AFI Catalog of Feature Films
Name Occurs Before Title Offscreen Credit Print Viewed By AFI
Title: The Help

Production Company: DreamWorks Pictures  
  Reliance Entertainment  
  Participant Media  
  Imagenation Abu Dhabi  
  1492 Pictures  
  Harbinger Pictures  
Production Text:
Distribution Company: Touchstone Pictures  
  DreamWorks Pictures  
  Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures  

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
DreamWorks II Distribution Co., LLC 18 Aug 2011 PA1747822

Release Date: 2011
Premiere Information: Los Angeles and New York openings: 10 Jul 2011
Duration (in mins): 137
PCA NO: 46717
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Country: United States
Language: English

Physical Properties: Sd: Dolby® Digital; SDDS Sony Dynamic Digital Sound; Datasat Digital Sound in selected theatres
  col:
  Lenses/Prints: Filmed with Panavision® cameras & lenses; Prints by deluxe®

Producer: Brunson Green (Prod)
  Chris Columbus (Prod)
  Michael Barnathan (Prod)
  Mark Radcliffe (Exec prod)
  Tate Taylor (Exec prod)
  L. Dean Jones, Jr. (Exec prod)
  Nate Berkus (Exec prod)
  Jennifer Blum (Exec prod)
  John Norris (Exec prod)
  Jeff Skoll (Exec prod)
  Mohamed Mubarak Al Mazrouei (Exec prod)
  Sonya Lunsford (Co-prod)
Director: Tate Taylor (Dir)
  Robin Nelson Sweet (Unit prod mgr)
  L. Dean Jones, Jr. (Unit prod mgr)
  Donald L. Sparks (1st asst dir)
  Karen Davis (2d asst dir)
  Tessa Stephenson (2d 2d asst dir)
Writer: Tate Taylor (Wrt)
Photography: Stephen Goldblatt (Dir of photog)
  Hans Bjerno (Aerial dir of photog)
  Will Arnot (A cam op/Steadicam)
  Larry Huston (1st asst cam)
  John Oliveri (2d asst cam)
  Blake Alcantara (Cam loader)
  Dale Robinette (Still photog)
  Bryce Shields (Video assist)
  Colin Campbell [gaffer] (Chief lighting tech)
  Sean Smith (Asst chief lighting tech)
  William Jackson (Asst chief lighting tech)
  Howard Fox (Elec)
  Drew Frazier (Elec)
  Christopher C. Johnson (Elec)
  Shawn Torge (Elec)
  Erik Bernstein (Rigging gaffer)
  Charles Saldana, III (Key grip)
  Douglas L. Wall (Best boy grip)
  Andy Crawford (Dolly grip)
  Khris Bennett (Grip)
  Peter Budd (Grip)
  Rob Chidester (Grip)
  Craig Garfield (Grip)
  James T. Gordon (Grip)
  Josh Malloy (Grip)
  T. D. Scaringi (Key rigging grip)
  Coyt Bailey (Pilot)
  Patrick Redmond (Wescam tech)
  Chapman/Leonard Studio Equipment, Inc. (Cam equip and systems)
Art Direction: Mark Ricker (Prod des)
  Curt Beech (Art dir)
  Cindy M. Ichikawa (Art dept coord)
  Ellen Lampl (Prod illustrator)
  Tim Burgard (Storyboard artist)
Film Editor: Hughes Winborne (Ed)
  Heather Mullen (1st asst ed)
  Peter Lam (Apprentice ed)
Set Decoration: Rena DeAngelo (Set dec)
  Jeno Dellicolli (On set dresser)
  Chris Ubick (Prop master)
  Rachel A. Flores (Asst prop master)
  Frank Gray, III (Prop asst)
  Darian Corley (Prop asst)
  Karen Frick (Prop asst)
  Lee Ann Fleming (Food stylist)
  Martha Foose (Food stylist)
  Mary Hoover (Food stylist)
  Paul Sonski (Set des)
  Troy Borisy (Leadperson)
  Charles Campbell Brewer (Swing gang)
  Adam Henderson (Swing gang)
  M. Katy Jensen (Swing gang)
  Bruce Lehay (Swing gang)
  Matt Lindahl (Swing gang)
  Joshua Moceri (Swing gang)
  Steven Reddington (Swing gang)
  Spencer Register (Swing gang)
  Joie Todd Kerns (Swing gang)
  Steve Hagberg (Const coord)
  Tony Bridgers (Const foreman)
  James Manley (Labor foreman)
  Stephanie Waldron (Greens foreman)
  Henry Dando (Greens foreman)
  Terry A. Deubel (Paint foreman)
  Sheila Bartlett (Standby painter)
  Michael B. Gowen (Const buyer)
  Kenneth R. Cole (Propmaker foreman)
  Bobby Vaughn (Tool foreman)
  Robert L. Girard (Foreman)
  Dale Gordon (Foreman)
  Sergey Mazurov (Foreman)
  Randy Uhlig (Foreman)
  Joe Voda (Foreman)
  Rick Bernos (Scenic foreman)
  Ken Deubel (Scenic foreman)
  Todd Hatfield (Scenic foreman)
  Travis Clark (Warehouse mgr)
Costumes: Sharen Davis (Cost des)
  Beth Morgan (Asst cost des)
  Wendy Chuck (Asst cost des)
  Dana Hart (Cost supv)
  Megan Coates (Key set cost)
  Jodie Stern (Key cost (L.A.))
  Jim Alan Cook (Background cost)
  Marylou Lim (Cost)
  Scheris Shephard (Cost)
  Amy Patterson (Cost)
  Suzie Kipp (Cost)
  Gina Flanagan (Cost illustrator)
  Julie Yrjanson (Head cutter)
  Kathleen Farris (Stitcher)
  Alexandra Eagle (Set cost)
Music: Thomas Newman (Mus)
  Jennifer Hawks (Mus supv)
  Tori Fillat (Mus coord)
  Christopher Hogenson (Mus coord)
  Andrew Silver (Mus ed)
  Bill Bernstein (Mus ed)
  Mike Zainer (Asst mus ed)
  George Budd (Mus consultant)
  Tommy Vicari (Music rec and mixed)
  Armin Steiner (Orch rec by)
  J. A. C. Redford (Orch)
  Larry Mah (Digital audio)
  Leslie Morris (Mus contractor)
  Reprise Music Services (Mus preparation)
  Geoge Doering (Audio coord)
  Ernest Lee (Digital coord)
  Aaron Walk (Asst eng)
  Tim Lauber (Asst eng)
  Capitol Records (Mus rec at)
  The Newman Scoring Stage, 20th Century Fox (Orch rec at)
  The Village (Mixed at)
  George Doering (Instrumental soloist)
  Steve Tavaglione (Instrumental soloist)
  Rick Cox (Instrumental soloist)
  Mike Fisher (Instrumental soloist)
  Sid Page (Instrumental soloist)
  Steve Kujala (Instrumental soloist)
Sound: Scott Millan (Re-rec mixer)
  David Giammarco (Re-rec mixer)
  Willie Burton (Prod sd mixer)
  Gary Theard (Boom op)
  Adam Mohundro (Sd utility)
  Dennis Drummond (Supv sd ed)
  Scott A. Jennings (Sd eff ed)
  Kim Drummond (ADR supv)
  William Riley (Supv foley ed)
  Laura Graham (ADR ed)
  Ann Ducommun { } (1st asst sd ed)
  Ian Blackman (Apprentice sd ed)
  Andy Malcolm (Foley artist)
  Goro Koyama (Foley artist)
  Jack Heeren (Foley mixer)
  Don White (Foley mixer)
  Jenna Dalla Riva (Foley rec)
  Stephen Muir (Foley rec)
  Footsteps Post-Production Sound Inc. (Foley rec at)
  Todd-AO West (Re-rec at)
  Drew Webster (Mix tech)
  Kimberly Jimenez (Addl sd services)
  Chris Navarro (ADR mixer)
  Brian Smith (ADR mixer)
  Audio Head Post (ADR rec at)
  Sony Pictures Studios (ADR rec at)
  Wendy Hoffman (Group ADR by)
  Ashley Lambert (Group ADR by)
Special Effects: Terry Tjelmeland (Spec eff foreman)
  Chris Allen (Spec eff tech)
  James Cheshire (Spec eff tech)
  Michael Frechette (Spec eff tech)
  Heath Hood (Spec eff tech)
  Michael Dean Kiesling (Spec eff tech)
  Patrick White (Spec eff tech)
  Kurt Wunder (Spec eff tech)
  Prologue Films (Main on end titles by)
  Henry Hobson (Title des)
  Unjoo Byars (Titles prod)
  Scarlet Letters (End crawl by)
  Pixel Magic (Visual eff)
  Ray McIntyre, Jr. (Visual eff supv, Pixel Magic)
  Ray Scalice (Visual eff prod, Pixel Magic)
  Christine Cobb (Visual eff coord, Pixel Magic)
  Victor Di Michina (Tech prod supv, Pixel Magic)
  Rif Dagher (CG supv, Pixel Magic)
  Patrick Trahan (2d artist, Pixel Magic)
  John McConnell (2d artist, Pixel Magic)
  Patrick Flanagan (2d artist, Pixel Magic)
  Steve Lloyd (2d artist, Pixel Magic)
  Adam Folse (2d artist, Pixel Magic)
  Erik Holman (2d artist, Pixel Magic)
  Anthony Vingas (2d artist, Pixel Magic)
Dance: Marilyn Scaringi (Choreog)
Make Up: Brad Wilder (Makeup dept head)
  Denise L. Paulson (Key makeup artist)
  Gloria Belz (Makeup artist)
  Jami Ross (Addl makeup)
  Sandy Jo Johnston (Addl makeup)
  Linda Boykin-Williams (Addl makeup)
  Camille Friend (Hair dept head)
  Roxanne Wightman (Key hairstylist)
  Vincent Gideon (Hairstylist)
  Lindy Dunn (Addl hair)
Production Misc: Kerry Barden (Casting)
  Paul Schnee (Casting)
  Leslee Feldman (Casting exec)
  Allison Estrin (Casting assoc)
  Michael Fredlund (Casting asst NY)
  Richard Delia (Casting asst LA)
  Kim Petrosky (Local casting)
  Jennifer Presser (Local casting assoc)
  Brent Montgomery (Local casting asst)
  Cate Hardman (Scr supv)
  Shelly Strong (Prod exec)
  Russell Allen (Prod coord)
  Bryan Davis (Asst prod coord)
  Cory Myler (Travel coord)
  Jim Turner (Prod controller)
  Stevie Jean Lazo (Prod accountant)
  Eileen Dennis (1st asst accountant)
  Viki Parker-Crays (2d asst accountant)
  Alexis Tippin (2d asst accountant)
  Jim Swidarski (Payroll accountant)
  Blair Skinner (Accounting clerk)
  Maria DeVane (Post prod accountant)
  Stephen Mapel (Loc mgr)
  Lex Williams (Asst loc mgr)
  Jerel Levanway (Asst loc mgr)
  Les Shanks (Loc asst)
  Sylvester Hoover (Loc liaison)
  Jim Economos (Prod safety exec)
  Nadia Venesse (Dialect coach)
  Nancy Banks (Acting coach)
  Corey Sorenson (Acting coach, "Mae Mobley")
  Deborah Simmrin (Unit pub)
  Lisa Van Wye (First aid)
  Elizabeth Overstreet (First aid)
  Jenny Bond (First aid)
  Larry Shephard (Transportation coord)
  Gary Shephard (Transportation capt/Picture cars)
  Ray Nevin (Local transportation capt)
  Michael Sean Ryan (Picture car capt)
  Marcia Shephard (DOT compliance)
  David Guilbeau (Craft service)
  Tomkats Catering (Caterer)
  Dirk Long (Chef)
  Joshua Ravetch (Prod resources)
  Cleared by Ashley, Inc. (Prod clearances provided by)
  Ashley Kravitz (Prod clearances provided by)
  Ed Borgerding (For ImageNation Abu Dhabi)
  Stefan Brunner (For ImageNation Abu Dhabi)
  Charlsey Adkins (Asst to the prod)
  Kennedy Davey (Asst to the prod)
  Elizabeth Devereux (Asst to the prod)
  George Inmon (Asst to Mr. Taylor)
  Kenny Yates (Asst to Mr. Taylor)
  Monique Allen (Prod asst)
  Mary Bean (Prod asst)
  Cole Berry (Prod asst)
  Megan Broderman (Prod asst)
  Dash Brown (Prod asst)
  Joseph Neal Buckley (Prod asst)
  Avent Clark (Prod asst)
  Randall Clark (Prod asst)
  Josh Crump (Prod asst)
  Joseph Fragale (Prod asst)
  Felisha N. Grice (Prod asst)
  Sylvester Hoover, Jr. (Prod asst)
  Sara Patterson (Prod asst)
  Carmen L. Rodrigues (Prod asst)
  Mary Neff Seabergh (Prod asst)
  Grace Swoope (Prod asst)
  Mark Graziano (Post prod exec)
  Brian McNulty (Post prod supv)
  Robert Bella (Post prod supv)
  Adam Cole (Post prod coord)
  Shaun Gordon (Post prod coord)
  Dominic Haxton (Post prod asst)
  Jodi Tripi (Stock footage res)
Stand In: Rocky Capella (Stunt coord)
  Rex J. Reddick ("Stunt cop")
  Jwaundace Candece ("Aibileen" stunt double)
  Robin Bonaccorsi ("Hilly" stunt double)
  Kelli Stainback (Stand-in)
  Amye Gousset (Stand-in)
  Monie Jones (Stand-in)
  Sarah-Beth Tew (Stand-in)
  Laura Foote (Stand-in)
Color Personnel: EFILM (Digital intermediate by)
  Steven J. Scott (Supv digital col)
  Jacqueline Rosado (Digital intermediate prod)
  Curtis Lindersmith (Digital intermediate ed)
  Andrew Francis (Assoc col)
  Charles Bunnag (Assoc col)
  Juan Flores (Col timing asst)
  Michael Dillon (Digital intermediate asst prod)
  Hal Cohen (Efilm VFX project mgr)
  Ben Estrada (Cinemascan dailies col)
  Ken Lebre (Cinemascan dailies prod)
  Jim Passon (Lab col timer)
  Saj Jayasinghe (Lab account mgr)
  Bruce Fowler (Account mgr asst)
  Rene Gonzalez (Projectionist)

Music Text: "Guiding Light Theme ('Romance' from Violin Concerto #2 in D Minor)," written by Henryk Wieniaswski, performed by Bert Buhrman.
Song Text: "Jackson," written by Jerry Leiber and Billy Edd Wheeler, performed by Johnny Cash and June Carter, courtesy of Columbia Nashville, by arrangement with Sony Music Licensing; "Sherry," written by Bob Gaudio, performed by Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons, courtesy of Rhino Entertainment Company, by arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing; "I Ain't Never," written by Webb Pierce and Mel Tillis, performed by Webb Pierce, courtesy of MCA Nashville, under license from Universal Music Enterprises; "Walk Right Back," written by Sonny Curtis, performed by The Everly Brothers, courtesy of Warner Bros. Records Inc., by arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing; "Rhythm of the Rain," written by John C. Gummoe, performed by The Cascades, courtesy of Warner Bros. Records Inc., by arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing; "Victory Is Mine," written by Alvin Darling and Dorothy Norwood, performed by Dorothy Norwood, courtesy of Malaco Records; "Road Runner," written by Ellas McDaniel, performed by Bo Diddley, courtesy of Geffen Records, under license from Universal Music Enterprises; "Hallelujah I Love Her So," written and performed by Ray Charles, courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp./Rhino Entertainment Company, by arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing; "Swingin' on a Rainbow," written by Peter De Angelis and Robert Marcucci, performed by Frankie Avalon, courtesy of Orchard Enterprises NY, Inc., by arrangement with Nola Leone/Ace Music Services, LLC; "The Wah-Watusi," written by David Appell and Kal Mann, performed by The Orlons, courtesy of ABKCO Music & Records, Inc.; "(You've Got) Personality," written by Harold Logan and Lloyd Price, performed by Lloyd Price, courtesy of Geffen Records, under license from Universal Music Enterprises; "The Little Drummer Boy," written by Katherine Davis, Henry Onorati and Harry Simeone, performed by Ray Conniff & The Ray Conniff Singers, courtesy of Columbia Records, by arrangement with Sony Music Licensing; "Carolina," written by Justin Tapp, courtesy of Selectracks/Bug Music; "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right," written and performed by Bob Dylan, courtesy of Columbia Records, by arrangement with Sony Music Licensing; "Let's Twist Again," written by David Appell and Kal Mann, performed by Chubby Checker, courtesy of ABKCO Music & Records, Inc.; "Hey! Bo Diddley," written by Ellas McDaniel, performed by Bo Diddley, courtesy of Geffen Records, under license from Universal Music Enterprises; "The Living Proof," written by Mary J. Blige, Thomas Newman, Harvey Mason, Jr. and Damon Thomas, performed by Mary J. Blige, Mary J. Blige appears courtesy of Geffen Records, a division of UMG Recordings, Inc.; "Don't Knock," written by Roebuck Staples, performed by Mavis Staples, courtesy of Anti-.
Source Text: Based on the novel The Help by Kathryn Stockett (New York, 2009).
Source Authors: Kathryn Stockett
Music Composer: David Appell
  Mary J. Blige
  Ray Charles
  Sonny Curtis
  Alvin Darling
  Katherine Davis
  Peter De Angelis
  Bob Dylan
  Bob Gaudio
  John C. Gummoe
  Jerry Lieber
  Harold Logan
  Kal Mann
  Robert Marcucci
  Harvey Mason, Jr.
  Ellas McDaniel
  Thomas Newman
  Dorothy Norwood
  Henry Onorati
  Webb Pierce
  Lloyd Price
  Harry Simeone
  Roebuck Staples
  Justin Tapp
  Damon Thomas
  Mel Tillis
  Billy Edd Wheeler
  Henryk Wieniaswski

Cast:   Jessica Chastain (Celia Foote)  
    Viola Davis (Aibileen Clark)  
    Bryce Dallas Howard (Hilly Holbrook)  
    Allison Janney (Charlotte Phelan)  
    Chris Lowell (Stuart Whitworth)  
    Ahna O'Reilly (Elizabeth Leefolt)  
    Sissy Spacek (Missus Walters)  
    Octavia Spencer (Minny Jackson)  
    Mary Steenburgen (Elaine Stein)  
    Emma Stone (Skeeter Phelan)  
    Cicely Tyson (Constantine Jefferson)  
    Mike Vogel (Johnny Foote)  
    Anna Camp (Jolene French)  
    La Chanze (Rachel)  
    Wes Chatham (Carlton Phelan)  
    Aunjanue Ellis (Yule Mae Davis)  
    Nelsan Ellis (Henry the waiter)  
    Dana Ivey (Grace Higginbotham)  
    Ashley Johnson (Mary Beth Caldwell)  
    Leslie Jordan (Mr. Blackly)  
    Brian Kerwin (Robert Phelan)  
    Shane McRae (Raleigh Leefolt)  
    David Oyelowo (Preacher Green)  
    Roslyn Ruff (Pascagoula)  
    Eleanor Henry (Mae Mobley)  
    Emma Henry (Mae Mobley)  
    Ted Welch (William Holbrook)  
    Tarra Riggs (Gretchen)  
    Tiffany Brouwer (Rebecca)  
    Carol Lee (Pearly)  
    Carol Sutton (Cora)  
    Millicent Bolton (Callie)  
    Ritchie Montgomery (Bus driver)  
    Don Brock (White bus passenger)  
    Florence "Flo" Roach (Maid #1)  
    Becky Fly (Woman in grocery store)  
    Sheerene Whitfield (Maid #2)  
    Cleta E. Ellington (Donna the receptionist)  
    Henry Carpenter (Jameso)  
    John Taylor (Missus Walters' date)  
    Charles Cooper (Tire winner @ ballroom #1)  
    Diana Cooper (Tire winner @ ballroom #2)  
    Coyt Bailey (Party guest #3)  
    Wade Cottonfield (Lead singer of band)  
    Kelsey Scott (Sugar Jackson)  
  Bridge club Amy Beckwith    
    Sloane Fair    
    Anna Jennings    
    Lauren Miller    
    Elizabeth Smith    
    Mary Taylor Killebrew    
    Kathryn Ursy    
  [and] Steffany Ward    

Summary: Aibileen Clark, a middle-aged black woman, tells an unseen journalist that she knew her entire life that she was going to grow up to become a maid. Her current position is raising the baby daughter, Mae Mobley, of white suburban housewife Elizabeth Leefolt. Skeeter Phelan, a young white woman, interviews for her first post-collegiate job at the local Jackson, Mississippi newspaper. The Editor-in-Chief, Harold Blackly, throws her the bone of filling in on a cleaning advice column for housewives. Afterward, Skeeter arrives at Elizabeth's bridge party where the girls greet her warmly, even though it's obvious they don't approve of her wanting a career over a husband. Skeeter also asks Elizabeth permission to ask Aibileen cleaning questions for the cleaning column since her own family maid, Constantine, has mysteriously gone missing. Another white housewife, Hilly Holbrook, painfully needs to use the ladies' room, but refuses to use Elizabeth's. Hilly doesn't approve of Elizabeth letting Aibileen use the indoor toilets since, according to her, black people carry different diseases than whites. After the party, Skeeter's mother, Charlotte, is infuriated that her daughter has taken a job. At dinner, the entire family is uncomfortable when Skeeter asks questions about what really happened to Constantine. At last, Charlotte coldly admits to firing the elderly maid. The next day, Skeeter calls New York book editor Elaine Stein to pitch a book written from the point of view of black maids in the South. The excited young writer claims that she already has a negro maid who will talk to her. Elaine is skeptical, but agrees to read whatever Skeeter can come up with, which may be nothing since Aibileen promptly refuses to participate. She might get fired – or worse – if Elizabeth finds out she's talking behind her back. Then, when a torrential rainstorm hits Jackson, Hilly fires her maid, Minny, when she refuses to use the outdoor toilet and sneakily uses the indoor bathroom. After trying to apologize to Hilly a few days later, Minny calls Aibileen in a panic implying she's done something extremely horrible to her former employer. While still on the phone, Minny's husband Leonard comes home and beats his wife mercilessly. Listening to Minny's terrified screams, Aibileen decides its time to call Skeeter and let herself be interviewed. Having read up on Mississippi's Jim Crow laws and learning that it's illegal for blacks and whites to meet, Skeeter sneaks into Aibileen's home. While Aibileen worries that Skeeter might not like what she hears about white people, the journalist remains committed to the project and is anxious to interview as many maids as possible. However, Aibileen doubts that any others will talk to her, especially Minny. Aibileen does her best to open up to Skeeter, beginning with the story of the first baby she ever took care of, which she did when she was just 14 years old. Meanwhile, Minny, is forced to find work outside town at the estate of Celia Foote, whom all the housewives have branded as "white trash." However, Celia is a bubbly, friendly person and she and Minny hit it right off – as long as Minny keeps her presence in the house a secret. Also, Hilly's new maid, Yule Mae, finds an antique ring behind the living room couch while vacuuming. Since she needs extra money for her sons' tuition and Hilly won't give her an advance, Yule Mae pockets the ring. As Skeeter enjoys another interview session with Aibileen, Minny barges into the house to tell of a bombing at the home of civil rights activist Medgar Evers. Minny is stunned that a white woman is in Aibileen's home and, after giving Skeeter a punishing dressing down, slams her way out of the house. Two seconds later, however, Minny barges back in, ready to unload all of her stories about working for white households. Although Minny proves to be a hostile subject, eventually she softens up when she starts talking about cooking. The three ladies end up enjoying an all-night interview session. The next night, Skeeter goes on a blind date with Stuart, a suitor she's been set up with by Hilly. Unfortunately, Stuart acts like an insulting drunk and Skeeter promptly leaves him at the restaurant. Skeeter has better luck with her editor Elaine, who is thrilled with Minny and Aibileen's stories. The bad news is that Elaine needs Skeeter to interview at least a dozen more maids before the book can be published. But, at least Stuart comes by to apologize to Skeeter and the two have a more successful second date where he encourages her to be a writer. A few nights later, when word spreads of a black man being shot, Aibileen is kicked off her bus while coming home from work. Aibileen navigates the dangerous streets alone until she arrives at Minny's house where she learns that Medgar Evers has been shot and killed. Another tragic event happens the next day when police publicly arrest Yule Mae for stealing Hilly's ring. The cops beat her senseless in full view of the entire town. Skeeter rushes surreptitiously to Aibileen's house, which she finds is packed with at least a dozen black maids who all now want to share their life stories. With the book nearly done, Aibileen is still afraid that the people of Jackson will recognize themselves in it despite Skeeter using pseudonyms for everyone. However, Minny promises she has "insurance" that will keep them safe. At last, Minny reveals the terrible thing she did to Miss Hilly. After getting fired, Minny dropped by Hilly's house with an apology and a chocolate pie. However, after Hilly eats two giant slices of the pie, Minny tells her the main ingredient in it is her own feces. As Hilly tries to make herself throw up, Minny makes a hasty retreat. Now, Minny believes if Skeeter puts that story in the book that Hilly will go to the grave convincing people that none of it takes place in Jackson. Although Skeeter is hesitant to print such a scandalous story, Minny gives her an ultimatum: put in the feces-eating story or pull all of her stories out altogether. Finally, Skeeter is ready to finish her book, except she needs to include the story about what really happened to Constantine. Charlotte at last confesses the truth. Several months ago, Constantine's daughter Rachel barged into a fancy luncheon that Charlotte was holding for the Daughters of America. Pressured by the other ladies, Charlotte fired the maid right on the spot. Then, the elderly Constantine passed away before Charlotte attempted to bring her back a few days later. With the last story done, Skeeter's book, called The Help , is published anonymously and sold all over town. Skeeter splits up her publishing advance fee with Minny and Aibileen, but when she confesses to Stuart that she's the anonymous author of the popular book, he dumps her because he "doesn't need the trouble." Also, Minny's prediction comes true as Hilly furiously tries to convince Elizabeth and her friends that there's no way the book is about their own maids. Still, just when Elaine offers Skeeter a job as an Editorial Assistant in New York, Hilly threatens her with a libel lawsuit. But Skeeter cautions Hilly that if she does, then the whole town will know she ate human feces. Hilly won't relent until Charlotte stands up for her daughter, of whom she now feels very proud. At Celia's house, her husband Johnny comes home early from work and, although Minny is afraid he's going to kill her, he is actually grateful for all the work she's done. He's always known that there's no way his wife could have been cooking such wonderful dinners for him these past few months. Celia shows her appreciation by whipping up an extravagant meal on her own just for Minny. After Aibileen and Minny encourage Skeeter to leave Jackson to work in New York, Aibileen returns to Elizabeth's house where she's accused by Hilly of stealing some silverware she lent her friend. Hilly is intent on calling the police and having Aibileen arrested, but the maid counters that if she goes to jail, she'll have all the time in the world to write the entire truth about how vicious and evil Hilly is. Although Elizabeth doesn't call the authorities, she still fires Aibileen. As Mae Mobley pounds on the window, crying for her departing nanny, Aibileen appears satisfied that she's about to embark on a new career as a writer. 

 
Genre: Comedy-drama
 
Subject Major: Authors
  Civil rights
  Maids
  Scandal
 
Subject Minor: African Americans
  Bathrooms
  Books
  Bridge (Game)
  Charity balls
  Class distinction
  Cooks
  Courtship
  Dinners and dining
  Family relationships
  Infants
  Mississippi
  Mothers and daughters
  Nannies
  Poverty
  Racism
  Segregation
  Social climbers
  Socialites
  Southern belles
  Southerners
  Women reporters
  Women's clubs

Note: In the end credits, the film's producers thank the following organizations and individuals: The State of Mississippi; Mississippi Film Office; The City of Greenwood, Mississippi; The City of Jackson, Mississippi; The Junior League of Jackson; Mississippi Development Authority; Viking Range Corporation; Fred E. Carl, Jr.; Bill Crump; AT&T; Entergy Mississippi, Inc.; Greenwood-Leflore-Carroll Economic Development Foundation; Joe Nosef; Sparky Reardon; Carol Lee and Demitrie McLorn. An acknowledgement follows which reads: "The Junior League chapter, and their respective members, depicted in the film are fictitious and any similarity to any actual chapter or individual, whether living or dead, is purely coincidental." The end credits also contain acknowledgements for the following: Life® used by permission of The Picture Collection Inc.; Guiding Light footage courtesy of Proctor & Gamble Productions, Inc.; ABC News Radio; Poster from Cleopatra (1963) courtesy of Twentiethy Century Fox, all rights reserved; NBC News Archives; Corbis, and ITN Source.
       According to a 23 Sep 2011 DV article, director Tate Taylor had known Kathryn Stockett, writer of the novel, The Help , since both were five years old. A 16 Dec 2011 HR article stated that Taylor read Stockett's manuscript in 2007 and encouraged her to persevere despite the "60 rejections" she had received from agents. Though Stockett, encouraged by her loved ones and agent, first told Taylor "no" when he asked to option the rights, she finally agreed when he convinced her "that if her book were optioned by a big-time producer, it might sit on a shelf or be adapted disastrously." Along with producer Brunson Green and executive producer John Norris, Taylor optioned the rights to the novel for $10,000, then worked on the first draft of the script for fourteen months, as stated in the 23 Sep 2011 DV article. According to the 16 Dec 2011 HR article, Taylor was "broke" during this period, and had to borrow money from his parents and even actress Allison Janney, a friend, so that he could finish the script. In the interim, Penguin Books published the novel in 2009, and it was on NYT 's best-seller list for 103 weeks, according to production notes. A 7 Oct 2011 HR news item reported that the book sold over "1 million hardcovers in both 2010 and 2011."
       The DV article stated that executive producer Christopher Columbus "had been following Tate's career," and once the script was ready, Columbus came on as a producer and submitted it to Participant Media. Participant agreed to be a part of the project "no matter where it land[ed]." According to production notes, the producers persisted through several rejections, as Stockett had with her novel, before Dreamworks agreed to make the film. The 23 Sep 2011 DV article stated that, after Dreamworks executives read the script and met with Stockett, they "were convinced they had to do it," despite already having a full slate. The 16 Dec 2011 HR article stated that, on 2 Feb 2010, Spielberg met with Columbus in London, and agreed that Dreamworks would commit to the project if Columbus promised to be on set for the entire production. The budget for The Help was set at $25 million, with "a third coming from co-financier Participant Media." A 17 Jun 2010 DV news item announced that another company, Imagenation Abu Dhabi, would also contribute a portion of the finances. In order to draw the production to Mississippi, instead of Louisiana which offered generous tax credits, the Mississippi Film Commission "arranged $2.75 million in funding and used the film as a guinea pig" to consider future tax credits.
       According to the 23 Sep 2011 DV article, Taylor wrote the part of "Minny" for friend Octavia Spencer, and the part of "Charlotte" for Allison Janney. Taylor had worked with both Spencer and Janney on his first feature film, Pretty Ugly People (2008). Spencer commented that the character of Minny was "very loosely...based on me," as the actress had met Stockett years before and had made such an impression that Stockett used Spencer's personality as a template for Minny while writing the book. In a 17 Nov 2011 LAT article, Stockett pointed out "how natural [Spencer] felt in her own skin," a quality which she later transferred to "the blunt and outspoken Minny." According to a 31 Jul 2011 LAT article, Taylor fought hard to cast Viola Davis in the role of "Aibileen." Davis, cognizant that her participation in the film would elicit strong reactions from the African American community, agreed to do the film, though she later became aware of "entire blogs committed to saying that [she was] a sellout just for playing a maid." A 25 Aug 2010 DV announced that Wes Chatham was cast as the boyfriend to Emma Stone's character, "Skeeter"; however, Chatham played Skeeter's brother in the film.
       The 16 Dec 2011 HR article reported that in Dec 2009, Taylor, production designer Mark Ricker, co-producer Sonya Lunsford, set decorator Rena DeAngelo, and Green took a five-day road trip through Mississippi to scout the perfect location to use for the story, which is set in Jackson, MS. In production notes, Green, who, along with Taylor, is a Mississippi native, stated, "in Greenwood [MS], we saw the 1960s Jackson had remained intact." Also noted in HR , Columbus later introduced Taylor to director of photography Stephen Goldblatt, who encouraged Taylor to shoot on film instead of digital and to "go for vivid colors rather than the desaturated look of many period films."
       The film began shooting in late Jul 2010 on location in Greenwood, Mississippi, according to a 25 Jun 2010 HR news item. Costume designer Sharen Davis provided looks "inspired by what young women in the sixties would wear once they finished school and prepared for their careers" and more lavish costumes for characters like Celia Foote, as stated in an Aug 2011 Vogue article. Davis was "childhood friends" with both Stockett and Spencer, and felt particularly inspired to work on the film as her grandmother had been a maid in North Carolina.
       In the 23 Sep 2011 DV article, Jessica Chastain, who played "Celia Foote," commented on working with so many women on set: "I tend to be the female on the set and this was such a wonderful experience...probably the nicest set I've ever been on, because we all really loved and cared for each other while we were working."
       Three chefs joined the set to help filmmakers create the traditional Southern foods seen in the film, as stated in production notes. Chastain, who had to eat fried chicken in a scene, maintains a vegan diet, so the chefs had to create faux fried chicken for the actress, using soy hot dogs, vegan turkey slices, vegan flour, and almond milk. Also in the film, Minny's "infamous chocolate pie" is served to Bryce Dallas Howard's character "Hilly"; because Howard follows a gluten-free diet, one slice of gluten-free pie was inserted into a regular, more photogenic, chocolate pie.
       Composer Thomas Newman, whose mother hailed from Mississippi, stated in a 16 Dec 2011 DV article that "the feeling of Mississippi, the perfume of it, was something [he] could really relate to." Newman visited Greenwood, MS, during production, to take in "the flavor, just the feeling of a night or the humidity of a day," then incorporated "acoustic guitar, dulcimer, and glass harmonica" into the score.
       Viola Davis addressed the potential controversy surrounding the film in the 23 Sep 2011 DV article, stating, "For one thing, the movie is called The Help ...And it has black maids at the center of it, in 1961 Mississippi, during the civil rights movement. It gives a lot of people reservations, especially when it's in the hands of Hollywood." Holly Bario, co-president of production at Dreamworks, acknowledged the film "needed to be handled in a sensitive way." To generate word-of-mouth publicity, Dreamworks marketing head, Christine Birch, explained that several screenings were held for "groups that comprised the predictable demographics – black church groups, women's organizations, etc." Home Shopping Network joined with Dreamworks to promote The Help by selling products which were tied into the film. A 9 Aug 2011 LAT article reported that Roslyn Brock, "chairwoman of the NAACP," and Cynthia M.A. Butler-McIntyre, "national president of the Delta Sigma Theta Inc. sorority," both promoted the film and encouraged their organizations to support it through word-of-mouth and other events. Though initially opposed to the idea of The Help , Brock changed her mind after seeing one of the film's 250 advance screenings.
       The film opened to mixed reviews. Critics generally lauded Davis' performance. NYT reviewer Manohla Dargis stated, "Davis keeps her cool even as she warms your heart and does her job, often beautifully. She doesn't just turn Aibileen, something of a blur in the novel, into a fully dimensional character, she also helps lift up several weaker performances." DV referred to the film as "an elightening and deeply affecting exercise in empathy for those who've never considered what life must have been like for African-Americans living with inequality a full century after the Emancipation Proclamation." HR accused Taylor of "verg[ing] uncomfortably into cliché" by painting the black maids as sages and the white "Southern belles" as either "witches" or weak-willed followers.
       According to a 15 Aug 2011 DV article, in its first five days of release, The Help grossed $35.4 million, taking in the highest per-theater averages in Memphis, TN, and Jackson, MS. A 14 Oct 2011 HR article reported that the film had taken in $160 million in box-office receipts, and conjectured that, despite a lack of exit polls, many people were most likely seeing the film "at least twice."
       In Oct 2011, the Hollywood Film Festival awarded the cast of The Help with an "ensemble acing award," according to a 21 Sep 2011 DV news item. AFI named the film as one of the Top 10 Movies of the Year. For her portrayal of Minny, Octavia Spencer won a Golden Globe Award for "Best Supporting Actress." The film was nominated for four Academy Awards: "Best Picture," "Best Actress in a Leading Role" (Viola Davis), and "Best Actress in a Supporting Role" (Jessica Chastian & Octavia Spencer).
 

Note Credits: Geographic location: Greenwood Mississippi United States

Source   Date   Page
Daily Variety   16 Dec 2009   p. 6, 27.
Daily Variety   17 Jun 2010   p. 2, 15.
Daily Variety   25 Aug 2010.   
Daily Variety   8 Aug 2011   p. 2, 13.
Daily Variety   15 Aug 2011   p. 1, 20.
Daily Variety   21 Sep 2011.   
Daily Variety   23 Sep 2011   p. 28, 61.
Daily Variety   16 Dec 2011.   
Hollywood Reporter   25 Jun 2010.   
Hollywood Reporter   9 Aug 2011.   
Hollywood Reporter   14 Oct 2011   p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter   16 Dec 2011   pp. 58-61, 72.
Los Angeles Times   31 Jul 2011   p. D1.
Los Angeles Times   9 Aug 2011   p. B1.
Los Angeles Times   10 Aug 2011.   
Los Angeles Times   17 Nov 2011   p. S16.
New York Times   10 Aug 2011   p. 1.
New York Times   14 Aug 2011   p. AR1.
Variety   7 Oct 2011.   
Vogue   Aug 2011.   

 
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