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What's Love Got to Do with It (1993)

 -  Biography | Drama | Music  -  9 June 1993 (USA)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 11,560 users  
Reviews: 59 user | 18 critic

The story of rock singer Tina Turner and how she rose to stardom with her abusive husband Ike Turner and how she gained the courage to break free.

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(book), (book), 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Young Anna Mae (as Rae'Ven Kelly)
Virginia Capers ...
Choir Mistress
Dororthy Thorton ...
Choir Member (as Dorothy Thornton)
Demetrice Cheathon ...
Choir Member
Nita Woods Allen ...
Choir Member
Helen Marie Lovelace ...
Choir Member
Natalie Wilson ...
Choir Member
Seymour Daniel Jr. ...
Choir Member
David McKinney ...
Choir Member
Jayd Stanfield ...
Choir Member
Maurice O'Neal ...
Choir Member
Frank Rasberry ...
Choir Member
Monroe Howard ...
Choir Member
Serist Roberts ...
Choir Member
Wakeen Best ...
Choir Member
Edit

Storyline

Anna Mae Bullock always had a special voice. Soon after arriving in St. Louis to live with the mother who had walked out when she was small, the now teenage Anna Mae soon attracts the attention of pop group leader Ike Turner. She becomes the band's singer, his wife, and mother to his children - not all hers. In love with Ike and determined not to leave in the way her mother had, she finds herself the target of increasing violence from her unstable husband who can't see who is making the band such a success. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Not just the story of a life - The movie of a lifetime. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for domestic violence, strong language, drug use and some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

9 June 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

What's Love Got to Do with It  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£1,583,230 (UK) (15 October 1993)

Gross:

£3,420,933 (UK) (12 November 1993)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie's advertising tagline "Who needs a heart when a heart can be broken?" is a lyric from the song "What's Love Got to Do with It". See more »

Goofs

A theater marquee announces a 1960 show starring "Otis Redding, Martha and the Vandellas, Ike and Tina Turner." The Vandellas were known as The Del-Phis until 1962. Otis Redding became a solo act the same year. See more »

Quotes

Tina Turner: [to the audience] You know, every now and then, I think you might like to hear something from us nice and easy. But there's just one thing: we never, ever do nothing nice and easy, we always do it nice and rough. So we're gonna take the beginning of this song and do it easy, and then we're gonna do the finish rough. That's the way we do Creedence Clearwater's "Proud Mary".
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Becker: What's Love Got to Do with It? (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

I Don't Wanna Fight
Written by Lulu, Billy Laurie and Steve DuBerry
Performed by Tina Turner
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Two Red-Hot Blazing Performances Bring Fire, Glory and Nuance to Tina Turner's Story
8 February 2006 | by (San Francisco, CA, USA) – See all my reviews

It was gratifying to see rock legend Tina Turner earn the coveted Kennedy Center honor last month, certainly reason enough to revisit this wonderful biopic based on her 1987 self-affirming autobiography, "I, Tina" co-written with Rolling Stone editor Kurt Loder. Directed by the late Brian Gibson in an appropriately feverish manner, the 1993 movie still burns brightly thanks to the electrifying performances of Angela Bassett and Laurence Fishburne. There have been several fine performances in biopics of late - Jamie Foxx in "Ray", Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon in "Walk the Line" - but I still feel Bassett and Fishburne maintain the high watermark as they seem to inhabit the roles of Ike and Tina completely in this film.

Adapting probably the most melodramatic parts of Tina's book, Gibson and screenwriter Kate Lanier built a dramatic framework about the former Anna Mae Bullock that is somewhat standard-issue and probably biased, but it works on a visceral level as a story of personal triumph punctuated by some of the most gut-wrenching scenes of domestic violence captured on film. Playing one of the most recognizable and enduring celebrities in the rock world, Bassett manages to capture the physical mannerisms, vocal patterns, and onstage energy of the real Tina, even though her voice obviously had to be dubbed. With her almost distracting musculature, she convincingly rips into all her musical performances with unabated fire, but it's really in her dramatic scenes, especially when she becomes an increasingly degraded victim of her husband's demons, that she soars. Fishburne has an extremely tough role, as he has to transcend the inherent villainy of Ike by displaying the bravado and talent that brought the pair the spotlight in the early years. He brilliantly manages to imbue a spirit that is at once frightening and pitiable.

With a relatively sparse filmography, Gibson provides surprisingly sturdy direction here, often using an effective faux-combination of grainy home movies and TV programs to make the movie feel like a "Behind the Scenes" rock documentary. I particularly liked how he edited the inevitable "Proud Mary" - complete with gyrating Ikettes and Tina in her classic cave woman mini - to show the passage of time between the late sixties to the mid-seventies. Unsurprisingly, no one else makes nearly the impression of the two stars, though Jenifer Lewis has a few funny moments as Tina's mother Zelma, and Vanessa Bell Calloway does what she can in her switch from hard-bitten back-up singer to becalming Buddhist. Regardless, see it for two actors - sadly underutilized since this movie was released, the wondrous Bassett in particular - giving all they have into this memorable movie. The DVD has no significant extras other than the original trailer.


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Recent Posts
How bad was the abuse really? Trismike21
Ike Turner is dead. Awwww..... mercuryix2003
Vanessa Bell Calloway (Jackie) WHERE have I seen her before??? MrsWLeach
Did anyone else cheer when Ike got his butt kicked? jenjen1960
Angela Basset, not Halle Berry aliecatt
Angela's rightful Oscar ReelofFortune
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