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Lady Sings the Blues (1972)

7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 2,289 users  
Reviews: 38 user | 20 critic

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

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 3 more credits »
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Title: Lady Sings the Blues (1972)

Lady Sings the Blues (1972) on IMDb 7.1/10

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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
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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 more »

Taglines:

Diana Ross is Billie Holiday. Diana Ross sings Billie Holiday and a superstar is born. 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

Jerry: I'll be a bum if you don't pull in fifteen bucks in tips tonight. Fifteen bucks. Now that's my definition of a good singer.
See more »

Connections

Featured in It's Black Entertainment (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Happy
Sung by Michael Jackson
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Ross Totally deserved the Oscar over Liza Minelli
8 April 1999 | by (Portland, Oregon) – See all my reviews

I would be the first to agree that it was standard fare as far as a musical bio...and Cabaret was a superior film. But Diana Ross' performance was a stunning film debut. This is the kind of overlooked performance that makes it so clear that pure ability is not what the Academy Awards are all about. I tend to think really great acting always sneaks above the voting members scope of being able to truly reccognize great acting.

But anyone who hasn't seen Diana Ross' performance in Lady is in for a treat. To think that she went through so many transitions within the film: from youngster, to a drug addict, to a grand singer...it's a truly great performance.


19 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Not A Good Movie bbwoof2000
If Diana had won the Oscar... Welch57
Best choice in a remake of new bio GreenEggandHams
Have not seen it. Why the R rating? jhudfan1
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