Miss Evers' Boys

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Product Description

Based on the shocking true story, Miss Evers' Boys exposes a 40-year government backed medical research effort on humans which led to tragic consequences. It is 1932 when loyal, devoted Nurse Eunice Evers (Alfre Woodard) is invited to work with Dr. Brodus (Joe Morton) and Dr. Douglas (Craig Sheffer) on a federally funded program to treat syphilis patients in Alabama. Free treatment is offered to those who test positive for the disease included Caleb Humphries (Laurence Fishburne) and Willie Johnson (Obba Babatunde). But when the government withdraws its funding, money is offered for what will become known as "The Tuskegee Experiment", a study of the effects of syphilis on patients who don't receive treatment. Now the men must be led to believe they are being cared for, when in fact they are being denied the medicine that could cure them. Miss Evers is faced with a terrible dilemma-to abandon the experiment and tell her patients, or to remain silent and offer only comfort. IT is a life or death decision that will dictate the course of not only her life, but the lives of all of Miss Evers' Boys.

Laurence Fishburne helped shepherd this Emmy Award-winning expos¨¦ from American medical history books to the small screen. Anchored in the 1973 Senate inquiry into the infamous Tuskegee Study, the film uses a flashback structure to take us back 40 years as Nurse Eunice Evers (played with honest conviction by Alfre Woodard, who also earned an acting Emmy for her powerful performance) describes how a program designed to treat syphilis among blacks in the South was twisted into an inhuman study. Evers's conscience is torn between leaving her position on principle or remaining to give the dying men what comfort she can while they are systematically refused life-saving medicine at every turn. Fishburne costars as Caleb, a easygoing but ambitious young fieldhand who discovers the cold reality of the study while courting Miss Evers. Adapted by Walter Bernstein from a play by David Feldshuh, the film rises above the TV Movie of the Week mold with a complex moral structure that eschews (if you'll pardon the expression) black and white polarities for shades of gray as the doctors' initial compromises become a lifetime of lies. Ultimately that tone becomes the most disturbing facet of the drama: doctors and nurses so enmeshed in what is tantamount to a conspiracy they can find no way out, and a government that searches for scapegoats for its own cold-blooded research. --Sean Axmaker

Customer Reviews:

  • Blaming the Victim
    Overall, this is a film worth watching, but to be honest I am extremely irritated in the fact that they bind a black woman up in all the evil, prejudice, racist, and other wrong doings of the U.S. government. Although, it is Miss Evers who calls the groups of men "her boys," its more self-inflicted labeling and a defense mechanism to fight off the nonsense the men encountered at the hands of the government. The subject is touchy and very heartbreaking yet, its still worth buying because it sheds a certain amount of truth to the history of brutality experienced by African-American men and women....more info
  • An American Tragedy
    This is a made for cable drama based upon true events. As such, historicity takes a back seat to drama. That being said, there is no real reason to complain about this film. It depicts a despicable human experiment that took place near Tuskeegee, Alabama, beginning in 1932 and continuing for several decades. In a government study, black men with syphilis were offered treatment and records were kept on their progress. They got better. Suddenly, the funding for the program was cut. Some time later, a new program was begun. In this one, the black syphilitic men were studied and treated but the treatments were placebos. They served as a control group. Originally, the promise was that, upon completion of the program, the patients would be given the real treatments. In actuality, so much data was derived from these men that the program continued and continued for years with no real treatment. Eventually, the men began to die off and their minds an bodies succumbed to the devastation of the disease.

    One might well wonder why men would agree to take part in a study like this. The key was, they were never told that they were not being treated. They thought they were getting good health care but the system considered them expendable.

    One might well wonder why caring medical practitioners would agree to be involved with this study. They did not think they had any real choice. If the study was not done, the men would get no care at all. At least with the study, other health care treatments were given.

    This story is told from the point of view of a black nurse who was a part of the study from the beginning. It deals with her interactions with the patients and with her personal battles with her conscience. It is well done which just makes the film all the more distressing.
    ...more info
  • black guinea pigs
    i think all people of african descent should see this movie. this movie gives the true yet tragic story of how the u.s. government treats its african-american citizens. how dare the government feel that it has the right to use live human-beings in a experiment to study the effects of a disease. the very thought of giving a deadly disease to an innocent,unsuspecting group of people. this movie lets you know just how far the government of the u.s. will go to get what it wants....more info
  • Follows Historical Details
    I had to be involved in a debate for school about the Tuskegee Incident. This video seems to follow history fairly accurately, unlike some of Hollywood's other 'based on real life' stories....more info
  • A Powerful Story, Well-Told!
    It's no secret that Hollywood has backed off of traditional socially conscious dramas. Oh, sure, issues of race and class are often touched on in cinematic releases, but in recent years, it has been pretty much up to cable channels such as HBO and TNT to produce meaty fact-based dramas with socio-political heft. We can only be thankful that someone has picked up the slack and that such work is still being done. "Miss Evers Boys," a dramatization of what has become the now-scandalous Tuskegee Negro Syphilitic Study, is a case in point. It is as powerful an indictment of racism as you are likely to see. It is also a nuanced and complex a statement on same. It is hard to see how any viewer could remain unmoved by this film.

    Much of "Miss Evers'" impact stems from Alfre Woodard's astonishing performance as the title character. Had this actually been a theatrical release, she would likely have walked off with an Academy Award. She had to settle for an Emmy, which was certainly well-deserved. I have seen Alfre Woodard in roles in which she did not appear comfortable, but she inhabits the role of Nurse Eunice Evers totally (or perhaps, Eunice Evers inhabits her). Her performance alone would be enough to recommend the film. But it does indeed have much more to offer--including a great supporting cast (including producer-leading man, Laurence Fishburne, Joe Morton and Craig Sheffer), an intelligent and complex script, and capable direction. Thanks be unto the heavens that someone is still producing powerful, fact-based social drama. We need them now more than ever....more info

  • A Shameful History
    This movie is a great teaching tool for anyone. The events that occur and how they were enacted were an amazing, sad and shameful thing to wacht. It was use to teach me about laws that govern the medical field and why they are in place. My daughter use it to show the abuse that can occur when people are ignorant about STD's or any disease.
    This film is a great addition to any lover of history and movies...more info
  • Miss Evers was not a victim of the white establishment
    "Miss Evers Boys" is very difficult to watch. At times, you may have to stop the movie to regain your composure. One scene in particular shows a victim screaming in awful pain. This HBO made for TV story is too sympathetic towards Miss Eunice Evers. As matter of fact, it goes so far as to hint that she was a victim of the white establishment. Nothing could be further from the truth. The woman was truly a vile human being. She freely chose to betray her friends and neighbors infected with syphilis. Her constantly reiterated rationalization that "the doctors know best" is laughable to say the least. At the end, we learn there were never any indictments handed down regarding these Nazi like experiments. Why weren't Miss Evers and Dr. Broadus arrested? Was it because it might damage the politically correct narrative describing them as victims? ...more info
  • boys who became men's
    all young adult men and women need to watch this movie. it was a Great Movie.about things that happen in life.that is not your fault. ...more info
  • Very Good
    This movie arrived in good time and it is in excellent condition. I highly recommend this seller. Thanks!...more info
  • Follows Historical Details
    I had to be involved in a debate for school about the Tuskegee Incident. This video seems to follow history fairly accurately, unlike some of Hollywood's other 'based on real life' stories....more info
  • Every race responds to disease in the same manner
    Unfortunately, the "Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphillis in the Negro Male", which began in 1932 in Alabama, is strong proof that clinical studies were not created equal. In this experiment, poor African American males were not treated for syphillis and not told of their true condition.

    When penicillin became available as a treatment, the subjects were not afforded the option of getting the shots. (NOTE: Depending on the stage of syphillis, penicillin may not be a safe treatment option)

    As a result of unethical treatment on the part of the experimenters in this study, the US National Health Investigation Board was developed in 1979. This board promulgated Institutional Review Boards and ethical guidelines for the conduct of clinical research studies. None of the clinical staff of this study faced any criminal charges.

    "Miss Evers Boys" is a made for television dramatization of the Tuskegee Study from the point of view of Nurse Eunice Evers (Woodard).

    The film details the RN's enthusiastic enlistment into the study because she believed The New Deal was for everyone and was going to help African Americans.

    According to the film, the original study offered treatment for syphillis patients--who were told they had 'bad blood' because the doctors believed most of the men would not understand the physiology of their disease.

    Later, when treatment funds dried up, researchers were encouraged by the National Health Service to continue the study to determine the effects of the disease. At the time, they believed that monies for treatment would be available within six months to a year, tops. The experimenters were depicted as sympathetic and trapped in an unfortunate situation. The Congressional Hearing panel who conducted the expository hearings on this study apparently felt similarly because no researchers were charged with cruelty regarding this study.

    The film is an excellent study in medical ethics. It's impossible to watch this movie without tears in your eyes and anger in your heart. I believe "Miss Evers Boys" would be a good education for students of Black History as well as medicine, nursing, and ethics. ...more info
  • Miss Evers Boys
    I enjoyed it tremendously. (You'll have to watch out that it doesn't depress you). However, I found it to be noteworthy as it was historical and shed a bit of light on a situation that maybe some did not know ever existed. I would have liked it if the story would have dealt more with the government's ivolvement with the Tuskegee Project in preventing medicine to be given to the black men that were unknowingly used for this experiment. This story focused more on Miss Ever's commitment to the men, instead of the government's decision that these human beings were expendable. Excellent acting by Alfred Woodard & Laurence Fisburne....more info
  • An Imprint in History
    I was very upset when I say what the Goverment did to Our people in this movie! Just to show that Blacks and Whites react the same to Syphills! Damn! I was not taught this in school High School! This is a a piece of history that should be taught!...more info
  • great!
    I was impressed and pleased with the speed of delivery and the quality of the product. ...more info
  • Shocking
    I had to buy this movie to watch it for school. I was shocked by the real-life story that this movie depicts. It's a great movie to watch, especially for those in healthcare to see how research trials with human subjects were conducted....more info
  • informative
    it's a great movie that allows you to see how the tuskegee study actually came about and how it took many years later for something to be done. its sad but informative. i loved it. ...more info


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