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Reviews & Ratings for
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20 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

Who cares about the hokey premise?

7/10
Author: teeveedub from Los Angeles, CA
8 December 2004

If you like tap dancing, this is one of the rare opportunities to see tap legends like Jimmy Slyde, Sandman Sims, Henry LeTang, and Harold Nicholas along with latter-day tap wizards Gregory Hines and Savion Glover and icon Sammy Davis, Jr. Dianne "Lady Di" Walker even has a cameo appearance.

This movie is glued together with a questionable plot and some illogical excuses to tap dance. But who cares? Once these folks are dancing, nothing else matters.

P.S. Look (and listen) for the incomparable Etta James singing in the club scene.

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15 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Who cares about the hokey premise?

7/10
Author: teeveedub from Los Angeles, CA
30 November 2000

If you like tap dancing, this is one of the rare opportunities to see tap legends like Jimmy Slyde, Sandman Sims, Henry LeTang, and Harold Nicholas along with latter-day tap wizards Gergory Hines and Savion Glover and icon Sammy Davis, Jr. Dianne "Lady Di" Walker even has a cameo appearance.

This movie is glued together with a questionable plot and some illogical excuses to tap dance. But who cares? Once these folks are dancing, nothing else matters.

P.S. Look (and listen) for the incomparable Etta James singing in the club scene.

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12 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Very good, if you like tap dancing

Author: vchimpanzee
17 August 2005

Max is the son of Sonny, who was a great tap dancer. Max has inherited his father's talent but there are few opportunities to use it, so he has had to turn to crime. The big question: will he be able to go straight using his talent? The dancing is what makes this movie work, but Sammy Davis Jr. gives a wonderful performance as a washed-up dancer, and Sandman Sims makes an impact as a cynical former dancer who doesn't think much of today's music and dance. Gregory Hines does a capable job too. Savion Glover is also quite good as Amy's son. Suzzanne Douglass is good as dance teacher Amy.

At the time this movie was made, Gregory Hines must surely have been the best living tap dancer. If he wasn't, one of his co-stars probably was. In one of the movie's most memorable scenes, Max comments that the old men don't have the ability any more. They take this as a challenge and display incredible talent. Little Mo and Max actually have a duel of sorts, much like the Arthur Smith composition adapted as 'Dueling Banjos' for 'Deliverance'.

Another great scene is the one where Max shows where he got his ideas for routines by dancing in the streets of New York while construction is going on.

And there is the scene where 11-year-old Lewis is teaching Amy's dance class above Sonny's.

There was plenty of good music here, but surprisingly, a lot of the dancing was done without music--though what I like most about tap is the music made by the dancers, much like the percussion style of Buddy Rich. I especially liked the arrangement of 'Cheek to Cheek' which started out as elevator music when Max and Amy were dancing ballroom style, but changed over to jazz when they switched to tap. I wasn't crazy about attempts to make tap more hip by adding special equipment to shoes so the dancing could be heard with rock music, but it made the movie interesting.

This was worth seeing.

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10 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Dancing - Superb; Story - Stinks

5/10
Author: ccthemovieman-1 from United States
21 August 2006

If it wasn't for the fact I've always enjoyed watching a good tap dancer, from Fred Astaire to Bill Robinson to Gene Kelly on here to Gregory Hines, I wouldn't have sat through all 111 minutes of this turkey. That's what the story is - a turkey with a bunch of angry, surly, unlikable characters who are no fun to listen to. The script is not the best, either.

What this REALLY is - and this part I like - is an excuse for Hines and fellow hoofers to strut their stuff. In fact, Hines puts on one of the best exhibitions of tap dancing I have ever seen. What's really fun is to see him and a some old men, former great dancers in their day, all together in a number or two. That's great stuff.

So, if want to enjoy some super dancing, check this out, but if you want a good story, pass it up.

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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Tribute

Author: gerald Booth (chuckrules@juno.com) from Alexandria, VA
15 August 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

It's strange and a bit sad to watch this movie now. Earlier this week the world heard that dancer/singer/actor Gregory Hines had passed on at the age of 57. In his obituary there was a comment that, while multi- talented, Hines always considered himself first and foremost, a dancer. This movie from the late 80s shows that to be true in all it's wonderful glory.

Possible Spoilers.....

The movie opens on a man in a cell. The darkness surrounds him and he looks pained. Slowly he begins to listen to the noise around him. Before you know it the man in on his feet and dancing to the rhythms and sounds of the life in prison. The dance is one of pain but also as it goes forth brings out relaxation as anger is spent but most importantly the man begins to feel joy. Jump forward to the man, Max Washington (Gregory Hines) being released on paroll. He has just spent a few years in Sing Sing. Originally he was sentenced for Grand Theft but time was added on for Assault & Battery of a prison guard. Max returns to his old neighborhood and takes a hotel room across from a run down building which houses the "Sunny Side of the Street" tap dance studio. As time goes on we learn that was his father's studio but first you see the various classes taught on the first two levels by an old love interest, Amy (Suzzane Douglas) and her son Lewis (Savion Glover). The true joy of the building is the third floor where the old "Hoofer's" reside. Here we find a virtual who's who of the tap dance world with many of the old masters portraying themselves and of course Sammy Davis, Jr. playing Little Mo. Max is not originally totally welcomed back by everyone except for Lewis who looks up to Max as a father, which strongly portrays some of the real life feelings that occurred between Hines and Glover, and Little Mo who has some big ideas of how to get the rock and roll world interested in the tap world. Unfortunately for Mo, Max has a chip on his shoulder regarding the life his father led and the lack of finances that he grew up with. It seems that Max has another family, one in which Max was a first rate second-story man...until the night he got caught and ended in jail. The movie is one of conflict between the worlds of the alleged easy and plentiful money and the hard work, no glory, no money world of music. As much as Max hates it this is the world that is within him and continues to draw him back time and time again. Hines was a supremely talented man. He could act, he could sing, and man he could dance like no other. He expressed himself in so many ways that it almost didn't seem fair to the rest of us. Here his character of Max is full of rage and anger. He bears a lifetime of resentment at what he perceived his father's life to have been worth and he knows what he has to do to make it better. The anger is almost palpable as it floats off his body. The look in his eyes and the set of his jaws tells people that he isn't going to take any more. That same rage appears at first in his dance. He doesn't just lightly dance on the floor a la Fred Astaire. He pounds the floor and lets it feel his frustration. He attacks it with percussive beats and syncopated rhythms that make the listeners instantly step back...but then the joy appears. First it come in the way he dives across the floor and moves free for all the world and then it reaches Hines eye's and you know at that moment that all will be well for this man. The dance sequences alone in this movie are worth sitting through. Hines has most of them starting with the dance inside the jail cell but there are also moments such as the instruction at the construction site as well as the end sequence when he is working with the rock band that are almost hard to sit through. For long time fans of the genre, the "Challenge" segment is a treat as all the old greats get out and show just why they made the business what it was. Also, there is a brief flash of the style from Savion Glover's character at one moment that shows why he was a star at such a young age and gives hints as to his future success with Bring in the Noise, Bring in the Funk! The world has lost a great talent this week. But movies like this and Bojangles will be around for years to come and will allow fans to share one last time the joy of seeing a true talent at work in his field.

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8 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

One of his best for Gregory Hines

Author: Roger Nelson from Oklahoma, USA
25 January 2004

This movie showed the extreme talent of Gregory Hines, Sammy Davis Jr. and all of the fine old hoofers. It also shows that even though you may get older you still have to keep your legs. Tap dancing is a very demanding art.

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

It's just great to see all the good old hoofers get together like this

7/10
Author: BuffaloWilder from United States
2 August 2007

While the story isn't up to par, as many have said, it's really just a sort of excuse to allow these great, great dancers to get up and do their thing on screen. And, let's be honest. You've got a lot of just awesome talent up there. Jimmy Slyde, Sammy Davis Jr., Sandman Sims, Steve Condos (very little of him, however), Gregory Hines, Diana Ross, Gregory Hines, and in his very first film role, Savion Glover.

It's so strange to see him as a kid, now, though. I'm used to seeing the thirty-some odd year old with the long dreads and scraggly beard, not the kid with short hair and nary a whisker 'bout his face. But, even at this stage, he's just awesome.

I'll admit, I've stolen a couple of steps from the people up there in this movie, from time to time. I know I don't do them half as well as they do, but I don't have as much experience as they do.

I keep thinking that they're going to remake this movie one day with Glover in the Hines' role. That'd be just awesome. But then, almost all the other hoofers in the film like Sims and Slyde, are much to old to be doing film roles any more. That's not meant to be an insult, but they're in their eighties, at least.

All in all, a good film. Hines, you will be missed.

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8 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

A fantastic movie- perfect dancing!

Author: daisyduke8000 from NS, Canada
27 December 2001

This movie, though the plot is somewhat weak,is really, really good. The dancing is soooo amazing that you can't watch it without getting up and trying some of the steps yourself. I'm a tap dancer as well, so it's fun "stealing steps" from the tap masters in this film. If you like dancing at all,see this movie.

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8 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Dancing history

Author: occupant-1
22 October 2001

The writers didn't exactly deliver a Ginger/Fred script but the occasion of this movie was probably just in time to get Sammy when his moves were still with us. And it's not obvious to some, but Sam had all kinds of moves, some in the acting realm. He was very smooth.

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5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

A mans' decisions

Author: qttroassi from North Plainfield, NJ
16 February 2002

This is a fine performance by Gregory Hines as a extremely talented tap dancer who also uses his flexibility and physical agility to be a cat burglar and comes to a crossroad in his life. Sammy Davis Jr. is also very good as an elder hoofer(tap dancer) who is trying to convince him to do the right thing.

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