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.

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Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Bud Penniman
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Lucille
...
...
Carl Rainey
Anthony Lee
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(as Lahmard Tate)
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(as Jonell Kennedy)
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...
Sugarfoot Sam
William James Jones ...
Billy Wright
...
Studio Musician
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Storyline

A revealing movie about the tumultuous life of Little Richard Penniman, whose ground-breaking music revolutionized rock and roll. Growing up a social misfit in poverty, Little Richard's passion, talent and flamboyance catapulted him into the limelight of rock music. His career was rocked by his homosexuality, his fundamental beliefs and the pervasive discrimination within the music industry. We go through his chart-topping years when he lived the quintessential Rock and Roll life, indulging in all-night orgies and the spiritual callings that pulled him in and out of the music industry. But as alcohol and drug addition plagued his career in the late 1960s, Little Richard makes the life-saving decision to return to his family. Through their love and strength, and Little Richard's resolve, he moves on in history to become one of the most memorable performers in rock and roll. Written by Artisan Entertainment

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The struggle that nearly destroyed him. The miracle that saved him. The music that made him a legend. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Music

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Details

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Release Date:

20 February 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Little Richard Story  »

Company Credits

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The singing voice for Little Richard, was provided by Legendary singer Ali Ollie Woodson who was a lead singer for The Temptations and also portrayed himself in this film. See more »

Quotes

Little Richard: [improvising on the piano] A-wop-bop-a-loo-bop-a-good-hot-damn! Tutti frutti! Good booty! Tutti frutti! Good booty! Tutti frutti! Good booty! Tutti frutti! Good booty! If it don't fit, don't force it! If you grease it, make it easy!
Bump Blackwell: We have *got* to record that!
Little Richard: What?
Bump Blackwell: Yeah that! *That* is a hit!
Little Richard: You're kidding me.
Bump Blackwell: No, no, no, no, I mean, we gotta clean up the lyrics though. That's a... that's a definite. Dorothy, get in here!
Little Richard: But wait a second. Bump...
Bump Blackwell: This is gonna be...! Dorothy!
[...]
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User Reviews

 
This Is Little Richard?
12 December 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This portrayal of Richard Penniman as a skirt-chasing dandy is completely the opposite of what I've seen of Little Richard all these years. Also, having friends in show biz who worked with and knew him well, this is a movie about somebody else! The only "hints" we get of his homosexuality are the knowing glances between Richard and his young singing mentor, who told him he needed to record. Yes, his behavior ranges from "regular guy" to "somewhat effeminate," but the character is inconsistent.

Good lip-syncing by Leon and nice acting from Jenifer Lewis, as his supportive mother. Other performances were stereotypical, but the story does give us a clear picture of how black stars were cheated by low-down record shysters and literally robbed by white artists like Pat Boone, Georgia Gibbs and Gale Storm.


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