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American Experience

Partners of the Heart (Season 15, Episode 8)
TV Episode | 60 min | Documentary, Biography, History

During World War II and the era of staunch racial segregation, a Black carpenter's son named Vivien Thomas, who had a talent for surgery, along with a white surgeon named Dr. Alfred Blalock, who defied the medical establishment created a ...See moreDuring World War II and the era of staunch racial segregation, a Black carpenter's son named Vivien Thomas, who had a talent for surgery, along with a white surgeon named Dr. Alfred Blalock, who defied the medical establishment created a partnership that changed the course of cardiac surgery. With only a high school diploma, Thomas became a leading cardiac pioneer and educator of two generations of the United States' premiere heart surgeons. This moving documentary tells the story of Thomas and his relationship with Blalock, one that ushered in advances in surgery that are still in existence today. Written by Leslye Allen (L. J. Allen-2) See less
Read more: Plot summary
Directors
Bill Duke (re-creation sequences directed by) | Andrea Kalin (directed by)
Composer
Joseph Vitarelli (original music composed by)
Editors
Barbara Burst (edited by) | Susan Fanshel (edited by)
Production Designers
Status
Edit Released
Updated Sep 28, 2003

Release date
Feb 10, 2003 (United States)

Contacts

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Cast

+ Add Cast
33 cast members
Name STARmeter Known for
Morgan Freeman
Narrator (voice) Narrator (voice)   See fewer
Top 5000
Courtney B. Vance
Voice of Vivien Thomas (voice) Voice of Vivien Thomas (voice)   See fewer
Members only
Beau James
Dr. Alfred Blalock Dr. Alfred Blalock   See fewer
Members only
Christopher Haley
Vivien Thomas (as Chris Haley) Vivien Thomas (as Chris Haley)   See fewer
Members only
Jane Leuders
Dr. Helen Taussig Dr. Helen Taussig   See fewer
Members only
John Dryden
Newsreel Voice (voice) Newsreel Voice (voice)   See fewer
Members only
Susan Allenback
Extra (as Susan Allenbach) Extra (as Susan Allenbach)   See fewer
Members only
Dean Avery
Extra Extra   See fewer
Members only
Members only
Alfred Blalock
Self (archive footage) (as Dr. Alfred Blalock) Self (archive footage) (as Dr. Alfred Blalock)   See fewer
Members only
Jim Brady
Extra Extra   See fewer
Members only
Members only
Denton A. Cooley
Self (as Dr. Denton A. Cooley) Self (as Dr. Denton A. Cooley)   See fewer
Members only
Tom Cutler
Extra Extra   See fewer
Members only
Sam De Crispino
Extra (as Sam Decrispino) Extra (as Sam Decrispino)   See fewer
Members only
Koco Eaton
Self (as Dr. Koco Eaton) Self (as Dr. Koco Eaton)   See fewer
Members only
J. Alex Haller Jr.
Self (as Dr. J. Alex Haller Jr.) Self (as Dr. J. Alex Haller Jr.)   See fewer
Members only
Reid Hill
Extra Extra   See fewer
Members only
Rick Kain
Extra Extra   See fewer
Members only
Members only
Tom McNutt
Extra Extra   See fewer
Members only
Members only
Joe Pinter
Extra Extra   See fewer
Members only
Members only
Members only
Members only
Richard Scott
Self (as Dr. Richard Scott) Self (as Dr. Richard Scott)   See fewer
Members only
Rowena Spencer
Self (as Dr. Rowena Spencer) Self (as Dr. Rowena Spencer)   See fewer
Members only
Helen Taussig
Self (archive footage) (as Dr. Helen Taussig) Self (archive footage) (as Dr. Helen Taussig)   See fewer
Members only
Vivien Theodore Thomas
Self (archive footage) (as Dr. Vivien Thomas) Self (archive footage) (as Dr. Vivien Thomas)   See fewer
Members only
Desiree Marie Velez
Extra (as Desiree Marie) Extra (as Desiree Marie)   See fewer
Members only
Levi Watkins
Self (as Dr. Levi Watkins) Self (as Dr. Levi Watkins)   See fewer
Members only
Tony Williams
Dr. Vivien Thomas at the Train Tracks Dr. Vivien Thomas at the Train Tracks   See fewer
Members only
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Ratings Breakdown

8.4 / 10 | 33 votes