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In 'Round Midnight, real-life jazz legend Dexter Gordon brilliantly portrays the fictional tenor sax player Dale Turner, a musician slowly losing the battle with alcoholism, estranged from his family, and hanging on by a thread in the 1950's New York jazz world. Dale gets an offer to play in Paris, where, like many other black American musicians at the time, he enjoys a respect for his humanity that is not based upon the color of his skin. A Parisian man who is obsessed with Turner's music befriends him and attempts to save Turner from himself. Although for Dale the damage is already done, his poignant relationship with the man and his young daughter re-kindles his spirit and his music as the end draws near. Written by
The character of Francis Borler is based on Francis Paudras, who died in 1997. The character of Dale Turner is a combination of real-life jazzmen Bud Powell and Lester Young. The real-life friendship between Paudras and Bud Powell has been the subject of several books. See more »
The recording studio is wildly anachronistic. The sort of console in the control room didn't exist until at least the mid 70's. They were much smaller and simpler in 1959, when stereo was in it infancy. See more »
[Drunken man downs liquor and passes out flat on his back]
S'il vous plait, I would like to have the same thing he had.
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This is jazz-fan's delight: tons of jazz, featuring tenor saxophone with some bebop thrown in. Most of the music is nice mellow stuff and interesting to hear, even to a non-jazz buff like me.
The music and interesting story made me purchase the DVD, which I have subsequently watched three or four times and always enjoyed. The story is pretty laid-back, a simple tale of an American alcoholic sax great playing in France who reforms because of a French fan who cares about him.
Dexter Gordon's unique voice makes helps him become an interesting character to hear and the real-life jazz great proves to be a decent actor, too. Francois Cluzet plays the admirer who goes out of his way to help his idol. Gabrielle Haker is pleasant to watch as Cluzet's young daughter. She always seems to have a beautiful smile on her face.
I don't why this film was rated "R" because there is no sex, no nudity, little profanity except for a couple of "f-words," which must be the reason for the rating. Nevertheless, it's a pretty tame movie.
I found it a different and nice, gentle story.
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