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Mo' Better Blues (1990)

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Jazz trumpeter Bleek Gilliam makes questionable decisions in his professional and romantic lives.

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1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
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Shadow Henderson (Sax)
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Left Hand Lacey (Piano)
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Butterbean Jones
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Indigo Downes
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Bottom Hammer (Bass)
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Moe Flatbush
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Big Stop Williams
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Clarke Bentancourt
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Josh Flatbush
Jeff 'Tain' Watts ...
Rhythm Jones (Drums)
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Madlock
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Rod
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Eggy (as Charles Q. Murphy)
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Storyline

Opens with Bleek as a child learning to play the trumpet, his friends want him to come out and play but mother insists he finish his lessons. Bleek grows into adulthood and forms his own band - The Bleek Gilliam Quartet. The story of Bleek's and Shadow's friendly rivalry on stage which spills into their professional relationship and threatens to tear apart the quartet. Written by David <DGOWERS6@CHECLABA.SCU.EDU.AU>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

stage | friend | trumpet | jazz | comeback | See All (75) »

Taglines:

A Spike Lee joint.

Genres:

Drama | Music | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

3 August 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Love Supreme  »

Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$16,153,600 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Wesley Snipes' character, Shadow, purchases a stack of John Coltrane CD's with an American Express card. When he shows his American Express card he smiles and says: "American Express. Gold card, pow. Been a member since 1989". In 1989, Snipes had another encounter with the American Express credit card, in the movie Major League (1989). Snipes' character, Willie Hayes, acts in a commercial for American Express in which he slides into home saying "American Express, don't steal home without it". See more »

Goofs

During the performance of Bleek's "Pop Top Urban 40 Funk Love ... Song", Bleek's headgear changes from hat to baseball cap. See more »

Quotes

Clarke: 'Cause mo better makes it mo better.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Flavor Flave of the rap group Public Enemy spells out the letters in "Universal" as the studio logo appears on the screen. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Whore (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Mo'Better Blues
Written and performed by Branford Marsalis Quartet and Terence Blanchard
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User Reviews

 
all dressed up with nowhere to go
8 December 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Spike Lee's latest 'joint' is a jazz variation of 'She's Gotta Have It', with the genders reversed: maladjusted trumpeter Bleek Gilliam (Denzel Washington) juggles two lovers while indulging an almost neurotic addiction to his music. His compulsive behavior is, presumably, a consequence of strict childhood practice habits, but if all work and no play have made Bleek a dull boy, the same can't be said of the film itself: Lee's self-conscious homage to music and fatherhood suffers from a dizzy overabundance of distracting, Scorsese-influenced 'style'. The film has been criticized for its stereotypical supporting roles, but the primary characters are likewise only skin deep. Except for some early childhood Freudian motivation, Bleek remains more or less a cipher, and his contrived, fantasy redemption (after a series of false endings, each one more lame than the last) seems tacked on only to provide a neat, symmetrical resolution.


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What the [bleep] is wrong with all these people on IMDB?!?! PopeyeTheSailor
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Joie Lee? jizzayk1
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Did the birth have to be quite so graphic? foxyblackchick
Fingering of trumpet alfredmcclinton
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