The Marshall of the title is Thurgood Marshall, the esteemed civil rights lawyer for the NAACP who tried the landmark Brown vs. Board of Education case in 1954, and in 1966 was appointed the first African American judge on the Supreme Court.
Rather than a traditional biographical movie, Marshall focuses on the early career of Thurgood Marshall, when he was the NAACP’s only attorney. Marshall traveled around the country trying cases defending people of color. As the movie opens, Marshall (Chadwick Boseman) is finishing a case in Oklahoma in 1941 when the NAACP calls, and he is soon on a train to Greenwich, Connecticut. The case on hand involves Joseph Spell (Sterling K. Brown), a Black man who works as a chauffeur and butler for a wealthy couple. Spell is accused of the sexual assault and attempted murder of the woman he works for, Eleanor Strubing (Kate Hudson).