The story of the life and career of the legendary rhythm and blues musician Ray Charles, from his humble beginnings in the South, where he went blind at age seven, to his meteoric rise to stardom during the 1950s and 1960s.
Filmmaker Davis Guggenheim follows Al Gore on the lecture circuit, as the former presidential candidate campaigns to raise public awareness of the dangers of global warming and calls for immediate action to curb its destructive effects on the environment.
In New York City's Harlem circa 1987, an overweight, abused, illiterate teen who is pregnant with her second child is invited to enroll in an alternative school in hopes that her life can head in a new direction.
A look at tightrope walker Philippe Petit's daring, but illegal, high-wire routine performed between New York City's World Trade Center's twin towers in 1974, what some consider, "the artistic crime of the century".
Jean François Heckel,
Biopic of the iconic French singer Édith Piaf. Raised by her grandmother in a brothel, she was discovered while singing on a street corner at the age of 19. Despite her success, Piaf's life was filled with tragedy.
Detroit, the early 1960s. Curtis Taylor, Jr., a car salesman, breaks into the music business with big dreams. He signs a trio of young women, the Dreamettes, gets them a job backing an R&B performer, James "Thunder" Early, establishes his own record label and starts wheeling and dealing. When Early flames out, Curtis makes the Dreamettes into headliners as the Dreams, but not before demoting their hefty big-voiced lead singer, Effie White, and putting the softer-voiced looker, Deena Jones, in front. Soon after, he fires Effie, sends her into a life of proud poverty, and takes Deena and the Dreams to the top. How long can Curtis stay there, and will Effie ever get her due? Written by
Bill Condon attended the opening night performance of the original Broadway production at the Imperial Theatre, New York City, on December 20, 1981. See more »
When Effie goes to the welfare office, the American flag hanging on the back wall is backwards. The blue field should be in the upper-left corner. See more »
Curtis Taylor Jr.:
Who was the first artist to sing "Hound Dog"?
Curtis Taylor Jr.:
Big Mama Thorton. She had the number-one single on the R&B charts, but the white stations wouldn't play it, because to them it was just another race record.
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The motion picture is dedicated to Michael Bennett, the director, producer, and choreographer of the original Broadway production. See more »
Yes there are great performances here. Unfortunately, they happen in the context of a movie that doesn't seem to have a clue what it's doing. During the first 45-60 minutes of this all the music takes place as realistic performance. Suddenly, about an hour in, the characters who, until this point, had always spoken to each other, suddenly start singing to each other. To further confuse things, a little further in, out of nowhere, they actually do about 15 minutes of sung-through dialog, then seem to drop that idea and move on to other things, such as a number that begins in a jazz club with a drummer and two electric guitars suddenly turning into a fully orchestrated piece with a massive unseen string section. On top of all this inconsistency in how the music is used, is the composers' clear inability to actually write music in the style that is supposedly being portrayed. While the first couple of pieces do sort of mimic the 1950s Motown sound, the rest of the film is just (bad) Broadway show music. Then there's the pure silliness of snippets of a group doing a bad Jackson family imitation and Eddie Murphy morphing from Little Richard to James Brown to Lionel Richie. When he started channeling Stevie Wonder I couldn't help laughing out loud. This was clearly one of those films that make me appreciate how little time I have on earth and resent that I wasted two hours of it watching this film.
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