Full Cast & Crew - The Great Debaters (2007)
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The Great Debaters (2007)

Country: USA

Genres: Biography, Drama

Taglines: When the nation was in need, he inspired them to give us hope.

Director: Denzel Washington

Writers: Robert Eisele, Jeffrey Porro, Tony Scherman

Stars: Denzel Washington, Nate Parker, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Denzel Whitaker, ...

Marshall, Texas, described by James Farmer, Jr. as "the last city to surrender after the Civil War," is home to Wiley College, where, in 1935-36, inspired by the Harlem Renaissance and his clandestine work as a union organizer, Professor Melvin Tolson coaches the debate team to a nearly-undefeated season that sees the first debate between U.S. students from white and Negro colleges and ends with an invitation to face Harvard University's national champions. The team of four, which includes a female student and a very young James Farmer, is tested in a crucible heated by Jim Crow, sexism, a lynch mob, an arrest and near riot, a love affair, jealousy, and a national radio audience.


Denzel Washington


Robert Eisele
Jeffrey Porro (story) &
Tony Scherman (story)


Molly Allen co-producer
Todd Black producer
David Crockett executive producer
Kate Forte producer
Melody Fowler associate producer: Harpo Films
Joe Roth producer
Valeria Scoon associate producer: Harpo Films (as Valerie Scoon)
Bob Weinstein executive producer
Harvey Weinstein executive producer
Oprah Winfrey producer
Valerie Scoon associate producer: Harpo Films


Denzel Washington Melvin B. Tolson
Nate Parker Henry Lowe
Jurnee Smollett-Bell Samantha Booke (as Jurnee Smollett)
Denzel Whitaker James Farmer Jr.
Jermaine Williams Hamilton Burgess
Forest Whitaker Dr. James Farmer Sr.
Gina Ravera Ruth Tolson
John Heard Sheriff Dozier
Kimberly Elise Pearl Farmer
Devyn A. Tyler Helen Farmer (as Devyn Tyler)
Trenton McClain Boyd Nathaniel Farmer
Ritchie Montgomery Deputy
Jackson Walker Pig Owner
Tim Parati Pig Farmer
Robert X. Golphin Dunbar Reed
Justice Leak Harland Osbourne
Glen Powell Harvard Debater #1 (as Glen Powell Jr.)
Brad Watkins Harvard Debater #2
Brian Smiar Harvard Dean
Damien Leake Wilson
Voltaire Sterling Paul Quinn Debater #1 (as Voltaire Rico Sterling)
Stephen Rider Paul Quinn Debater #2
Gordon Danniels Paul Quinn Debate Judge
Donny Boaz Oklahoma City College Debater #1
Samuel Elliott Whisnant Oklahoma City College Debater #2 (as Sam Whisnant)
Bonnie Johnson Dr. Jennings
Charissa Allen Benita
Michael Beasley Trudell
Gary Mathis Enormous Man
George Wilson Samuel
Fahnlohnee R. Harris Clementine (as Fahnlohnee Harris)
Harold Evans William Taylor (as Harold X. Evans)
J.D. Evermore Captain Wainwright
Sharon Jones Lila
Kelvin Payton Joseph
Southey Blanton White Labor Organizer
Michael Mattison White Sharecropper #1
Jeff Braun White Sharecropper #2
Milton R. Gipson Prairie View Professor
Frank Ridley Security Guard
Jeremiah Kissel Radio Announcer at Harvard Debate
Jack Radosta White Man at Lynching
Marcus Lyle Brown Howard Debater #1
Alvin Youngblood Hart Juke Joint Musician #1 (as Alvin 'Youngblood' Hart)
Dom Flemons Juke Joint Musician #2 (as Dominique Flemons)
Justin Robinson Juke Joint Musician #3
Rhiannon Giddens Juke Joint Musician #4
Ahmad Powell Fisk Professor
Michael C. 'Mike' Allen Deputy Texas Ranger (uncredited)
Kevin Beard Klansman at Lynching (uncredited)
Ellen Becker-Gray Faculty at Harvard Debate (uncredited)
Chad Boldini Harvard Debate Attendee (uncredited)
Crystal Brown-Tatum Female Teacher / Dance Chaperone (uncredited)
Gio Castellano Harvard Debate Attendee (uncredited)
Thomas Cataloni Sailor (uncredited)
Michael DeMello Debate Observer (uncredited)
Roger Dillingham Jr. Upscale Traveler (uncredited)
Sal DiMino Reporter (uncredited)
Curtis Eames Reporter (uncredited)
Brian D. Evans Harvard Student (uncredited)
Benjamin Fisher Harvard Student (uncredited)
Jaishon Fisher Newspaper Boy (uncredited)
Jamai Fisher Kid at Train Station (uncredited)
Steve Flynn Harvard Dean (uncredited)
Hevin Hampton Bar Patron (uncredited)
Joel B. Hayden Harvard Professor (uncredited)
Patrick Mel Hayes Harvard Alumni (uncredited)
Alex Korna Harvard Student (uncredited)
Kenneth Lecompte Share Cropper and Grocer (uncredited)
Jimmy Lee Jr. Lyncher (uncredited)
Aqua Lee Juke Joint Couple (uncredited)
Robert Masiello Harvard Alumni (uncredited)
Josh McBride Harvard Student (uncredited)
Paul McGillicuddy Harvard Debate Attendee (uncredited)
Alex Milne Shoe Shine Boy (uncredited)
Tarek Moussa Harvard Student (uncredited)
Jason Mulcahy Harvard Student (uncredited)
Ed O'Keefe Harvard Scholar (uncredited)
Giovanni Pantaleo Havard Student (uncredited)
Cory Patt Wiley Student (uncredited)
James Paul Riot Starter (uncredited)
Jeannie Perrin Lynching Participant (uncredited)
Todd Poudrier Radio Tech (uncredited)
Breon Pugh Wiley Debater (uncredited)
Alan Resnic Harvard Scholar (uncredited)
Robert M. Saunders Harvard Student (uncredited)
Cory Reed Smith Harvard Debate Attendee (uncredited)
Scott Sousa Harvard Student (uncredited)
Heath Stewart Reserve Harvard Debater (uncredited)
Bill Stinchcomb Lynch Mob (uncredited)
Ruth Sullivan Student (uncredited)
Ian Wallace Harvard Student (uncredited)
Donald Warnock The Chief Harvard Judge (uncredited)
Mike Wendt Havard Student (uncredited)
Russell Woron-Simons Harvard Debate Attendee (uncredited)
Adam Zalt Harvard Student / Navy Sailor (uncredited)
Mario Wanza Wiley Student (uncredited)
Nefertara Hotep Extra (uncredited)
Ruth Mahala Sullivan Student (uncredited)
Razmig Arabian Harvard Student (uncredited)
Benjamin Crocker Harvard Student (uncredited)
Chaz Echols Wiley College Student (uncredited)