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Still shot from the movie: Something The Lord Made.

Something The Lord Made

In 1940's America, it's considered impossible to operate on the heart. It's also taboo to treat colored people as equals. But whether by fate or divine intervention, both of these beliefs are about to be challenged when Vivien Thomas (Mos Def) begins working as a lab assistant of Dr. Alfred Blalock (Alan Rickman), and the two begin exploring the medical frontiers of cardiac surgery. Get the movie review and more. »

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Overall: A
Violence: B
Sexual Content: A
Language: C
Drugs/Alcohol: C+
Theater Release:
Video Release: 24 Jan 2005
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
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How We Determine Our Grades

After watching a movie with your children or students, we encourage parents and teachers to look for education opportunities to teach with movies. Here are a few discussion topics that can help with lesson plans or teaching in the home.

Although Dr. Blalock’s desire to leave his mark on medicine sometimes extends to arrogance, how does Vivien’s less obvious pride manifest itself? How does the teachers’ strike Vivien’s brother is engaged in help the under-appreciated lab assistant find balance between his employer’s attitude and his passion for his job?

Vivien Thomas was unable to go to medical school. How did that missed opportunity affect his career? What do you learn about the importance of an education and the value of hard work from his life story?

In the face of criticism from his peers, Dr. Blalock declares, “Where you see risks, I see opportunities.” How did this point of view help him to achieve success where others saw only failure? What qualities did Vivien possess that helped him accomplish all that he did?

Brief biographical sketches for Blalock and Thomas can be found at these links: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/partners/legacy/l_colleagues_blalock.html http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/partners/legacy/l_colleagues_thomas.html

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About the Reviewer: Donna Gustafson

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