16 user 2 critic

Miss Evers' Boys (1997)

The true story of the U.S. Government's 1932 Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment, in which a group of black test subjects were allowed to die, despite a cure having been developed.


Joseph Sargent


David Feldshuh (play), Walter Bernstein (teleplay)

On Disc

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Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 16 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Alfre Woodard ... Eunice Evers, R.N.
Laurence Fishburne ... Caleb Humphries
Craig Sheffer ... Dr. Douglas
Joe Morton ... Dr. Sam Brodus
Obba Babatundé ... Willie Johnson
Von Coulter Von Coulter ... Hodman Bryan
Thom Gossom Jr. ... Ben Washington
Ossie Davis ... Mr. Evers
E.G. Marshall ... The Senate Chairman
Robert Benedetti Robert Benedetti ... Senator
Peter Stelzer ... Senator
Donzaleigh Abernathy ... Nurse Betty
Tommy Cresswell ... Dr. Larkin
Judson Vaughn ... Dr. Davis
Larry Black Larry Black ... Dr. Hamilton


In 1932 Macon County, Alabama, the federal government launched into a medical study called The Tuskegee Study of Untreated Blacks with Syphilis. The study selected 412 men infected with the disease and faked long term treatment, while really only giving them placebos and liniments. The premise of the action was to determine if blacks reacted similar to whites to the overall effects of the disease. The experiment was only discontinued 40 years later when a Senate investigation was initiated. At that time, only 127 of the original study group were left alive. The story is told from the point of view of Nurse Eunice Evers, who was well aware of the lack of treatment being offered, but felt her role was to console the involved men, many of whom were her direct friends. In fact, the movie's name comes from the fact that a performing dancer and three musicians named their act for her - "Miss Evers' Boys". All had the disease. A romance with one goes unrequited even after he joins the Army ... Written by John Sacksteder

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Based on the true story of the infamous Tuskegee experiment. See more »


Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for theme and related elements | See all certifications »






Release Date:

22 February 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Miss Evers' Boys See more »

Filming Locations:

Porterdale, Georgia, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby SR


See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Eunice Evers, R.N.: I love what I'm doing here. The treatment, the program... know that I'm doing good.
Caleb Humphries: For us, sinners.
Eunice Evers, R.N.: The disease is the sin, Caleb, not the people, the disease.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Final title cards at the end of the film differ in at least 2 versions. Version #1 No one connected with the study was ever charged or disciplined. The debate over human experimentation in America continues today. In Version #2 on HBO NOW differs slightly: No one connected with the study was ever charged or disciplined. On May 16, 1997, President Clinton offered the Tuskegee survivors the government's first formal apology: "We can finally say on behalf of the American people, what the United States did was shameful, and I am sorry." See more »


Featured in The 55th Annual Golden Globe Awards (1998) See more »


Show Me Lord
Music and Lyrics by Charles Bernstein
Vocals by Carmen Twillie
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User Reviews

Tuskegee terror
25 June 2018 | by donaldriccoSee all my reviews

This is a tough one to review. For me, the subject is horrifying, and that the country I live in would do this is sickening, though of course, the U.S. President today would probably green light this kind of human suffering in a minute, in light of his recent actions against minorities. Some 400 odd men are observed, but not cured, and the justification is for the betterment of the "race" and that those men's sacrifice would be for the greater good. Yeah, tell that to those men, who could have been cured with one shot of penicillin!

So the subject = 5 stars. But the movie isn't that great. The romance subplot is really boring and uninteresting. And the quality of both the film and the sound is poor, though that might be the disc I watched. I would say you should watch it, due to the importance of the topic, but maybe skip any dating/romance scenes between Alfre Woodard and Laurence Fishburne, two dang fine actors who could not save those scenes. Oh, and just to see and hear Ossie Davis is always worth it!

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