Search - Redemption - The Stan "Tookie" Williams Story on DVD

Redemption - The Stan "Tookie" Williams Story
Redemption - The Stan Tookie Williams Story
Actors: Jamie Foxx, Lynn Whitfield, Lee Thompson Young, Brenden Jefferson, Brenda Bazinet
Director: Vondie Curtis-Hall
Genres: Drama, Television, Mystery & Suspense, African American Cinema
R     2004     1hr 35min

Jamie Foxx gives a ?career defining? performance (DAILY VARIETY) as Stan ?Tookie? Williams, founder of the notorious Crips street gang in this riveting true story. Awaiting execution on death row, Tookie is now determined ...  more »

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Movie Details

Actors: Jamie Foxx, Lynn Whitfield, Lee Thompson Young, Brenden Jefferson, Brenda Bazinet
Director: Vondie Curtis-Hall
Creators: Barbara Becnel, Eva Garofalo, Frederick Capitelli, Jaime Rucker King, Jon Katzman, Marcus King, J.T. Allen
Genres: Drama, Television, Mystery & Suspense, African American Cinema
Sub-Genres: Drama, Television, Mystery & Suspense, African American Cinema
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Format: DVD - Color,Full Screen,Widescreen,Anamorphic - Closed-captioned,Dubbed,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 08/17/2004
Original Release Date: 03/03/2004
Theatrical Release Date: 03/03/2004
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 1hr 35min
Screens: Color,Full Screen,Widescreen,Anamorphic
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 2
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English, Spanish
Subtitles: English, Spanish

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Movie Reviews

Good film about a lying killer
The Flying ''Rodent'' | Toronto, Canada | 12/01/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)

"This may be a good film - but the subject, Stanley Williams, is a liar and a killer. That makes the title, REDEMPTION, a lie itself. There's no redemption for someone who denies his sins.

WORLD NET DAILY reports the following:

Williams, 51, was convicted of the 1979 murders of Tsai-Shai Yang, Yen-I Yang, Yee-Chen Lin and Albert Owens in two separate robberies. . . .

"Stanley Williams does not deserve this mercy," said the DA's report to the governor. "In fact, despite the overwhelming nature of the evidence against him, and despite the non-existence of any credible defense, Stanley Williams has steadfastly refused to take any responsibility for the brutal, destructive, and murderous acts he committed. Without such responsibility, there can be no redemption, there can be no atonement, and there should be no mercy."

Though Williams has steadfastly denied committing the four murders, the DA's report says he admitted the crimes to the following people:

James Garrett, a man with whom Williams lived most of the time before and after the murders were committed. The DA says Garrett possessed specific details of the crime and that Williams threatened to kill one of his accomplices, Alfred Coward.

Ester Garrett, the wife of James Garrett, who said Williams characterized the Taiwanese motel owners murdered in one of the robberies as "Buddhaheads." She said Williams also admitted killing another "white dude" for $63 and indicated he was also considering killing Coward.

Coward, one of Williams' accomplices, testified that Williams laughed about the murder of Owens. "You should have heard the way he sounded when I shot him," Coward recalled Williams saying. He followed this statement with growling noises.

. . . .

In addition, the DA report says Williams implicated himself in the murders at the motel by telling deputies after his arrest that five shots were fired.

"Williams, in a moment of mistaken candor, provided detectives with information only the killer would know," the report says. "Moreover, he repeated that knowledge twice. When confronted with this apparent knowledge, Williams against acting as the guilty party, retracted the statements and denied saying what he had just been heard to say. These statements and Williams' immediate retraction of them are admissions to the Brookhaven (Motel) murders. Williams knew five shots were fired because it was Williams who pulled the trigger each of those five times."

. . . .

While Williams' celebrity cheerleaders have claimed he has been a model prisoner throughout his sentence and have pointed to this as evidence of his rehabilitation, the DA's report contains 11 examples of incidents for which he was disciplined, beginning in 1981 and continuing through 1993. They include:

> a violent fight with another inmate June 30, 1981, in which he repeatedly struck the prisoner while kneeling over him;

> a refusal to line up for a return to his cell Jan. 26, 1982, in which he threatened a guard;

> throwing a chemical substance in the eyes of a guard Jan. 28, 1982, in an attack that resulted in chemical burns and emergency treatment;

> a second attack on a guard with a chemical substance Jan. 29, 1982;

> an attack on another inmate Feb. 16, 1984, in which Williams only stopped beating the prisoner when a warning shot was fired;

> a threat to kill a guard June 8, 1984;

> the beating of another inmate July 4, 1986 that only ceased when armed officers arrived on the scene;

> another fight with an inmate that led to his own stabbing, reportedly retaliation for his ordering another inmate to be stabbed;

> his continued association with the Crips street gang led to administrative segregation Oct. 19, 1988;

> the beating of another inmate Dec. 24, 1991, that only stopped after a warning shot was fired;

> another fight with other inmates July 6, 1993, in which a stabbing instrument (shank) was recovered.

The DA's report also says Williams threatened all of the jurors after they found him guilty.

. . . .

The DA also points out that Williams has steadfastly refused to be debriefed about his in-depth knowledge of the Crips street gang.

. . . .

In 2004, the city of Los Angeles alone, gang crimes accounted for 291 homicides, 717 attempted homicides, 2,616 felony assaults, 61 attacks on police officers, 2,308 robberies, 44 kidnappings, 36 rapes, 754 acts of witness intimidation, 20 acts of extortion and 188 carjackings.

"Although Stanley Williams is not directly responsible for every gang crime committed today, he was an integral founding member of a gang that has contributed, and continues to contribute, to the gang problem with devastating force," says the report. "This plague on our society continues to spread, and continues to take lives on a daily basis. Williams unleashed this violence in no less a manner than if he had released a deadly virus into our communities.""
maze | 12/04/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)

"I work in an anti-gang program and alot of people around me disagree, but this is what I feel: If Tookie's anti-gang work meant anything at all, he should take the punishment that was given to him like a man. He should take a stand and be the example to the youths and gang memebers by showing them what will happen to them if they continue.....THEN he can get his Nobel Peace Prize. Otherwise, we are just influenced that he was bored in jail all these years with nothing else to do. As usual, the victims are forgotten. There is no bringing back his innocent victims, they are gone forever, and there would be no justice for their families. And for the people that are rallying to stop his execution - what if it was one of your family members that was killed by him, would you be supporting him then ? I dont think so. I understand that cultures have their ways and people do what they do to survive, but in no way should that lifestyle be glamourized to the extent that it is today. We've got to stop seeing gang members, drug dealers, pimps, etc as heroes. Everyone is on the African-American tip these days, but this is not about racism, or being on their side, this side or that side. When it comes to being so inhumane as to end someone's life, there is no 'side', that is a crime against human nature. Jamie Foxx is an excellent actor, but he's got to stop and think what he's doing - if that was one of his family members that was killed by Tookie, i bet you he would not be promoting his clemency. I say all this because of our children, our youths. They have such limited freedom these days, and its a shame that they cannot experience the wonderful childhood that most of us adults in our 30's (and above) had when we were children."
Boring and Boring
Smart Reader | California, USA | 02/08/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)

"This movie starts off boring, continues to be boring, and finally, has a boring ending. I thought that this movie was supposed to show gang life, how "Tookie" started his gang, his bad choices, what he actually did to get convicted, and some actual drama. But none of these are to be found in this movie. What you get instead is an entire movie about Tookie being locked up in a cell where he speaks very, very low key to some lady who wants to listen to him and help him with his books. And as for the violence in this movie, it is practically non-existant. The so called violence in this movie lasts about 1 minute and is comprised of two separate fight sences, each lasting about half a minute each. I truly think that the only people who would be interested in this movie would have to be die-hard fans of Jamie Fox. If you are not a die-hard fan, I suggest that you save your money and your time and stay away from this movie that nearly puts you to sleep.

I do have one last suggestion. If you want a really good movie about gangs, their theology, and about prison life, then you need to see "American Me." This movie is very well acted, full of drama, and has a great script. And by the way, it doesn't have a happy ending - but this is what is to be expected when one joins a gang - because gang members are not really your family or your friends. Also, the documentary special feature in the DVD version of "American Me" is excellent. It is one of the best documentaries I have ever seen. It shows you what it means to be in a gang."
Not a prison film
SpiritChild | Amherst, MA United States | 02/23/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Many people who have not seen this film may have hopes of seeing an exciting and violent prison or gang film. This movie is certainly not a prison film. If your looking for a great prison film I suggest "Lockdown" with Master P. Also if you have hopes of seeing gang violence, you wont see much in this film. Personaly, I think this film could have benefited from having more action and showing some of Williams past gang violence. A film like "American History X" did a great job of blending violence and action with regret and reform better then this film. This film at times Romanticized Williams way too much (showing him as the hero and victim of society figure).

Overall, this is a very good made for TV movie, but you should be warned that this film is more drama then action. I liked the movie and I will keep it in my collection, but I felt that I should warn others that this film is not the action film you might expect. There is no way I can give this movie 5 stars. Although the reformed leader of the crips may not want to glorify violence in this movie (which is why there's hardly any), it's still neccessary to portray the full story. The director rushed passed all of Tookies wrongs and only showed his rights. How can we understand the full message of redemption if we dont know what he is remorseful about? Throughout the entire film we never hear one time what he is in prison for. You either have to do your own research or just assume it was gang activity.

Directing=3.5 stars
Ending=4 stars
acting&cast=5 stars
replay value=3 stars


I recommend "scared straight" in addition to this film."