This biography of Dorothy Dandridge follows her career through early days on the club circuit with her sister to her turn in movies, including becoming the first black actress to win a Best... See full summary »
Klaus Maria Brandauer
Darius Lovehall is a young black poet in Chicago who starts dating Nina Moseley, a beautiful and talented photographer. While trying to figure out if they've got a "love thing" or are just ... See full summary »
Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Josephine Baker was born poor, but achieved fame and fortune through her sizzlingly exotic and erotic performances. Starting life on the American Vaudeville ... See full summary »
A drama set in the 1920s, where free-spirited Janie Crawford's search for happiness leads her through several different marriages, challenging the morals of her small town. Based on the novel by Zora Neale Hurston.
The story of Little Richard Penniman, from his poor Southern upbringing to dealing with the trials and tribulations of being a black singer in the 1950s, to his born-again phase and brief "retirement" from rock and roll.
The story of a young man, Jason (Allen Payne) who must confront his trauma-induced insecurity about love, as well as a sense of owed responsibility to his mother and troubled brother Joshua... See full summary »
Jada Pinkett Smith,
Based on the novel by Gloria Naylor, which deals with several strong-willed women who live in a rundown housing project on Brewster Place in an unidentified eastern city; across three ... See full summary »
In the mid-1980s, three women (each with an attorney) arrive at the office of New York entertainment manager Morris Levy. One is a singer from Los Angeles, formerly of the Platters; one is a petty thief from Philadelphia; one teaches high school in a small Georgia town. Each claims to be the widow of long-dead doo-wop singer-songwriter Frankie Lyman, and each wants years of royalties due to his estate, money Levy has never shared. During an ensuing civil trial, flashbacks tell the story of each one's life with Lyman, a boyish, high-pitched, dynamic performer, lost to heroin. Slowly, the three widows come together and establish their own bond. Written by
The filmmakers know you've heard this tale before - true life chronicle of a young singing star's rise and tragic fall - and so they wisely downplay the standard bio trappings and instead focus on a raucously entertaining ride through Frankie Lymon's woman troubles. The smart screenplay revolves around the court battle of Lymon's three wives (yes, three!) over song royalties, leading to vivid (and often humorously contradictory) flashbacks of their lives with the singer. Larenz Tate is magnetic playing the many different sides of the ever-changing lead character, but the film ultimately belongs to Halle Berry, Vivica A. Fox and Lela Rochon as the wives. Each is allowed to shine as the trio portrays 30 years of changes in the women's lives, with Fox drop-dead hilarious as the most outrageous of the three. There's beautifully detailed '60s-era cinematography, sets, costuming and musical numbers, plus a side-splitting turn by Miguel Nunez as a young Little Richard. Major issues (such as '60s race relations) are barely glanced at, but what this film lacks in depth, it makes up for ten-fold in entertainment value. A winner!
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