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What's Love Got to Do with It (1993)

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The story of singer Tina Turner's rise to stardom and how she gained the courage to break free from abusive husband, Ike Turner.

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(book), (book) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
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
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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:

The triumphant true-life story of Tina Turner! 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:

25 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:

$39,100,956 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| (Dolby 5.1)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Before filming this movie, Vanessa Bell Calloway was actually featured in the music video for Tina Turner's "What's Love Got to Do with It". See more »

Goofs

When Ike and Tina are in the dressing room of the Apollo in 1960, Ike is drinking from a blue and white paper coffee cup with the famous Greek design. That design was introduced in 1963 by the Sherri Cup Company. See more »

Quotes

Grandma Georgiana: Your mama had to go away for a while.
Young Anna Mae Bullock: When is she coming back to get me?
Grandma Georgiana: She ain't, honey. She just ain't.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Clueless (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Shake a Tail Feather
Written by Verlie Rice, Otis Hayes and Andre Williams
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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Insultingly one sided... chester-63
How bad was the abuse really? Trismike21
Domestic violence should be deemed a mental illness allrightallrightallright
Would be PERFECT if... mmmaspirin
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