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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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Writers:

(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:
...
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
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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

Fishburne and Bassett previously played a (separated) couple in Boyz n the Hood. See more »

Goofs

Ike gives Zelma a $100 bill that was first printed in the 1990s. See more »

Quotes

Ike Turner, Sr.: [to Tina] Now, you listen to me. I MADE you. You were nothing before you met me, and you ain't gonna be nothing without me.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Alec Baldwin/Tina Turner (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Tina's Wish
Written by Ike Turner and Tina Turner
Performed by Tina Turner
See more »

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User Reviews

Much better than I expected
21 February 2003 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

As a young girl, Anna Mae Bullock is left behind when her mother flees an abusive husband. As a young woman she comes to the city to rejoin her mother and sister. Going with her sister to a local club, Anna Mae is drawn onto the stage by band leader Ike Turner and reveals a powerful voice. He takes her into his band and the two go onto success, marriage and children with Anna Mae taking the stage name Tina Turner. However beneath the surface, Ike is a violent man and Tina is forced to either defend him or escape.

I have seen this twice already, although I'm not a Tina Turner fan and don't find her music to be that good (aside from a few of the bigger hits) but I do know a powerful film when I see it. The plot is based on the biography of Tina Turner and, because it is official, the end result is that it lacks an eye that approaches with fair judgement. The film therefore builds up the strength of Ike and the resolve of Tina and is a little too reverent at points like Tina finding strength in Buddhist chanting. However it is difficult to miss the cynical eye when you accept that having a violent husband and being trapped is a difficult situation that anyone does well to come out of.

The film is moving but never lets itself become overly emotional or sentimental. Instead it just soldiers on like Tina herself and the final scenes give you an impression of someone who has overcome to get to where she is. Usually it would be difficult to feel for someone who is as rich and successful as Tina Turner and it is to the film's credit that it has managed it. Part of the reason for this is a sympathetic yet strong performance from Bassett (one of the better black actresses around). She at times seems to be just impersonating Turner (during the music pieces) but she is in her element in the rest with a meaty part not often offered to her. Fishburne is good and bad in different ways. Firstly he is good because he grips the audience and commands attention and is, as always, an excellent actor given the chance. However he is too powerful – the real Ike is less physically dominant and Fishburne doesn't do him justice – appearing to point the blame on drugs and no inner turmoil.

Overall this is a good film that deals with a difficult subject matter. The fact that it is a true story just makes it better. Strong black leads and emotionally involving makes for a good watch even if it's hard to describe the violence at times as `entertainment'.


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Insultingly one sided... chester-63
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