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Lady Sings the Blues (1972)

R  |   |  Biography, Drama, Music  |  12 October 1972 (USA)
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 2,493 users  
Reviews: 41 user | 20 critic

The story of the troubled life and career of the legendary Jazz singer, Billie Holiday.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) (as Suzanne de Passe) , 3 more credits »
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Nominated for 5 Oscars. Another 6 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Louis McKay
...
Piano Man
...
Reg Hanley (as James Callahan)
Paul Hampton ...
Harry
...
Jerry
Virginia Capers ...
Mama Holiday
Yvonne Fair ...
Yvonne
...
The Madame
Tracee Lyles ...
The Prostitute
...
The Agent
Milton Selzer ...
The Doctor
...
The Detective #1
Clay Tanner ...
The Detective #2
Jester Hairston ...
The Butler
Edit

Storyline

Born Elinore Harris, Billie Holiday had a difficult teen and young adulthood period, which included working in brothels, both as a cleaning woman and a prostitute, and being raped. Through this difficulty, she dreamed of becoming a jazz singer. She got her initial singing break when she applied at a Harlem club that was looking for a dancer, but where she got hired as a singer. There, she met and fell in love with the suave Louis McKay. After this initial break, Billie wanted her singing career to move to the mainstream clubs in downtown Manhattan. She took a risk when she agreed to be the lead singer for the Reg Hanley Band, a primarily white group, who convinced her that she would have to make her mark in regional tours before her Manhattan dream could happen. As Billie tried to advance her career, pressures of life, including being a black woman, led to her not so secret substance abuse (especially of heroin), not so secret because of her increasingly erratic behavior, both on ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

singer | singing | heroin | jazz | brothel | See All (64) »

Taglines:

Diana Ross IS Billie Holiday See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 October 1972 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El ocaso de una estrella  »

Box Office

Gross:

$9,600,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

First African-American biopic to be nominated for the Academy Awards, earning five nominations, including Best Actress. See more »

Quotes

Mrs. Edson: Ain't it a shame how some of God's children have it so easy, while others have it so hard?
See more »

Connections

Featured in Edgemont: Get a Job (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Tain't Nobody's Business
Sung by Blinky Williams
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Ross plays herself as the book is butchered!
7 April 2001 | by (Atlanta, GA) – See all my reviews

Stay away from this piece of garbage! The book, co-authored by Holiday and William Duffy(1956), was one of the most honest, brutal and human autobiographies ever written. Ross' depiction of Holiday is horrendously erroneous on every level. She doesn't look, sound or act like her. This movie is only for Ross fans. Billie Holiday fans will learn just as much about her by watching old reruns of The Jetsons. I'm Johnny Roulette and this movie was absolutely horrible!


5 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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