in the right spread of films is what keeps the industry alive, providing
jobs for thousands of creative people and trades, engineers, writers and
business persons. This index focuses on films relating to kindred
subjects, movies with religious or mystical themes, involving compasses
or attempts at everlasting life, such as cloning.
Amistad is the true story of a slave ship that was captured by the
slaves onboard, then taken captive again, leading to multiple claims in
the American Courts.
Amistad is a 1997 American historical drama film directed by Steven Spielberg, based on the events in 1839 aboard the Spanish slave ship La Amistad, during which Mende tribesmen abducted for the slave trade managed to gain control of their captors' ship off the coast of Cuba, and the international legal battle that followed their capture by the Washington, a U.S. revenue cutter. The case was ultimately resolved by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1841.
Morgan Freeman, Anthony Hopkins, Djimon Hounsou, and Matthew McConaughey had starring roles. David Franzoni's screenplay was based on the 1987 book Mutiny on the Amistad: The Saga of a Slave Revolt and Its Impact on American Abolition, Law, and Diplomacy, by professor Howard Jones.
The film received largely positive critical reviews and grossed over $58 million worldwide
The schooner La Amistad is transporting black slaves off the coast of the Spanish colony of Cuba in 1839. A captive, Cinqué, leads an uprising against the crew, most of whom are killed. Two navigators, Pedro Montez and Jose Ruiz, are spared on condition they help sail the ship to Africa. The Spaniards predictably betray them and instead sail into US waters, where the ship is stopped by the U.S. revenue cutter Washington, and the mutineers are arrested.
A complicated legal battle ensues over the slaves. United States Attorney William S. Holabird brings charges of piracy and murder against them, but they are simultaneously claimed as property both by Montez & Ruiz, and as salvage by two officers from the Washington. The Spanish government of Queen Isabella intervenes in support of Montez & Ruiz, under the Treaty of San Lorenzo. To avoid a diplomatic incident, President Martin Van Buren directs his Secretary of State John Forsyth to support the Spanish claim. Meanwhile, abolitionist Lewis Tappan and his black associate Theodore Joadson (a former slave), resolve to help the captives. They approach the brilliant lawyer, former US president and serving U.S. representative John Quincy Adams, but he is reluctant to get involved. They instead hire the young and eccentric attorney Roger Sherman Baldwin.
Baldwin, unable to converse directly with his clients due to the language barrier, suspects the slaves are not Cubans but Africans who have been kidnapped and transported illegally as part of the banned transatlantic slave trade. He and Joadson search La Amistad and find documents which prove the captives were kidnapped from Sierra Leone and transported across the Atlantic aboard the Portuguese slave ship Tecora before being transferred to La Amistad in Havana. The judge is impressed and signals his intention to dismiss the US and Spanish governments' case and release the captives.
To preclude this possibility, Van Buren replaces the judge with a younger man, Coglin, whom he believes will be easier to manipulate. Joadson seeks advice from Adams, who tells him that court cases are usually won by the side with the best 'story'. Baldwin and Joadson recruit freedman James Covey as a translator, enabling Cinqué to testify directly before the court. He describes how he was kidnapped from his home, and the horrors of the Middle Passage. Baldwin calls Captain Fitzgerald of the Royal Navy's West Africa Squadron to corroborate Cinqué's testimony. He speculates that the captives were taken aboard the Tecora at the notorious slave fort Lomboko. Under cross-examination, Fitzgerald admits there is no direct evidence of Lomboko's existence. As tension rises, Cinqué abruptly stands and demands, "Give us, us free!". Moved by Cinqué's emotion, Judge Coglin rules that the Africans are to be released, and that Montez & Ruiz are to be arrested and charged with illegal slave-trading.
Under pressure from Senator John C. Calhoun of South Carolina, who represents the slave-holding interests of the American South, Van Buren appeals the case to the Supreme Court. Baldwin and Joadson visit Adams again, and after meeting Cinqué he agrees to represent the Africans before the Supreme Court. Adams' impassioned and eloquent speech convinces the court to confirm the judgement and release the Africans.
Lomboko is stormed by Royal Marines under the command of Captain Fitzgerald, and the slaves held there are freed. Fitzgerald orders the ship's cannon to destroy the fortress, and dictates a sardonic letter to Forsyth saying that he was correct — the infamous slave fort does not now exist.
Van Buren is discredited by his failure to prevent the release of the Africans, and loses the 1840 election to William Henry Harrison. The Spanish government continues to press its claim for compensation up until the American Civil War.
Cinqué returns to Africa, but is unable to reunite with his family due to civil war in Sierra Leone.
& QUESTS FOR LIFE FILMS
A Space Odyssey - Stanley Kubrick, Arthur C Clarke
Hur (Charlton Heston, Jack Hawkins) 1959
Gold (Matthew McConaughy, Kate Hudson) 2008
Indiana Jones and the
Last Crusade 1989
Cruise, (Emily Blunt, Dwayne Johnson) 2021
World Dominion, (Chris Pratt) 2022
Amistad (Djimon Hounsou, Matthew McConaughey) 1997
Croft - Tomb Raider, Pandora's Box 2001
Croft - Tomb Raider, Cradle of Life 2003
Croft - Tomb Raider, Himiko 2018
Python and the Holy Grail 1975
(Tom Cruise, Andria Riseborough) 2013
of the Apes (Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall) 1968
Day (Arnold Schwarzenegger) 2000
Count of Monte Cristo (Jim Caviezel, Guy Pearce) 2002
da Vinci Code (Tom Hanks) 2006
Fly - (Jeff Goldblum, Geena Davis) 1986
Golden Compass (Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig, Dakota Blue Richards)
Greatest Story Ever Told (Charlton Heston) 1965
Medicine Man (Sean Connery, Lorraine Bracco) 1992
Pope's Exorcist (Russell Crowe, Julius Avery) 2023
Ten Commandments (Charlton Heston, Yul Brynner) 1956 Cecile B DeMille
Recall - (Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rachel Ticotin, Sharon Stone) 1990
(Tom Holland, Mark Wahlberg) 2022