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What's Love Got to Do with It (1993)

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



(book), (book) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Young Anna Mae (as Rae'Ven Kelly)
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


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


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


Biography | Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

25 June 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

What's Love Got to Do with It  »


Box Office


$15,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| (Dolby 5.1)


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Film debut of RaéVen Kelly. See more »


After her last fight with Ike, Tina leaves the hotel with pumps on, then runs across the highway in sneakers. See more »


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 »


Featured in Siskel & Ebert: The Getaway/Blank Check/My Girl 2 (1994) See more »


Disco Inferno
Written by Leroy Green and Ron Kersey
Performed by Tina Turner
See more »

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User Reviews

A National Enquirer interpretation; entertaining swill...
8 October 2006 | by See all my reviews

Although based upon Tina Turner's co-authored autobiography "I, Tina", "What's Love Got To Do With It" plays like a condensed version of a star's memoir, half-fabricated and the other half taken from a supermarket tabloid. While the performances are spot-on, brave and intense, and the original tunes frequently sound incredible, the facts and details of Anna Mae Bullock's relationship with R&B shaker Ike Turner remain hazy and suspect. Certain set-pieces, like Tina's recording session with Phil Spector, look marvelous but serve no particular purpose (and the film lets us think Ike had no involvement in a group-project that resulted in a full album, not just a single release). Angela Bassett is undoubtedly just the perfect choice to portray the exciting Tina Turner, but what of Turner's own tumultuous personality? The movie's narrative gives all the fire and anger to husband Ike, despite Tina's burgeoning muscular arms (she didn't get those muscles from Buddhist chanting!). Also lost are the solo years between leaving Ike and finding success on the pop charts in 1984. The film hopes to wrap things up with a little unnecessary melodrama, but just fouls itself up trying to make a (tired) point about finding one's inner peace and independence. The look of the film is quite remarkable throughout, and the early sequences are entertainingly staged, but very little of the film's final third rings true or comes to close to matching what music-historians know to be accurate. **1/2 from ****

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