IMDb > Mo' Better Blues (1990)
Mo' Better Blues
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Mo' Better Blues (1990) More at IMDbPro »

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Mo' Better Blues -- US Home Video Trailer from Universal

Overview

User Rating:
6.5/10   6,819 votes »
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Up 3% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writer:
Spike Lee (written by)
Contact:
View company contact information for Mo' Better Blues on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
3 August 1990 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
A Spike Lee joint.
Plot:
Jazz trumpeter Bleek Gilliam makes questionable decisions in his professional and romantic life. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Awards:
1 win & 2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Very Good, But Not On Par With Other Spike Work See more (29 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Denzel Washington ... Bleek Gilliam

Spike Lee ... Giant

Wesley Snipes ... Shadow Henderson (Sax)

Giancarlo Esposito ... Left Hand Lacey (Piano)

Robin Harris ... Butterbean Jones

Joie Lee ... Indigo Downes

Bill Nunn ... Bottom Hammer (Bass)

John Turturro ... Moe Flatbush

Dick Anthony Williams ... Big Stop Williams

Cynda Williams ... Clarke Bentancourt

Nicholas Turturro ... Josh Flatbush
Jeff 'Tain' Watts ... Rhythm Jones (Druns)

Samuel L. Jackson ... Madlock

Leonard L. Thomas ... Rod

Charles Q. Murphy ... Eggy

Steve White ... Born Knowledge

Rubén Blades ... Petey
Abbey Lincoln ... Lillian Gilliam
Linda Hawkins ... Jeanne
Raye Dowell ... Rita
Angela Hall ... Cora

Coati Mundi ... Roberto
Zakee Howze ... Young Bleek / Miles (as Zakee L. Howze)

Deon Richmond ... Tyrone
Raymond Anthony Thomas ... Joe (as Raymond Thomas)
Sheldon Turnipseed ... Benny
Christopher Skeffrey ... Louis
Terrence Williams ... Sam
Darryl M. Wonge Jr. ... Miles at Birth
Jelani Asar Snipes ... Miles, Age 1
Glenn Williams III ... Miles, Age 3
Arnold Cromer ... Miles, Age 5

Leon Addison Brown ... Smith
Scot Anthony Robinson ... Cooley
Herbert Daughtry ... Minister

Bill Lee ... Father of the Bride

Branford Marsalis ... Party Guest

Doug E. Doug ... Jimmy the Busboy (as Douglas Bourne)
Tracy Camilla Johns ... Club Patron
John Canada Terrell ... Club Patron
Monty Ross ... Club Patron
Carol M. Wiggins ... Club Patron
Isabella ... Club Patron

Mamie Louise Anderson ... Club Patron

Joe Seneca ... Big Stop's Friend

John Sobestanovich ... Taxi Driver

Flavor Flav ... Impatient Movie Patron
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Esther Castro ... Club restaurant audience (uncredited)
Anaysha Figueroa ... Shanika (uncredited)
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Directed by
Spike Lee 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Spike Lee  written by

Produced by
Jon Kilik .... line producer
Spike Lee .... producer
Monty Ross .... co-producer
 
Original Music by
Bill Lee 
 
Cinematography by
Ernest R. Dickerson  (as Ernest Dickerson)
 
Film Editing by
Samuel D. Pollard  (as Sam Pollard)
 
Casting by
Robi Reed 
 
Production Design by
Wynn Thomas 
 
Set Decoration by
Ted Glass 
 
Costume Design by
Ruth E. Carter  (as Ruth Carter)
 
Makeup Department
Matiki Anoff .... makeup artist
Clifford Booker .... hair stylist: women
Tom Brumberger .... special makeup effects artist
Larry M. Cherry .... hair stylist: men (as Larry Cherry)
Debbie Deas .... additional makeup artist
Marjorie Durand .... key makeup artist (as Margie Durand)
 
Production Management
Preston L. Holmes .... production supervisor (as Preston Holmes)
Brent Owens .... unit manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
H.H. Cooper .... second assistant director
Randy Fletcher .... first assistant director
Dale M. Nielsen .... second second assistant director
Dale Pierce-Johnson .... second assistant director
 
Art Department
Jane Asch .... camera scenic artist
Wilbur L. Ball .... apprentice scenic
Jeff Balsmeyer .... storyboard artist
Martin Bernstein .... construction coordinator
Nancy Boytos-Amanuel .... set dresser (as Nancy Boytos)
Joan Brockschmidt .... second dresser (as Joan Brocksmidt)
Marcia Brown .... art department production assistant
Kimberly Buckley .... assistant to the set decorator (as Kimberley Ann Buckley)
William Butler .... set dresser (as Bill Butler)
Mary Citarella .... scenic artist
Rodney Clark .... set builder
Michael Curry Jr. .... set builder (as Mike Curry Jr.)
Sara D'Alessandro .... scenic sculptor (as Sara D'Allesandro)
Eva P. Davy .... scenic artist (as Eva Davy)
Ellen Doak .... scenic artist
Judith Evans .... scenic artist (as Judith A. Evans)
James Geyer .... scenic shopman
Jeffrey L. Glave .... scenic chargeman
Carmen Griffin .... shop production assistant
John Grimolizzi .... set builder
Bruce Lee Gross .... lead man
Harold Horn .... set builder
Gary Jennings .... scenic artist
Joyce Kubalak-Szafilita .... scenic artist (as Joyce Kubalak)
Kevin Ladson .... first assistant props
Michael Leather .... set dresser
Virginia Lim .... scenic artist
Timothy Main .... set builder (as Tim Main)
Charles McClennahan .... assistant art director
Philip Michelson .... second assistant props
Octavio Molina .... property master
Ken Nelson .... key set builder
Carl Prinzi .... key construction grip
Michael T. Roberts .... assistant art director
Rosalie Russino .... scenic shopwoman (as Rosalle Russino)
Sherryl Sachs .... scenic artist
Mark Paul Selemon .... set dresser (as Mark Selemon)
Charlene Shildmyer .... scenic artist (as Charlene Shildmeyer)
Salvatore Sirico .... set builder (as Sal Sirico)
Pam Stephens .... art department coordinator
Peter Swaine .... construction production assistant (as Peter Swain)
Paul Wardwell .... construction grip
Robert Woods Jr. .... construction grip
 
Sound Department
Abdul Malik Abbott .... cable person (as Abdul Abbott)
Marko A. Costanzo .... foley artist (as Marko Costanzo)
Pam DeMetruis-Thomas .... adr editor (as Pam Demetrius)
Kay Denmark .... adr boom operator
William Docker .... assistant sound editor (as Bill Docker)
Stephen Fitzstephens .... sound
Tom Fleischman .... sound re-recording mixer
Rosa Howell-Thornhill .... sound production assistant
Brian Johnson .... assistant sound editor
Frank Kern .... foley editor
Kevin Lee .... sound editor
Skip Lievsay .... sound designer
Jann McClary .... apprentice sound editor
Bruce Pross .... foley editor
Andrew Schmetterling .... boom operator
Gail Showalter .... adr editor
Greg Speed .... assistant sound editor (as Gregory L. Speed)
Frank Stettner .... sound recordist
Philip Stockton .... sound editor
Steven Visscher .... foley editor
 
Special Effects by
Michael L. Benson .... special effects (as Michael Benson)
Tom Newton .... special effects coordinator
Will Scheck .... special effects
Chris Skutch .... special effects
 
Visual Effects by
Don Canfield .... motion control operator: title sequences
Andy Hudson .... visual effects
 
Stunts
Roy Farfel .... utility stunts
David S. Lomax .... utility stunts (as David Lomax)
Elliot Santiago .... utility stunts
Jeff Ward .... stunt coordinator
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Henry Adebonojo .... second assistant camera
Stuart Allen .... crane technician: Louma crane
Robert M. Andres .... key grip (as Bob Andres)
Martin Andrews .... pre-rigging gaffer
Jonathan Burkhart .... first assistant camera
Beverly Cable .... electric trainee
Ted Churchill .... Steadicam operator
Myra-Lee Cohen .... additional second assistant camera
Val DeSalvo .... best boy electric (as Valerie Desalvo)
Christian Epps .... dimmer board operator
Daniel Finn .... additional grip (as Dan Finn)
Bob Gorelick .... Steadicam operator
Andy Harris .... second assistant camera (as Andrew Harris)
Charles Houston .... gaffer
Pamela Katz .... first assistant camera (as Pam Katz)
Tom Kudlek .... dolly grip
David Lee .... still photographer
Larry McConkey .... Steadicam operator
Derek McKane .... additional electrician
John Mitchell .... electrician
John Newby .... camera operator
Ed Newins Jr. .... grip
David Noble .... additional grip
John O'Malley .... electrician
Phil Oetiker .... additional camera operator (as Phil Oeticker)
George Pattison .... additional camera operator
Carl Peterson .... grip
Floyd A.B. Rance III .... camera trainee
Nate Ranger .... assistant camera
Paul Reuter .... additional second assistant camera
Keith Salkowski .... electrician
Leslie Saltus .... camera trainee
Susan Starr .... additional first assistant camera
Lois Thompson .... grip trainee
Joan Zierler .... additional first assistant camera
 
Casting Department
Paulette D. Clark .... casting assistant (as Paulette Clark)
David H. Kramer .... adr voice casting
Andrea Reed .... extras casting
Tracy Vilar .... extras casting
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Donna Berwick .... assistant to costume designer
Lisa R. Frucht .... wardrobe assistant (as Lisa Frucht)
Beulah Jones-Black .... assistant to costume designer
Jennifer Lax .... wardrobe assistant
Rita McGhee .... wardrobe production assistant
Susie Money .... wardrobe supervisor
Janinea Shelton .... wardrobe production assistant
Miriam Wong Tsao .... wardrobe assistant (as Miriam Wong)
 
Editorial Department
Donna Myers-Rambharose .... apprentice editor
Leander T. Sales .... assistant editor
Brunilda Torres .... first assistant editor
 
Music Department
Abdul Malik Abbott .... music playback
Vince Caro .... assistant scoring engineer
Stephen Fitzstephens .... music engineer
James Flatto .... assistant music editor
Alex Steyermark .... music editor
Terence Blanchard .... composer: special music (uncredited)
Jennie Hansen .... musician: viola (uncredited)
 
Transportation Department
William K. Gaskins .... driver (as Willi Gaskins)
Charlie Hoffman .... driver
Harry J. Leavey .... driver (as Harry Leavey)
James Leavey .... transportation captain
Tom Newins .... driver
Martin Whitfield .... driver
 
Other crew
Shannon Amos .... production coordinator
Randall Balsmeyer .... title designer
Alysse Bezahler .... assistant production office coordinator
Terence Blanchard .... technical consultant
Wanda Brooks .... intern
Yolanda Busbee .... production assistant: 40 Acres
Jeffrey W. Byrd .... intern (as Jeffrey Byrd)
Shari L. Carpenter .... office production assistant
Melvin Tyrone Clarke .... intern
Eric Daniel .... set production assistant
Lee Davis .... craft service
Lyle Dickey .... intern
Mike Ellis .... set production assistant (as Michael Ellis)
Michael Fleming .... technical consultant
Susan D. Fowler .... production coordinator: Forty Acres
Michael Gaynor .... dailies projectionist
Bil Haley-Freeman .... assistant location manager
Brian Harris .... parking production assistant
Donald Harrison .... technical consultant
Van Hayden .... craft service (as Van A. Hayden)
Patricia Ann Holmes .... assistant auditor (as Patricia Holmes)
Anthony L. Jamison .... apprentice
Debra D. Jeffreys .... production office coordinator
Desirée Jellerette .... production secretary
Kristen M. Johnson .... intern
Damon Jones .... intern
Janice Kambara .... intern
Eric Klein .... location assistant (as Eric Barry Klein)
Erik Barry Klein .... parking coordinator
Erik Knight .... set production assistant
Bill Lee .... technical consultant
Cinqué Lee .... video archivist
Leticia Lee .... assistant auditor
Palesa Ka Letlaka .... intern
Sam Longoria .... publicity assistant: Universal
Karen Mason .... intern
Tiffany McLinn Lore .... intern (as Tiffany McClinn)
Larry Mims .... assistant: Mr. Washington
Ayesha Morales .... intern
Robert Nickson .... production controller
Fred Nielson .... set production assistant (as Fred Nielsen)
Eric Oden .... auditor
Brent Owens .... location manager
Daryl Patterson .... craft service
Thomas Patrick Petrilla .... production assistant
Traci Proctor .... office production assistant
Kia B. Puriefoy .... set production assistant (as Kia Puriefoy)
Simona Ross .... intern
Amada R. Sandoval .... intern
Jean-Andre Sassine .... parking production assistant
Winsome Sinclair .... intern (as Winsome GM Sinclair)
Audra C. Smith .... production assistant: 40 Acres (as Audra Smith)
Earl Smith .... assistant: Mr. Lee
Kevin A. Smith .... intern
Anna C. Southall .... unit publicist (as Anna Southall)
Susan Stuart .... intern
Dale Watkins .... assistant location manager (as Dale T. Watkins)
Doug G. Watson .... set production assistant (as Doug Watson)
Daniel Wheatcroft .... studio executive
Latanya White .... intern
Harold R. Williams Jr. .... assistant dailies projectionist (as Harold Williams)
Nike Zachmanoglou .... continuity
Nike Zachmanoglou .... script supervisor
Coati Mundi .... adr voice (uncredited)
 

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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
129 min | USA:130 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Denzel Washington and Wesley Snipes were trained to mimic the playing of the instruments they play in the film (trumpet and saxophone) by musicians Terence Blanchard and Donald Harrison. Washington later admitted that he was lucky if he could play three notes of a simple tune prior to filming and ended up being able to correctly mimic most of the songs performed in the film along with Snipes.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: 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 »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
Pop Top 40See more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
5 out of 6 people found the following review useful.
Very Good, But Not On Par With Other Spike Work, 26 October 2006
Author: jzappa from Cincinnati, OH, United States

In Spike Lee's fourth film, Denzel Washington proves early in his career that he is capable of being funny and romantic in a more modest film than Glory or Cry Freedom, the music is breezy and romantic and consistent, jazzy and colorful cinematography, and another characteristic Spike Lee touch, which is his gift for drawing from his actors stunningly realistic performances. In some ensemble scenes, the dialogue seems like improvisation. Maybe it is.

Mo' Better Blues is a good, steady, effective drama, a portrait of a complex and overwrought musician and the indecision and jealousy that gradually eat away at his life, but it lacks the passion and brazen provocative nature of nearly all of Spike Lee's other films.

The cast, once again, is brilliant. Denzel is very very very authentic, faithful, graphic, and lifelike. My brother is a jazz musician and I've met several of his fellow musicians. I'm seasoned when it comes to jazz musicians. Take my word for it, Denzel's performance is entirely true. Snipes is brilliantly, swaggeringly audacious. Joie Lee comprehensively draws our sympathy towards her sensitive, self-conscious character and away from the elegant and subtly compelling Cynda Williams. Spike Lee himself is one of the most compelling characters. Samuel L. Jackson entertains in one of his millions and billions of early bit roles.

If I were to say, "I'm in the mood for a Spike Lee joint," this would not be one of the first films I pick, but it's different and enthralling. I mean, it's directed by Spike Lee, so how can it not be?

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (29 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Mo' Better Blues (1990)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Can Spike Lee give his characters real names for a change? mrstaples
SHADOW AND CLARK ChristianEdwards81
What the [bleep] is wrong with all these people on IMDB?!?! PopeyeTheSailor
Halle Berry 'replaced' Cynda Williams? svetaswan
Jewish Representation triplerumack
Did the birth have to be quite so graphic? foxyblackchick
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