Both uproaringly funny and unerringly cautionary, Broomfield's behind-the-scenes document of the making of a musical becomes a ceremonious unmaking-of as egos, budgets and general calamity ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Himself (as Andre Heller)
Graciela Daniele ...
Herself - Choreographer
Mercedes Ellington ...
Herself - Choreographer
George Faison ...
Himself - Choreographer
...
Himself - Singer
Victor Cook ...
Himself - Singer
Carolyn Dennis ...
Herself - Singer (as Carol Dennis)
Granoldo Frazier ...
Himself - Singer (as Grenaldo Frazier)
Marion Ramsey ...
Herself - Singer
Clare Janice Bathe ...
Herself - Singer (as Claire Bathe)
Gerard Alexander ...
Himself - Dancer
Jennifer Bell ...
Herself - Dancer
Lathaniel Cooper ...
Himself - Dancer
Harold Cromer ...
Himself - Dancer
Randy Davis ...
Himself - Dancer
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Storyline

Both uproaringly funny and unerringly cautionary, Broomfield's behind-the-scenes document of the making of a musical becomes a ceremonious unmaking-of as egos, budgets and general calamity conspire to ruin the best efforts of all involved in the New York rehearsals for an extravangant, glitzy production. Written by Anonymous

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independent film | See All (1) »

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Documentary

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Release Date:

2 March 1990 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Soundtracks

Body and Soul
(uncredited)
Written by Johnny Green, Frank Eyton, Robert Sour and Edward Heyman
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User Reviews

 
Murphy's Law showbiz documentary
15 November 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The idea made sense at first: hire veteran documentary filmmaker Nick Broomfield to follow the progress of impresario Andre Heller's all singing, all dancing, all black stage extravaganza 'Body and Soul'. The movie would be, in its producer's own words, "a real life Fame" and a document of the creative process, the first step of which was a budget reduction for the film crew from 1.3 million to a miserly 300,000 dollars. With little money and even less time for preparation, the documentary took on a life all its own, becoming a candid backstage portrait of compromise and confrontation, with the film and stage teams clashing head on (sometimes literally; at one rehearsal the camera even collides with choreographer Mercedes Ellington, granddaughter of the Duke). When the musical finally premiered in Munich it was called "the biggest show to come out of Germany since World War Two", an assessment the battle-weary Broomfield would no doubt endorse. His finished film includes only two minutes from the final stage production but nevertheless works as an instructive show biz primer (in ways his producers never dreamed of), charting all the anger, frustration and absurdity on both sides of the camera.


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