7.8/10
3,035
74 user 59 critic

Standing in the Shadows of Motown (2002)

Documentary about the Funk Brothers, a group of Detroit musicians who backed up dozens of Motown artists.

Director:

Writers:

(Narration), (Narration) | 1 more credit »

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
8 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Muscle Shoals (2013)
Documentary | Biography | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A documentary that celebrates Rick Hall, the founder of FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, and the signature sound he developed in songs such as "I'll Take You There", "Brown Sugar", and "When a Man Loves a Woman".

Director: Greg 'Freddy' Camalier
Stars: Rick Hall, Aretha Franklin, Keith Richards
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A celebration of the musical work of a group of session musicians known as "The Wrecking Crew", a band that provided back-up instrumentals to such legendary recording artists as Frank Sinatra, The Beach Boys and Bing Crosby.

Director: Denny Tedesco
Stars: Denny Tedesco, Brian Wilson, Dick Clark
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Backup singers live in a world that lies just beyond the spotlight. Their voices bring harmony to the biggest bands in popular music, but we've had no idea who these singers are or what lives they lead, until now.

Director: Morgan Neville
Stars: Darlene Love, Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer
Documentary | History | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The filmed account of a large Canadian rock festival train tour.

Directors: Bob Smeaton, Frank Cvitanovich
Stars: Janis Joplin, Grateful Dead, The Band
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A documentary about Tom Dowd, who was an innovative recording engineer and producer of noted albums with John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, Otis Redding, Eric Clapton, the Allman Brothers and many others.

Director: Mark Moormann
Stars: Ray Charles, John Coltrane, Aretha Franklin
Scratch (2001)
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A feature-length documentary film about hip-hop DJing, otherwise known as turntablism. From the South Bronx in the 1970s to San Francisco now, the world's best scratchers, beat-diggers, ... See full summary »

Director: Doug Pray
Stars: Chali 2na, Marc 7, Afra
Documentary | Biography | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A documentary in which Freda Kelly looks back at her career as lifelong secretary for The Beatles.

Director: Ryan White
Stars: Freda Kelly, Paul McCartney, John Lennon
Documentary | Biography | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A film about the career of the notorious punk rock band, the Sex Pistols.

Director: Julien Temple
Stars: Paul Cook, Steve Jones, John Lydon
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard 'Pistol' Allen ...
Himself
...
Himself
...
Himself
Benny 'Papa Zita' Benjamin ...
Himself (archive footage)
Eddie 'Bongo' Brown ...
Himself (archive footage)
...
Himself
Johnny Griffith ...
Himself
...
Himself
...
Himself
James Jamerson ...
Himself (archive footage)
Uriel Jones ...
Himself
...
Himself
...
Herself
Gerald Levert ...
Himself
...
Himself
Edit

Storyline

In 1959, Berry Gordy Jr. gathered the best musicians from Detroit's thriving jazz and blues scene to begin cutting songs for his new record company. Over a fourteen year period they were the heartbeat on every hit from Motown's Detroit era. By the end of their phenomenal run, this unheralded group of musicians had played on more number ones hits than the Beach Boys, the Rolling Stones, Elvis and the Beatles combined - which makes them the greatest hit machine in the history of popular music. They called themselves the Funk Brothers. Forty-one years after they played their first note on a Motown record and three decades since they were all together, the Funk Brothers reunited back in Detroit to play their music and tell their unforgettable story, with the help of archival footage, still photos, narration, interviews, re-creation scenes, 20 Motown master tracks, and twelve new live performances of Motown classics with the Brothers backing up contemporary performers. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

They played on more #1 records than the Beatles, the Beach Boys, the Rolling Stones and Elvis Presley combined... This is their story. See more »

Genres:

Documentary | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for language and thematic elements | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 November 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Standing in the Shadows of Motown: The Story of the Funk Brothers  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$114,442 (USA) (15 November 2002)

Gross:

$1,600,547 (USA) (21 February 2003)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Quotes

Montell JordanChaka Khan: [singing] Baby, there ain't no mountain high enough / Ain't no valley low enough / Ain't no river wide enough to keep me from getting to you.
See more »

Crazy Credits

After all of the credits roll, we see a few of the Funk Brothers leaving the Snake Pit and turning off the lights. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Film Geek (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Ain't No Mountain High Enough
by Valerie Simpson and Nick Ashford (as Nickolas Ashford)
Performed by Montell Jordan, Chaka Khan and The Funk Brothers
Chaka Khan appears courtesy of Earth Song Entertainment
Used by permission of Jobete Music Co., Inc.
All Rights Reserved
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Behind the music
25 October 2003 | by (California) – See all my reviews

Forget VH1, forget MTV, this is the real deal. Even if you loathe documentaries, this film is different - it's about the music and the musicians that made it, and there's not a boring moment on film. If you ever liked the Motown sound, if you ever liked music for that matter, you owe it to yourself to learn how so many great recordings really came about. If you like what's on the radio right now, here's a rare chance to find out where it all really came from. A lot of the artists playing and singing today were heavily influenced by the Funk Brothers, whether they realise it entirely or not. So if you want to learn who created those sounds in the first place, you must see STANDING. I can't say enough about this film.

Now I don't want to belittle the talent that stood in front of the Funk Bros., because they deserve a lot of credit. But honestly, after seeing it the first time, I thought about how tragic it is that no one had really done it before. Maybe that's it's only flaw - this is a story we should have heard 30 years ago. I probably knew more than most being a musician myself, but there were many aspects that were revelations. To hear these guys play in a live setting again, is above and beyond what you could expect in this kind of work. But it's here - rent, buy, go see this movie!


19 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page