When I got up this Sunday morning, admittedly later than I would have preferred, my story-loving wife was watching a movie on AMC which I had not seen. Titled "The Hurricane," it was not about a storm, but rather the Black boxer Ruben "Hurricane" Carter.
I checked it out on IMDb. The 1999 release was rated a very high 7.4 by viewers and directed by the well-thought-of Norman Jewison. The plot summary explained
This film tells the story of Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, an African-American man who rose above his troubled youth to become a top contender for the middle-weight boxing title. However, his dreams are shattered when he is accused of a triple murder, and is convicted to three natural-life terms. Despite becoming a cause celebre and his dogged efforts to prove his innocence through his autobiography, the years of fruitless efforts have left him discouraged. This changes when an African-American boy and his Canadian mentors read his book and are convinced of his innocence enough to work for his exoneration. However, what Hurricane and his friends learn is that this fight puts them against a racist establishment that profited from this travesty and have no intention of seeing it reversed. (emphasis added)
I scrolled down to find a review, but was diverted when I reached the "Trivia" section. It said there were some factual errors so I clicked to see them. This is what came up:
Some of the plot and character points fictionalized or ignored include:
Carter was actually convicted of three muggings and served four years in prison prior to his murder trial
Carter did not give a speech in the courtroom when his conviction was overturned
Carter was actually released from prison for 4 years between his two trial convictions
Carter was dishonorably discharged from the military after four court-martials (after just 21 months' service) (in the movie he is a returning military hero)
There actually was no evidence found that proved Carter's innocence. The reason his conviction was overturned was because the prosecution mishandled much of the evidence it had that Carter did commit the murders. When all the evidence from the real case is looked at, it seems more than likely that Carter was guilty of the murders, but got off on a technicality during his second trial.
We know Blacks must have flocked to see this quality movie about one of their heroes. And then we wonder why so many remain convinced that White racism is still a powerful force of Black oppression.
Under "Taglines" on the IMDb page, it reads: Based on the inspirational true story of a champion.