Gospel Hill (2008) Poster

Gospel Hill (2008)

  • Rate: 5.3/10 total 515 votes 
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Date: 21 August 2009 (USA)
  • Runtime: 99 min (DVD version)
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Gospel Hill (2008)


Gospel Hill 2008tt0810880.jpg poster

  • IMDb page: Gospel Hill (2008)
  • Rate: 5.3/10 total 515 votes 
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Date: 21 August 2009 (USA)
  • Runtime: 99 min (DVD version)
  • Filming Location: Fort Mill, South Carolina, USA
  • Budget: $6,000,000(estimated)
  • Director: Giancarlo Esposito
  • Stars: Chloe Bailey, Adam Baldwin and Angela Bassett
  • Original Music By: Scott Bomar   
  • Sound Mix: Dolby
  • Plot Keyword: Obscene Finger Gesture | Fictional Town | Father Son Relationship | Old Photograph | Race Relations

Writing Credits By:

  • Jeff Stacy (screenplay) &
  • Jeffrey Pratt Gordon (screenplay) and
  • Terrell Tannen (screenplay)
  • Jeff Stacy (story) &
  • Jeffrey Pratt Gordon (story)

Known Trivia

  • Simon Baker was hired for the role of Carl Herrod, but had to bow out at the last minute, due to scheduling conflicts. His name was even advertised on pre-production billboards at the Cannes Film Festival in 2007. The part went to Adam Baldwin, eventually.

Plot: A former sheriff of the southern town dealing with past sins, and a former civil rights worker, withdrawn since the martyrdom of his brother thirty years before, confront a threat to their town. Full summary »  »

Story: Gospel Hill is about haunted men, the former sheriff of the southern town dealing with past sins, and the former civil rights worker withdrawn since the martyrdom of his father thirty years before. Their final confrontation comes when a corporation descends on the town, echoing a struggle thirty years old.Written by Jeff Stacy  


Synopsis: In the town of Julia, the residents of the black neighborhood of Gospel Hill, are being forced out of their homes to make way for a multimillion-dollar golf course development.

Race relations are strained just as they were forty years ago when Peter Malcolm (Samuel Jackson), a black civil rights activist, was assassinated. Dr. Ron Palmer (Giancarlo Esposito), an influential black community leader who runs the emergency clinic in Gospel Hill, is supporting the golf course development and helping to push people off their land.

Peter Malcolm’s son, John Malcolm (Danny Glover), withdrew from the community and the fight for civil rights after his father’s assassination, haunted by feelings of hatred for Jack Herrod (Tom Bower). Herrod, the towns bigoted, ex-sheriff, was responsible for letting the investigation of Peter’s murder dissipate with no one charged.

Meanwhile, Sarah Malcolm (Angela Bassett), Johns wife, takes it upon herself to battle Dr. Palmer and reveal his profiteering to the whole town, exposing him for the greedy man he has become.

Jack’s sons are Carl Herrod (Adam Baldwin), an iconoclastic lawyer, who is having an affair with the doctor’s wife (Nia Long) and Joel Herrod (Taylor Kitsch), who has tried to distance himself from his father’s name and reputation. Joel has a struggling landscaping business that flourishes after he begins to work for Dr. Palmer, but when he falls in love with Rosie (Julia Stiles), a school teacher helping Sarah fight Palmer, the conflict of interest becomes too present to ignore.

These characters lives intertwine as Dr. Palmer obtains real estate and pushes the development to the cities approval; Sarah struggles to get John involved as she fights to expose the doctor; Joel deals with his fathers increasing animosity; Jack Herrod, discovering he is terminally ill, has secretly reopened the case of Peter Malcolm’s murder; and John Malcolm begins to realize that the fight for equality didn’t die with his father, that it continues in every breath the town takes, and he knows that if Sarah continues to stir the hornets nest that the town of Julia has become, he will be thrust into the position he shared with his father forty years ago.


FullCast & Crew

Produced By:

  • Kenneth Atchity known as associate producer
  • Adam Betteridge known as executive producer
  • Freddy Braidy known as producer
  • Stan Erdreich known as co-producer
  • Giancarlo Esposito known as producer
  • Susan Fink known as associate producer
  • Jeffrey Pratt Gordon known as co-producer
  • B. Billie Greif known as producer
  • Cerise Hallam Larkin known as producer
  • D.K. Holmes known as co-producer
  • Simon Horsman known as executive producer
  • Charlotte Koh known as executive producer
  • Ronald Kolman known as executive producer
  • Spencer Longmore known as executive producer
  • Emerson Machtus known as producer
  • Christopher Mallick known as executive producer
  • Stephen Margolis known as executive producer
  • Michael McQueen known as executive producer (as Michael Judd)
  • Jason Offor known as associate producer
  • Andreas Olavarria known as executive producer
  • Michael Parness known as executive producer
  • Elana Pianko known as co-producer
  • Scott Putman known as line producer
  • Sophia Raab known as associate producer
  • David Rogers known as executive producer
  • Scott M. Rosenfelt known as producer
  • Jeff Stacy known as co-producer
  • Mark K. Sullivan known as executive producer
  • Terrell Tannen known as co-producer

FullCast & Crew:

  • Chloe Bailey known as Anna
  • Adam Baldwin known as Carl Herrod
  • Angela Bassett known as Sarah Malcolm
  • Casey Belville known as Teasing White Boy
  • C.K. Bibby known as Dr. Bob Owens (as Chuck Bibby)
  • Darlene Black known as Nurse
  • Phillip Bloch known as George
  • Tom Bower known as Jack Herrod
  • Shirley Jones Bird known as Grandmother
  • Jason Downs known as Tommy Duncan
  • Chris Ellis known as L Donn Murray
  • Giancarlo Esposito known as Dr. Palmer
  • Lee Freeman known as Miriam (President)
  • Jesse Gore known as Calvin
  • Danny Glover known as John Malcolm
  • Ralph Greene known as Luther
  • Julia Grigg known as White Cashier
  • David Haines known as Interviewer
  • Samuel L. Jackson known as Paul Malcolm
  • Charles Jones known as Reverend Charles
  • Felix Justice known as Citizen
  • Atyan Kennedy known as Black Waitress (as Atyan Kennedy Walker)
  • Taylor Kitsch known as Joel Herrod
  • Jason Duffy Klemm known as Police Officer (as Jason Klemm)
  • Nia Long known as Mrs. Palmer
  • Ted Manson known as Ernest Hatch
  • Raquel Oliver known as Black Cop
  • Michael Parness known as Cromwell
  • Brian Robinson known as Valley Corp Exec
  • RZA known as Lonnie (as The RZA)
  • Julia Stiles known as Rosie
  • Coletrane Williams known as Teasing Boy #2
  • Lem Collins known as Bar Tender (uncredited)
  • Joe C. Farr III known as Church Patron (uncredited)
  • Anthony Garner known as Line Dancer (uncredited)
  • Trey Greene known as Young Jack Herrod (uncredited)
  • Linwood Gurley known as Council Meeting Attendee (uncredited)
  • Christy Johnson known as Sarah's Cadre (uncredited)
  • Azariah Jones known as DeeDee (uncredited)
  • Valerie Jones known as Mrs. B. (uncredited)
  • Andrew R. Kaplan known as Businessman / Memoriallizer (uncredited)
  • Yaani King known as Sarah (uncredited)
  • Maurice Nimmons known as ValleyCorp Golf Executive at Council Meeting (uncredited)
  • W. Scott Parker III known as L. Don's Grading Employee (uncredited)
  • Eryn Victoria Reid known as Diner Patron (uncredited)
  • Edd Robinson known as City Council Member (uncredited)
  • Janice Mitchell Wyatt known as Townsperson (uncredited)
  • Shane Wyatt known as Little Carl (uncredited)



Supporting Department

Makeup Department:
  • Wendy Bell known as makeup artist: day player
  • Julie Callihan known as first assistant makeup artist
  • Taylor Knight known as department head hair
  • Marilyn McCready known as hair day player
  • Charles Gregory Ross known as key hair stylist
  • Leigh Ann Yandle known as makeup department head

Art Department:

  • Tiffany Apple known as art department coordinator
  • Jeffrey J. Barrows known as property master
  • Keynan Davis known as property production assistant
  • Keynan Davis known as props
  • John Day known as set dresser
  • Carson Gloster known as set dresser
  • Carol Hummel known as props buyer
  • Robert Hummel known as property master
  • Sean Keenan known as set dresser
  • Richard Krish known as leadman
  • Barb Livingston known as buyer
  • Mark Mundorf known as art department intern
  • Mike Ortiz known as set dresser
  • Tim Parati known as painter
  • Chrissy Premeaux known as assistant property master
  • Todd Spencer known as on-set dresser
  • Todd Spencer known as set dresser
  • Deanna Tilley known as set dresser




Production Companies:

  • Deco Entertainment
  • Full Glass Films
  • Great British Films
  • Premiere Picture
  • Quiet Hands Productions
  • Untold Pictures

Other Companies:

  • American Roadshow Motion Picture And Television Catering  catering
  • Dolby Laboratories  sound post-production
  • Lightnin' Production Rentals  transportation equipment
  • Postworks New York  digital intermediate


  • MG Film (2007) (Croatia) (all media)
  • Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation (2008) (USA) (theatrical)
  • Eagle Films (2008) (non-USA) (all media) (Middle East)
  • Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment (2008) (USA) (DVD)



Other Stuff

Release Date:
  • Germany 9 February 2008 (European Film Market)
  • USA 3 October 2008 (Woodstock Film Festival)
  • USA 12 October 2008 (Indie Memphis Film Festival)
  • USA 16 October 2008 (Hamptons International Film Festival)
  • USA November 2008 (Ft. Lauderdale Film Festival)
  • Australia 6 February 2009 (DVD premiere)
  • USA 6 February 2009 (Oxford Film Festival)
  • USA 10 February 2009 (DVD premiere)
  • USA 3 April 2009 (Vail Film Festival)
  • Canada 15 April 2009 (ReelWorld Film Festival)
  • USA 18 April 2009 (Nashville Film Festival)
  • USA 21 August 2009



Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database

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Posted on March 30, 2012 by Harry in Movies | Tags: , .


  1. nylaphx from United States
    30 Mar 2012, 10:00 pm

    Long been a fan of Giancarlo Esposito and it was great to meet and talkwith him at the Sedona Film Festival where this film was shown. It is asweet story full of redemption for many characters, not a shoot em up,car chase movie so maybe it is not enough for many viewers.

    It is a very good film and I would highly recommend it to all. Theacting is excellent and the direction sharp. It's a great reminder ofhow some of the more difficult times in this country have contributedto the world we live in today. Of how as humans we control our abilityto forgive and forget or not.

    My only real criticism is about Julie Stiles character Rosie, I keptwaiting for her the truth of her interest in the story to be revealedit just didn't quite work for me.

    But all in all I would say it was a great first directorial effort andI look forward to his next project.

  2. blankasky from United States
    30 Mar 2012, 10:00 pm

    I just had the pleasure of seeing this film at the Albuquerque FilmFestival and have to say that I was severely impressed. I have not beenmoved by a film in this way for quite some time. The move this moviemade away from the stereotypical negativity that can blanket this genrewas a breath of fresh air. When you consider the short period of timetaken to shoot this film(19 days)it becomes that much more of a wonder.Being that this is Giancarlo's first project as Director, I greatlylook forward to his next. I also had the pleasure of hearing him speakabout his vision for this movie at the festival after the viewing and Ihave to say that his intentions ring clear. I am a better person forhaving seen it.

  3. Aluisio_Is_All_Right from Winooski, Vermont, USA
    30 Mar 2012, 10:00 pm

    "Gospel Hill", Giancarlo Esposito's directorial debut, was presented atthe 12th Green Mountain Film Festival, after a modest DVD release(which seems to be a popular way to distribute independent films thatare still running the festivals circuit without getting the exposurethey deserve).

    Shot in 19 days with a very limited budget in South Carolina, it's aslow paced story of racial tension and redemption in a small town.Forty years ago, Paul Malcolm (an uncredited Samuel L. Jackson), ablack civil rights activist, was murdered, and since then his son John(Danny Glover) has withdrawn from the community. The town's ex-sheriff(Tom Bower), abandoned the investigation on Paul's murder, creating along term tension between blacks and whites. A golf course development,led by Dr. Palmer (Esposito himself), is about to force the residentsof the black neighborhood of Gospel Hill out of their homes, which onlymakes the racial tension get worse.

    As someone who worked with Spike Lee so many times, it's interestinghow Esposito's approach to racial relations is completely differentfrom Lee's explosive visual and moral style. Esposito takes his time tointroduce the characters, tell the story, being almost contemplative,and seeks redemption for its conclusion. That's not necessarily a badthing, actually it's refreshing. However, his characters are poorlywritten, the script is too simplistic, and although Danny Glover andTom Bower (which slightly resembles Peter Boyle's character in"Monster's Ball") have good moments, the ensemble acting isunderwhelming (Angela Bassett, usually a great actress, has had bettertimes, and Esposito, a great actor himself, shows that directingyourself doesn't always work). Listening to him speak about thisproject leaves no doubt that he had good intentions and a passion forit. Nonetheless, I couldn't help but feeling like I was watching a runof the mill TV movie made thousands of times before. Good intentionsalone don't make a good film, but at least he tried to tell a story,which is always something to be praised. Maybe in his next attempt, hewill get a better result. 4.5/10.

  4. dbborroughs from Glen Cove, New York
    30 Mar 2012, 10:00 pm

    Giancarlo Esposito directs and co stars in the story of a town withracial strife in its past thanks to the killing of a civil rightsleader decades before. As the ghosts of the past are woken up and a newcorporate threat comes to town the people in the town are forced tomake some choices. Well made and well acted tale wants to hit one outof the box in examinations of race and community, but is mired with ascript that never completely shakes off its well worn cloak. We've beenhere before and while much of the film works, it still relies on cliché(there is something about Julia Stiles character that just doesn't ringtrue). I think perhaps the film is trying to do too much, there are agood number of characters and all are given a certain amount of time. Iliked it, but I didn't love it. Of course the DVD cover made it looklike a thriller or mystery, which while it has elements isn't what itreally is.

  5. danceability-1 from Netherlands
    30 Mar 2012, 10:00 pm

    For The Love of Money.

    Gospel Hill is a community in the small town of Julia. The people therehave lived in their homes for generations. The Valley Corporation plansto build on Gospel Hill, so they want to buy these people out, notcaring that many of them have no place else to go. Displacing anAfrican-American community means nothing to these developers, whileprofiting from the new homes and golf course they plan to build meanseverything. That is called "the love of money", which is the root ofall evil. Instead of fighting to save Gospel Hill, Dr. Ron Palmer(Giancarlo Esposito) joins the developers, making money by takingadvantage of the less fortunate and calling it opportunity. SarahMalcolm (Angela Bassett) takes a stand against the Valley Corporation.Her husband, John (Danny Glover) shows very little support. He lost hispassion to fight for what's right years ago when his father, Paul, wasgunned down and left to bleed to death in the street. The 40thanniversary of his father's death is approaching but he's not sure hecan bring himself to attend the ceremony to honor Paul Malcolm'slegacy. John has to work through the pain he's been feeling for solong. Will he do it in time to save his wife, whose life is in danger?This movie goes from present to past. The past focuses on Paul Malcolm(Samuel L. Jackson), an activist for social justice, and it's filmed inblack & white – nice effect. There wasn't as much intensity as Iexpected for a movie dealing with racial issues, and that was finebecause although I was a bit bothered by some of the content I wasn'tleft feeling angry. Not a whole lot of profanity. Sex scenes weren'tgraphic. Love Angela Bassett and the strong woman she portrayed. Churchscene was touching. Gospel Hill is a good movie worth watching.

    Actors: Samuel L. Jackson, Giancarlo Esposito, Julia Stiles, Nia Long,RZA, Chloe Bailey, Adam Baldwin, Angela Bassett, Casey Belville, ChuckBibby, Charles Jones.

    danceability-1, Amsterdam Holland

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