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 »
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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 Actress Nomination in 1954 for "Carmen Jones", to her final demise to prescription drugs, which was debated whether it was suicide or accidental. Brent Spiner plays her faithful manager who stood beside her through all of the roller coaster of her career. The film also examines her love affair with director Otto Preminger, which is shown to have probably initially helped her career, but later probably led her to some wrong decisions. The film also examines 50's racism as the black star is not permitted to use white bathrooms or the Vegas pool. In the first situation, she was given a bathroom cup to pee in. In the second situation, the hotel drained the pool and scrubbed it after she dared put her foot in the water. Written by
John Sacksteder <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When production ran over budget the studio wanted to cut the red carpet scene at the end of the film. Halle Berry desperately wanted to keep the scene, so she paid for it herself (HBO subsequently reimbursed her). See more »
Moments before she is set to take the stage of a Miami nightclub to perform her act, Dorothy is outraged to discover the club is still under construction. Surely she would have known this earlier since her act involved a good deal of choreography and perhaps even rehearsal and she would have, at the very least, checked out the stage to get the physical layout of the performance space prior to making her entrance. See more »
[after Otto attends the premiere of "Carmen Jones" with his wife]
How dare you parade her in front of me.
I didn't know she was coming.
It was *my* night, Otto! You won't be seen with me in public, but then I have to watch you traipse around with her!
She's my wife.
Tell her to leave. You have an understanding, remember? She openly makes the rounds with another man, Otto, and you don't complain about it! So, why couldn't you spend the evening with me?
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Long before Barack Obama wasn't considered "Black" enough, Dorothy Dandridge suffered the same criticism. Black or not, she was beautiful and could sing like a meadowlark.
Looking at old pictures of Dandridge, you could see why Halle Berry was chosen. She is Dandridge brought back to life. She may not have the pipes of Dandridge, but she sure can act, and has the Emmy and Golden Globe to prove it! Playing the First African American actress to get an Best Actress nomination (for Carmen Jones) was the First African American actress to win the Oscar for Best Actress (for Monster's Ball).
Klaus Maria Brandauer (Out of Africa) was magnificent as Otto Preminger, one of the men who used Dandridge.
This film is extremely important, not only for the fact that is chronicles the life of one of America's best, but also for the reminder that most of us never had to pee in a cup or watch a pool drained because we put our toe in it.
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