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

R  |   |  Biography, Drama, Music  |  25 June 1993 (USA)
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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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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »



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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


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

Opening Weekend:

£1,583,230 (UK) (15 October 1993)


£3,420,933 (UK) (12 November 1993)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Charlie Murphy auditioned for the role of Ike Turner. See more »


In a scene dated 1968, Ike and Tina open for the Rolling Stones, doing "Proud Mary." The Stones didn't do any concerts in 1968; Ike and Tina opened for them in 1969. Creedence Clearwater Revival's original version was released in 1970. See more »


Ike Turner, Sr.: I miss you Ann, I'm tired of this, this has gone on long enough I want you to come home, I know everything between us wasn't right, look everybody's got problems and I'm trying to take care of mine and I gave up that narcotic, I'm telling you right here, right now that I'm going to try to do right by you this time
See more »


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


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

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User Reviews

great performances, powerful film
28 September 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Angela Bassett, as Tina Turner asks the musical question "What's Love Got to Do with It" in this 1993 film also starring Laurence Fishburne, Jenifer Lewis, and Khandi Alexander. The film tells the story of Tina Turner's childhood as Anna Mae Bullock her move to St. Louis after her grandmother's death to live with her mother, her meeting Ike Turner at a nightclub, her subsequent singing with Ike's band, their marriage and divorce.

By necessity, biopics have to leave out people and incidents, often combining several incidents into one or skipping several steps. In no way does a knowledge of Tina Turner''s life detract from the impact of this film. It's a story of a woman's determination, beating the odds, suffering, perseverance and ultimate success.

Ike's and Tina's marriage was pretty much a horror show. Ike was always controlling, to the detriment of his own career, and as he turned to drugs, his abuse of Tina escalated. The most stunning scene in the film (besides the performances, which are fantastic) occurs when the couple fights in a limo en route to a hotel. Ike becomes physical; Tina has discovered Buddhism and finally gets the courage to fight back. A bloody mess, she runs away from him with only 36 cents in her purse.

Angela Bassett gives a searing, electrifying performance as Turner. Her sinewy body is a great match for Turner's, and she uses it to perfection in replicating Turner's performances (Turner's voice is used on the soundtrack). She shows the star's vulnerability, fear, and internal strength throughout.

Bassett is matched by Laurence Fishburne's terrifying performance as Ike. Fishburne seethes with manipulation and anger, even in scenes where he's being "nice." When Ike loses his temper, you can see how he can't stop and the violence just gets worth. A brilliant performance.

A must see. The latter part of Turner's life is not explored, but while she always remained popular in Europe, it was a long time before she could get a recording contract here after some failed recordings. Today she remains one of the greatest singing stars ever. But there were lots of valleys in between.

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