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Nominated for nine Emmy AwardsÂr, this "astute and compelling" Variety biographybased on the remarkable life of Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., takes an intimate look at one of the world's most public heroes during one of the most tumultuous times in American history. Starring Paul Winfield, Cicely Tyson and Ossie Davis, King is a riveting tale that appropriately honors a true legend.In 1950s/60s America, the civil rights movement found its leader in a Southern Baptist minister. Using lyrical eloquence, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., motivated masses of peopleblack and whiteto demand equality by way of nonviolent protest. But in spite of his peaceful agenda, Dr. King was often the target of terrible violence. He was never swayedfrom his path, however; for by the time he was assassinated in 1968, Dr. King had already defined adream that would change a nation forever.
The late, great Paul Winfield tackles the role of his career in King, an NBC miniseries originally broadcast over three nights in February 1978. Demonstrating a deeply inspired commitment to his performance as civil rights leader Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Winfield's voice and presence are different from King's, but he flawlessly conveys the physical and psychological essence of the man. In the six-hour telefilm written and directed by Judgment at Nuremberg Oscar®-winner Abby Mann, King is portrayed as a courageously devoted crusader for a just cause, whose commitment to nonviolent protest was a heavy burden he bore with miraculous poise and conviction, often at the expense of his health and well-being. Like Winfield, Cicely Tyson is uncannily convincing in her role as King's noble wife, Coretta.
From King's beginnings as a Baptist minister in the early 1950s to his assassination in Memphis, Tennessee on April 4, 1968, King recreates the pivotal events and speeches of King's life in meticulous detail, and many of those who participated in these historical civil-rights milestones appear in the film including Rosa Parks, Ramsey Clarke, Ossie Davis, and singer Tony Bennett or served as consultants during production. And while Mann's first and only directorial effort is somewhat dry and artless, his devotion to factual detail is apparent in every frame, making King the definitive dramatization of MLK's extraordinary life and legacy. The DVD bonus features include three substantial mini-documentaries that explore King's struggle, the civil rights movement, and the making of the film, featuring extensive interviews with Ossie Davis who plays MLK's father in the miniseries and civil rights leader Bishop Kenneth C. Unger. --Jeff Shannon