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99 user 17 critic

Something the Lord Made (2004)

A dramatization of the relationship between heart surgery pioneers Alfred Blalock and Vivien Thomas.



On Disc

at Amazon

Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 17 wins & 30 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
... Dr. Alfred Blalock
... Vivien Thomas (as Mos Def)
... Mary Blalock
... Clara Thomas
... Mrs. Saxon
Clayton LeBouef ... Harold Thomas
... William Thomas (as Charles Dutton)
... Dr. Helen Taussig
Cliff McMullen ... Lodel Williams
... Charles Manlove
... Frances Grebel
... Man at park
Harold J. Abell Sr. ... Man #1
Michael E. Russell ... Bank Officer
Henri Edmonds ... Mary Thomas


Alfred Blalock (1899-1964), a cardiologist (therefore, self-confident to the point of arrogance), leaves Vanderbilt for Johns Hopkins taking with him his lab technician, Vivien Thomas (1910-1985). Thomas, an African-American without a college degree, is a gifted mechanic and tool-maker with hands splendidly adept at surgery. In 1941, Blalock and Thomas take on the challenge of blue babies and invent bypass surgery. After trials on dogs, their first patient is baby Eileen, sure to die without the surgery. In defiance of custom and Jim Crow, Blalock brings Thomas into the surgery to advise him, but when Life Magazine and kudos come, Thomas is excluded. Will he receive his due? Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A breakthrough that changed the face of medicine. A unique partnership that broke the rules.


Biography | Drama


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

HBO [United States]



Release Date:

30 May 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La création de Dieu  »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


Dr. Irving Sorkin, a retired dentist, was instrumental in getting Katie McCabe's article made into a feature film. Dr. Sorkin died of lymphoma on October 18, 2007, at the age of 88. See more »


When Thomas shows Dr. Blalock how to do the anastomosis, Blalock sutures with a pair of artery forceps, not a needle holder. Artery forceps are used to grip tissue, not for suturing. He also holds them in his thumb and index finger, a rookie mistake amongst surgeons. They should be held in his thumb and ring finger. See more »


Clara Thomas: You know... in 13 years, Doctor Blalock, I don't recall you ever stopping by our house.
Alfred Blalock: I don't recall ever being invited.
See more »


Featured in The 62nd Annual Golden Globe Awards (2005) See more »


Baltimore Bounce
Written by Keter Betts
Performed by Keter Betts, Harold Mann, Larry Willis and Jacques Johnson
See more »

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User Reviews

medical miracle surpasses racial climate of the times
10 March 2005 | by See all my reviews

I have seen this movie at least 8 times since it first appeared last summer and never tire of it. I must add that my entire adult working life has been in the field of medicine so maybe I have more interest than some. The names of the residents in this film are names I have heard throughout my career. I am amazed by the genius of Vivien Thomas (or anyone without medical training who could understand as he did) and at the fact that Doctor Blalock accepted him as an individual (most of the time), without regard to his race or lack of medical education. I cannot think of actors who would have done a better job than Alan Rickman or Mos Def and I applaud them, and the rest of the cast, as well as the producers, for bringing this wonderful story to life. I can only hope it will be available on DVD soon, if not yet. I have told at least 100 people about this movie, without giving away too much detail. If you are interested in medicine, and the development of new procedures that change lives, especially of the very, very young, then this is a movie for you. Even if you do not have a medical background, it is worth seeing for the genius and compassion of those two men who did not allow the racial climate of the times to overpower their desire to make a difference. To all the residents who learned at Hopkins from these two gifted men, be forever grateful that their lives touched yours, albeit briefly. We lost two very gifted men who did an exceptional job of training others to follow in their footsteps. Jeers to the staff members who were ruled by race and education and a firm salute to those who were not. I give it a 10!

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