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If You Give a Dance, You Gotta Pay the Band (1972)

TV Movie  |  Drama  |  19 December 1972 (USA)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 23 users  
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Life in a black ghetto isn't easy for 14-year-old Billie Jean Sims, who has a father in jail, a blind grandmother, and a brother with a drug habit. Growing up among drug pushers, ... See full summary »

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Title: If You Give a Dance, You Gotta Pay the Band (TV Movie 1972)

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Life in a black ghetto isn't easy for 14-year-old Billie Jean Sims, who has a father in jail, a blind grandmother, and a brother with a drug habit. Growing up among drug pushers, prostitutes, and pimps, Billie Jean still has some things going for her: fierce pride, a loyal friend named Fish, and, at last, enough savings to visit her father 1200 miles away in prison. Written by Anonymous

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19 December 1972 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Somewhat Coincidental
30 October 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I remember this movie. Very ironic that the character a 13-year old Laurence Fishburne portrayed was nicknamed "Fish". Was this purely coincidental, or part autobiography?

Overall, it was an excellent movie. The main character was a young girl named "Billie Jean" who was coming of age. She had no mother and was being raised by her grandmother. Her older brother "T-Bone" was a heroin addict and her best friend was a young boy called "Fish". She worked after school and was saving her money to travel out of state to visit her father who was serving time in federal prison and rumored to be in ill health. She had been hiding her money n a secret place. But one day T-Bone discovered where she had been hiding it. T-Bone stole her money and spent most of it getting high on dope. Fish caught up with a drugged out T-Bone, and although Fish was much smaller in physical build, he hit T-Bone over the head and retrieved what was left of her money. Then Fish went out and pulled a scam to try and recover what Bille Jean needed in order to buy herself a bus ticket to finally see her father before he died.

Even at age 13, Laurence Fishburne was an action hero.


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