission: Impossible (1996) and Cradle Will Rock (1999), as well as her leading lady parts in A Month by the Lake (1995) and Mrs Dalloway (1997). In 2003 she finally won the coveted Tony award for her performance in 'The Long Day's Journey Into Night' and followed up with another two Tony nominated performances on Broadway, her one woman show 'The Year of Magical Thinking' in 2007 and 'Driving Miss Daisy' in 2010 which not only was extended due to high demand, but was also transferred to the West End for an additional three months in 2011. Vanessa continues to lend her name to causes and has been notable for donating huge amounts of her own money for her various beliefs. She has publicly opposed the war in Iraq, campaigned for the closure of Guantanamo Bay, supported the rights of gays and lesbians as well as AIDs research and many other issues. She released her autobiography in 1993 and a few years later she was elected to serve as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. She also famously declined the invitation to be made a Dame for her services as an actress. Many have wondered the possible heights her career could have reached if it wasn't for her outspoken views, but being a celebrity and the artificial lifestyle usually attached doesn't seem to interest Redgrave in the slightest. Vanessa has worked with all three of her children professionally on numerous occasions (her eldest daughter, Natasha Richardson tragically died at the age of 45 due to a skiing accident) and in her mid 70s she still works regularly on television, film and theatre, delivering time and time again great performances.
    More
  • Minka KellyActor

  • Robin WilliamsActor

    Robin McLaurin Williams was born on Saturday, July 21st, 1951, in Chicago, Illinois, a great-great-grandson of Mississippi Governor and Senator, Anselm J. McLaurin. His mother, Laurie McLaurin (née Janin), was a former model from Mississippi, and his father, Robert Fitzgerald Williams, was a Ford Motor Company executive from Indiana. Williams had English, German, French, Welsh, Irish, and Scottish ancestry. Robin briefly studied political science at Claremont Men's College and theater at College of Marin before enrolling at The Juilliard School to focus on theater. After leaving Juilliard, he performed in nightclubs where he was discovered for the role of "Mork, from Ork", in an episode of Happy Days (1974). The episode, My Favorite Orkan (1978), led to his famous spin-off weekly TV series, Mork & Mindy (1978). He made his feature starring debut playing the title role in Popeye (1980), directed by Robert Altman. Williams' continuous comedies and wild comic talents involved a great deal of improvisation, following in the footsteps of his idol Jonathan Winters. Williams also proved to be an effective dramatic actor, receiving Academy Award nominations for Best Actor in a Leading Role in Good Morning, Vietnam (1987), Dead Poets Society (1989), and The Fisher King (1991), before winning the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role in Good Will Hunting (1997). During the 1990s, Williams became a beloved hero to children the world over for his roles in a string of hit family-oriented films, including Hook (1991), FernGully: The Last Rainforest (1992), Aladdin (1992), Mrs. Doubtfire (1993), Jumanji (1995), Flubber (1997), and Bicentennial Man (1999). He continued entertaining children and families into the 21st century with his work in Robots (2005), Happy Feet (2006), Night at the Museum (2006), Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (2009), Happy Feet Two (2011), and Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (2014). Other more adult-oriented films for which Williams received acclaim include The World According to Garp (1982), Moscow on the Hudson (1984), Awakenings (1990), The Birdcage (1996), Insomnia (2002), One Hour Photo (2002), World's Greatest Dad (2009), and Boulevard (2014). On Monday, August 11th, 2014, Robin Williams was found dead at his home in Tiburon, California USA, the victim of an apparent suicide, according to the Marin County Sheriff's Office. A 911 call was received at 11:55 a.m. PDT, firefighters and paramedics arrived at his home at 12:00 p.m. PDT, and he was pronounced dead at 12:02 p.m. PDT.
    More
  • Mariah CareyHattie Pearl

    Mariah was born on March 27, 1970 in Huntington, Long Island, New York to Patricia Carey (born: Patricia Hickey), an opera singer and vocal coach & Alfred Roy Carey, an aeronautical engineer. Her mother is of Irish descent, and her father was of African & Venezuelan descent. Mariah attended Greenlawn's Harborfields High School. In June 1990, Mariah made her debut with "Mariah Carey" which entered at #73, but on August 4, 1990, it reached #1. Her 1990 self-titled debut album went multi-platinum and spawned an extraordinary four consecutive #1 singles: "Vision of Love," "Love Takes Time," "Someday" and "I Don't Wanna Cry," and led to Grammy Awards for Best New Artist and Best Female Vocalist. Her 1993 album titled Music Box went ten-times platinum. On September 30, 1995, she made music history. Her single "Fantasy" from her 1995 Daydream album debuted at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, making her the first female artist to accomplish a number one debut in the U.S. Her other Daydream's single "One Sweet Day" remained for 16 weeks at the top of the charts. She is the only artist since The Beatles to have so many #1 singles and albums. With "Heartbreaker", the first single from her 1999 album Rainbow and also her 14 #1 single, she became the only artist to top the charts in each year of the 1990s, and with "Heartbreaker" at its 60th week atop the Billboard's charts, she pushed ahead of The Beatles's 59-week record as the only artist with the most cumulative weeks spent atop Billboard's Hot 100 Singles chart. Following "Heartbreaker," her second single "Thank God I Found You" also from her Rainbow album became her 15th #1. "We Belong Together" from her 2005 album The Emancipation of Mimi became her 16th #1 single and was also her first #1 without any guest artists since her song "My All" (also a #1 single) captured the top spot in May 1998. The single "Don't Forget About Us" also from her 2005 album Emancipation of Mimi became her 17th #1 single, tying her with Elvis Presley's 17 #1 singles. Three more Grammy Awards were gained from The Emancipation of Mimi album. She is the most successful selling female artist in music history and is the only female artist to have the most #1 singles and albums and also holds the record for straight #1 singles and albums each year. Along with numerous awards and incredible vocal range, she also composes all of her own material, with the exception of song covers. In April 2008, the single "Touch My Body" became her 18th #1 single, pushing her ahead of Elvis Presley's 17 #1 singles. Now she is the only artist since The Beatles to have as many number one singles and the only singer alive likely to succeed them.
    More
  • Melissa LeoActor

    Melissa Leo is an American actress. She is known for her Academy Award-winning performance in the 2010 film The Fighter (2010). She was born on September 14, 1960, in New York City. Leo starred as the mother of boxer Micky Ward in the 2010 film The Fighter, also starring Mark Wahlberg. The role garnered her both Golden Globe (Best Supporting Actress) and Oscar awards. Other accolades include award nominations for the film Frozen River (2008) and the HBO series Mildred Pierce.
    More
  • Alan RickmanActor

    Alan Rickman was born on a council estate in Acton, West London, to Margaret Doreen Rose (Bartlett), of English and Welsh descent, and Bernard Rickman, of Irish descent, who worked at a factory. Alan Rickman had an older brother (David), a younger brother (Michael), and a younger sister (Sheila). When Alan was 8 years old, his father died. He attended Latymer Upper School on a scholarship. He studied Graphic Design at Chelsea College of Art and Design, where he met Rima Horton, who would later become his longtime partner. After three years at Chelsea College, Rickman did graduate studies at the Royal College of Art. He opened a successful graphic design business, Graphiti, with friends and managed it for several years before his love of theatre led him to seek an audition with the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA). At the relatively late age of 26, Rickman received a scholarship to RADA, which started a professional acting career that has lasted nearly 40 years, a career which has spanned stage, screen and television, and overlapped into directing, as well. In 1987, he first came to the attention of American audiences as the Vicomte de Valmont in "Les Liaisons Dangereuses" on Broadway (he was nominated for a Tony Award for his performance in the role). Denied the role in the film version of the show, Rickman instead made his first film appearance opposite Bruce Willis in Die Hard (1988) as the villainous Hans Gruber. His take on the urbane villain set the standard for screen villains for decades to come. Although often cited as being a master of playing villains, Rickman actually played a wide variety of characters, such as the romantic cello-playing ghost Jamie in Anthony Minghella's Truly Madly Deeply (1990) and the noble Colonel Brandon of Sense and Sensibility (1995). He treated audiences to his comedic abilities in such films as Dogma (1999), Galaxy Quest (1999) and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005), and roles like Dr. Alfred Blalock in Something the Lord Made (2004), and as Alex Hughes in Snow Cake (2006), showcased his ability to play ordinary men in extraordinary situations. Rickman even conquered the daunting task of singing a role in a Stephen Sondheim musical as he took on the role of Judge Turpin in the movie adaptation of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007). In 2001, Rickman introduced himself to a whole new, younger generation of fans by taking on the role of Severus Snape in the film versions of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001). He continued to play the role through the eighth and last movie Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011). Alan Rickman died of pancreatic cancer on 14 January 2016. He was 69 years old.
    More
  • David OyelowoLouis Gaines

    David Oyelowo also known as 'David O', is a classically trained stage actor who has quickly become one of Hollywood's most sought-after talents. He graduated from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA), and received the "Scholarship for Excellence" from Nicholas Hytner in 1998. David most notably starred as Martin Luther King Jr. in Paramount's drama Selma (2014). Directed by Ava DuVernay and produced by Oprah Winfrey and Brad Pitt's Plan B, the film follows Dr. King's struggle to secure voting rights for black people culminating in the march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama and President Lyndon Johnson's signing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Oyelowo received Golden Globe and Film Independent Spirit Award nominations and won the NAACP Image Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Dr. King. The film also received an Oscar nomination for Best Picture. More recently, David's leading roles have included: Jack Radcliff in Blumhouse's Don't Let Go (2019) alongside Storm Reid, Javert in BBC and PBS Masterpiece's six-part adaptation of Les Misérables (2018) where he also served as executive producer, joining Rose Byrne and Domhnall Gleeson in Sony's Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway (2020), and opposite Angelina Jolie as the father and mother duo to Alice and Peter, the two beloved characters from the well-known fairy tales Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan. David has also been seen in Christopher Nolan's sci-fi adventure Interstellar (2014), J.C. Chandor's crime drama A Most Violent Year (2014), Paramount's true-life crime thriller Captive (2015) with Kate Mara, A United Kingdom (2016) with Rosamund Pike, Disney's Queen of Katwe (2016) opposite Lupita Nyong'o for which he earned an NAACP Image Award nomination and Simon Brand's Default (2014), and STX and Amazon Studio's Gringo (2018) also starring Joel Edgerton and Charlize Theron. Additional film credits include Lee Daniels' The Butler (2013), [linknm0000229]'s Academy Award nominated drama Lincoln (2012), with Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field and Tommy Lee Jones, the critically acclaimed independent drama Middle of Nowhere (2012), which earned David individual NAACP Image Award and Independent Spirit Award nominations, Jack Reacher (2012) opposite Tom Cruise, Lee Daniels' The Paperboy (2012) opposite Nicole Kidman, Matthew McConaughey and Zac Efron, the British made for television movie Complicit (2013), George Lucas' produced WWII drama Red Tails (2012), which won "Best Motion Picture" at the 2013 NAACP Image Awards, Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) alongside James Franco and Freida Pinto, the Academy Award nominated drama The Help (2011), 96 Minutes (2011), which premiered at the 2011 SXSW Film Festival, Kevin MacDonald's The Last King of Scotland (2006) opposite Forest Whitaker and James McAvoy, Who Do You Love (2008), in which he played the iconic Muddy Waters, A Sound of Thunder (2005) fro Warner Brothers, Derailed (2005) for Miramax, and Shoot the Messenger (2006) for BBC2. Oyelowo first impressed audiences on the stage when he starred in "The Suppliants" at the Gate Theatre playing King Palasgus, for which he received the Ian Charleson Award commendation. Following this he played the title role of "Henry VI", becoming the first black actor to play an English king for the RSC (Royal Shakespeare Company). The role won him the Ian Charleson Award and an Evening Standard Award nomination. Other theatre credits include an acclaimed performance in Richard Bean's "The God Botherers" at the Bush Theatre, the title role in Aeschylus' "Prometheus Bound', which was Off-Broadway for which David received rave reviews, and most recently, appeared in New York Theatre Workshop's Off-Broadway production of Othello with Daniel Craig and Rachel Brosnahan. Beyond theatre, David starred in the BAFTA Award winning series Spooks (2002) playing Danny Hunter also known as "MI:5" which aired in the United States on BBC America as well. Additionally, he won the Royal Television Society Award for Best Actor and was also nominated for a BAFTA Award for the same role for his work on Small Island (2009). David also starred in the BBC1 original television movie Born Equal (2006) opposite Colin Firth as well as ABC's production of A Raisin in the Sun (2008), alongside Sanaa Lathan and Sean 'Diddy' Combs. Another small screen role which garnered him attention was HBO's film, Nightingale (2014), which earned him a Golden Globe nomination and two Emmy Award nominations, including one for his work as executive producer. He will be making his directorial debut with the feature The Water Man, written by Emma Needell and produced by Shivhans Pictures. David's production company, Yoruba Saxon, will also produce alongside Harpo Films. Not only will David O direct and produce, but star in the film as well with Rosario Dawson, Lonnie Chavis, Amiah Miller, Alfred Molina, and Maria Bello. In 2015, in association with The Geanco Foundation, Oyelowo established the David Oyelowo Leadership Scholarship to fully fund the education and rehabilitation of girls who have been directly affected by terrorism in Nigeria. He has continued to raise support for the Leadership Scholarship over the last four years, which is now providing thirty-two girls with an education in Nigeria. Oyelowo was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Queen Elizabeth II in the 2016 New Year Honours for his services to drama.
    More
  • Cuba Gooding Jr.Actor