John Quincy Adams addresses the Supreme Court and states that when faced with trouble the Mende people invoke the help of their ancestors. As he mentions this we see a portrait of his father John Adams just over his left shoulder.
Though he's shown sleeping through the congressional debate about the Smithson (Smithsonian) bequest, John Quincy Adams was the chief Congressional supporter of what would eventually become the Smithsonian Institute.
Denzel Washington and Cuba Gooding Jr. turned down the role of Cinque. Gooding later regretted his decision.
Producer Debbie Allen spent 14 years shopping this story around Hollywood before it entered production.
Harry A. Blackmun, who plays US Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story, served as a US Supreme Court Justice from 1970 to 1994.
Sirs Anthony Hopkins and Nigel Hawthorne both play former U.S. Presidents in this film. They are also both British in real life, Welsh and English respectively. They have both played rulers of England. Hawthorne played King George III in The Madness of King George (1994). Hopkins played King Richard I (The Lionheart) in The Lion in Winter (1968). He also played Prime Minister David Lloyd George in Young Winston (1972). This is also Hopkins's second film as U.S. President. He previously played the title role in Nixon
President Van Buren and former President Adams find themselves on opposite ends of the court case in this film. In real life, Van Buren would later run for re-election in 1848 as a member of the Free Soil party, which opposed the expansion of slavery. His Vice-Presidential running mate was John Quincy Adams's son, Charles Francis Adams. |