Book Vs. Movie Something the Lord Made
The 1989 Washingtonian Article Vs. the 2004 HBO Movie
The Margos learn part of the history of heart surgery starting with Katie McCabe’s 1989 article Like Something the Lord Made from Washingtonian magazine, which features the work of Vivien Thomas, one of the pioneers of the “Blue Baby” heart surgery techniques. Thomas, an African American janitor at Vanderbilt University during the American Depression, went to work for Dr. Alfred Blaylock as a research assistant in heart surgery.
Thomas dreamed of being a doctor for decades. Still, due to many circumstances, including racism and segregation, he was relegated to essential for surgery and research. Still, he wasn’t given proper attribution for his work until decades after the first successful surgery was performed. In the Washingtonian article, several doctors talk with reverence about the teachings of Thomas and his surgical skills.
The movie was created for HBO in 2004 and starred Alan Rickman as Blalock, Mos Def (now known as Yassin Bey) as Thomas, Kyra Sedgewick (Mary Blalock,) Gabrielle Union (Clara Thomas,) Merritt Weaver (Mrs. Saxon,) Mary Stuart Masterson as Helen B. Taussig. It features experiments (faked for the movie) on dogs, so warning!
It was eventually nominated for Outstanding Made for Television Movie and eight other categories for the Emmys that year, the Golden Globes, Director’s Guild of America, NAACP Image Award, a Peabody, and was recognized by the American Film Institute.
So, between the original story and the adaptation–which did we prefer?
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In this ep the Margos discuss:
- The original article, which one a national magazine award
- The life story of Vivien Thomas and Alfred Blalock
- How the movie brings the story to life
- Starring: Alan Rickman, Mos Def, Kyra Sedgewick, and Mary Stuart Masterson.
- Vivien Thomas meets Dr. Alfred Blaylock
- Something the Lord Made original trailer
- Dr. Blaylock gets Vivien more money
- Dr. Blaylock introduces Dr. Helen B. Taussing at a party where Vivien is a server
- Operation of Eilleen Saxon
- Everyone is rewarded/mentioned except for Vivien at Dr. Blaylock’s part
- Last time Dr. Blaylock & Vivien speak
- Vivien receives an honorary doctorate
- Music by Christopher Young
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