Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Josephine Baker was born poor, but achieved fame and fortune through her sizzlingly exotic and erotic performances. Starting life on the American Vaudeville ... See full summary »
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Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Josephine Baker was born poor, but achieved fame and fortune through her sizzlingly exotic and erotic performances. Starting life on the American Vaudeville circuit, success takes Josephine to Paris where her semi-nude dancing causes an international sensation. Through her marriages to an Italian pseudo-count and orchestra leader, to her bond with army officer Sydney Williams, Josephine's life is a roller coaster ride of love and rejection from both her lovers and her country. But semi-nude, or head-to-toes in sequins; in battle fatigues or rags - her beauty and ambition ensured that Josephine Baker will always be remembered as the first, and possibly most loved, truly international star. Written by
HBO Home Video
Some outstanding performances here by Whitfield, Blades, Gossett, and others in this overly long biography of an important, outspoken, and controversial African American woman, who was years ahead of her time. It was quite a revelation to see how African Americans were treated in St. Louis and in New York in the decades before the civil rights advances of the 50's and 60's. We all know about the history of the South, but in many places up North, things were nearly as difficult for minorities in the 1930's and 40's.
The story of Josephine Baker had to be told since so many of us are not familiar with her achievements. And HBO and the cast did an outstanding job doing so. The movie was entertaining and sexual, eye-opening and thought provoking. It covered American society as well as French and even gave us some insights into Josephine's heroics and patriotism during WWII and her push for equality of the races in the U.S. military. I would have preferred to see the movie end while Josephine was at the top and still young, rather than drag on with her numerous adoptions and comeback attempts. That's why it was not a major motion picture.....too long and drawn out for theater audiences.
A good movie to watch at home while putting away the laundry or brushing the dog.
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