Hidden Figures (DVD)

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Hidden Figures (DVD)

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Review of "Hidden Figures (DVD)"

published 04/09/2017 | catsholiday
Member since : 03/03/2003
Reviews : 1946
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About me :
We were travelling but now back so normal service resumed.Thank you anyone who is kind enough to read then rate my reviews, especially those Es.
Pro Amazing story, great actors and excellent sound track
Cons Some dramatic license taken with the story
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"These "HIDDEN FIGURES" should not have been hidden for so long"

Hidden Figures (DVD)

Hidden Figures (DVD)


This is another film that is a real eye opener and a stark reminder of the racial divide that existed so blatantly in the USA within my lifetime. I find it quite shocking when I see films like this to think that this was not actually so long ago and what is really scary is that in the Southern USA racism is still there, not quite so obviously but it is there.

When we were on recent drive tour of the Deep Southern states in the USA we spent some time in a number of places that played a big part in the battle for Civil Rights. I studied American Studies at University so have been interested in US history which is why our trips often incorporate a number of historical visits.

I had no idea about the story told in this film and still find it hard to believe that despite the obvious intelligence of these women they were still treated so badly for so long.

~*&~*&~*&~~ FACTS ABOUT THE FILM ~~&*~&*~&*~


LENGTH :2h 7min

GENRE :| Drama , History, Biography


DIRECTOR: Theodore Melfi

WRITERS: Margot Lee Shetterly _ based on her book
Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi - screenplay

STARRING: Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe

TAGLINES: “Meet the women you don't know, behind the mission you do.”
“Based on the untold true story”

MAIN CAST: Taraji P. Henson ... Katherine G. Johnson
Octavia Spencer ... Dorothy Vaughan
Janelle Monáe ... Mary Jackson
Kevin Costner … Al Harrison
Kirsten Dunst … Vivian Mitchell
Jim Parsons … Paul Stafford
Mahershala Ali … Colonel Jim Johnson
Aldis Hodge … Levi Jackson
Glen Powell … John Glenn

~*&~*&~*&~~ THE STORY ~~&*~&*~&*~

This is based on a true story of three extremely gifted mathematicians who despite living in racist Southern USA were employed by Houston at the time of the Space Race against Russia.

Initially these three women wee one of a number of Black American women employed in a special section of NASA as computers but as their talents became more evident they successfully managed to rise up into the ranks of NASA. Not only were they black but they were also women so they managed to beat both obstacles to become essential to the success of the USA Space race.

Throughout the film we see these women having to put up with horrendous racist attitude. They had to use separate toilets, use separate coffee making equipment and also put up with less intelligent men trying to thwart their efforts by only giving them limited information to work with.

As 20th Century Fox said : “ Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, and Katherine Johnson crossed all gender, race, and professional lines while their brilliance and desire to dream big, beyond anything ever accomplished before by the human race, firmly cemented them in U.S. history as true American heroes.”

~*&~*&~*&~~ MY VIEWS ~~&*~&*~&*~

I knew nothing about these women before watching this film and was totally blown away by the story. What amazingly inspirational ladies they were! They had a lot of character and were determined not to be pushed to one side. They towed the line as far as they could but did push the racial and sexist boundaries in a very determined but non aggressive way.

The costumes were perfect and reflected the time of the story. I remember my mother wearing similar shoes and dresses at this same time in history. Women were expected to dress like women and wear high heels at work.

There were some scenes that were quite funny and shows how ridiculously stupid the segregation was. When Katherine Johnson was asked to work with Space Task Group as they needed a “new computer” ( these talented black women) who could do analytic geometry she has to run all the way back to the West Area Computing division, which was segregated from the rest of Langley Research Center to go to use the black toilet!! She has to leave the building and run half a mile to the coloured women's bathroom in the West Area Computing division in her heels. She carries her work with her and continues to proof it while she pees. This only changed when Al Harrison ( Kevin Kostner) finds out pulls down the racist signs on the toilets saying “ Here at NASA we all pee the same colour.” Whether or not this toilet segregation was true or not has been debated on line but it did lighten the film a bit as it was treated with dark humour.

I thought it was also interesting when the astronauts and other space VIPs arrived that the black women were segregated away from everyone else. John Glenn ignored the fact that others had not officially recognised them and came over to shake their hands as well.

Mary Jackson really want to be an engineer but she has two handicaps, she is a woman and also is black! When she is finally allowed to join the engineering programme the Night School Professor says to her: “Well, the curriculum is not designed for teaching a woman.” to which she replies “ I imagine it's the same as teaching a man.” It beggars belief that men were so blinded by attitude that someone could even think this!!

When asked in an interview about racism at NASA Kathleen Johnson she said “ "I didn't feel it, I knew it was there but it didn't affect me" . About racism generally at the time she said ; "You was brought up in it, that's the way it was conducted and you lived with it"

Obviously a lot of the action is inside NASA but scenes outside and indeed those inside were all filmed in Georgia so authentically Southern USA.

The music was great and fitted perfectly . A number of tracks by Pharrell Williams, a couple by Mary J. Blige and couple by Alicia Keys and Janelle Monáe with Pharrell Williams. There were others as well from the time period and all in all it really added to the film and was an enjoyable soundtrack that I would be happy to buy as a CD to listen to .

It seems that there re many who feel that the director played the racist and sexist theme too strongly and who feel the story would have been better without that but in my opinion they are important facets of the story. These women were brilliant but had to really struggle to get where they did and be fully accepted ass part of the team because they were both black and women. In the sixties it was unusual for a woman to work outside the home at all and yet these women not only worked but did appetizingly high powered academic mathematics in a vital role in the very male dominated Space industry. I was only a child in the sixties but I do remember that women were generally still in the home and certainly racism existed as it does today sadly.

~*&~*&~*&~~ INTERESTING TRIVIA ~~&*~&*~&*~

The issue with the segregated toilets was actually something that happened to Mary Jackson instead. This incident, and the following rant to a colleague was one reason she got moved to the wind tunnel team.

John Glenn did request that Katherine Johnson review all of the numbers for his Friendship 7 mission but this was weeks before not when deadline for the countdown to launch was approaching.

At age 98, Katherine Johnson was the only survivor of the 'Hidden Figures ' ladies to see their lives on screen.

The house used for Dorothy Vaughan's house, is actually an historically important house in Atlanta, as the civil rights pioneers Ralph Abernathy and Martin Luther King met there.

Apparently 98 year old Katherine Johnson was happy with the the portrayal of her life and that of her friends but wondered why anybody would want to make a film about her life !

Katherine Johnson was awarded a Presidential Medal of Freedom for her work at NASA by President Barack Obama in November 2015.

In 2016 NASA building was named the Katherine G Johnson Computational Research Facility in her honour.

At the 2017 Oscars when the film's stars, Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monáe were going to present an award they first invited 98 year old Katherine Johnson on to the stage where she received a standing ovation from the audience.

Mark Armstrong, son of Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong, made a cameo appearance and joined the actors who were playing the NASA engineers in one scene.

Pharrell Williams not only sang many of the tracks but also oversaw all musical elements, and the soundtrack as a whole.

~*&~*&~*&~~ WHAT THE CRITICS SAID ~~&*~&*~&*~

TheWrap :
“Hidden Figures is feel-good history, but it works, and it works on behalf of heroes from a cinematically under-served community. These smart accomplished women had the right stuff, and so does this movie.”

Movie Nation :
“Warm and witty performances by Spencer, Hensen and Monae, the stoic moral stature Costner plays and unlikable-until-they’re-reasonable turns by Dunst and Parsons make Hidden Figures a winner, a piece of unknown history rendered flesh and blood funny, uplifting and never less than entertaining.”

New York Daily News :
“Hidden Figures is an earnest movie, but not a very exciting one. The screenplay feels as engineered as a Gemini rocket launch, with every scene and line carefully calculated.”

Rolling Stone:
“Lots of movies are labelled as "inspirational" – Hidden Figures truly earns the right to the term.”

IMDb gave this film a score of 7.8Rotten Tomatoes rated it 92% on the Tomatometer and the audience score it 93%. Metacritic gave it a Metascore of 74 and the statistics say it was #52 Most Discussed Movie of 2016 and #53 Most Shared Movie of 2016 .

~*&~*&~*&~~ AWARDS ~~&*~&*~&*~

The cast earned the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.

It was nominated for a number of Oscars and other awards but they won the African-American Film Critics Association awards for all these categories: Best Ensemble, Breakout Performance fr
Janelle Monáe For Moonlight, Best Song "Victory" and was in their Top 10 Films.

The film was nominated and also won awards from a number of other awards bodies as well but no Oscars.

~*&~*&~*&~~ RECOMMENDED? ~~&*~&*~&*~

I certainly would and my husband also enjoyed it too. It could have been made into a documentary and also been great but I enjoy films that dramatically tell a true story or base the film on a true as often they are more impressive than those fiction stories they choose.

I never understand why we get so many re makes of past films and constant additions to franchises that really only have one or at the most two films in them. There are so many fabulous books I have read that would make great stories and so many real life stories like this that are far more inspiring than some of the dreary trash they churn out.

I know it isn't a 100% accurate retelling of the story and dramatic license has been taken but this really happened and Wow! What amazing women they were and what a fantastic contribution to the USA Space industry and American history – I can't understand why we had to wait so long to learn about their work.

Thanks for reading


4th September 2017

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Comments on this review

  • jb0077 published 23/09/2017
  • jo-1976 published 18/09/2017
    Fascinating story
  • IzzyS published 17/09/2017
    Well reviewed.
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Product Information : Hidden Figures (DVD)

Manufacturer's product description

Product Details

Actor(s) (Last name, First name): Costner, Kevin

Actor(s): Octavia Spencer, Taraji P. Henson, Janelle Monáe, Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst

DVD Region: DVD

Video Category: Feature Film

Director(s): Theodore Melfi

Classification: Parental Guidance

EAN: 5039036080170

Production Year: 2017


Listed on Ciao since: 02/08/2017