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Cadillac Records (2008)

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Chronicles the rise of Chess Records and its recording artists.

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 7 wins & 19 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Joshua Alscher ...
Tim Bellow ...
Man in the Caddy (as Timothy Bellow)
...
...
Isabelle Allen
...
...
...
...
...
Douglas Crosby ...
Policeman (Little Walter beating)
...
Geneva's Teenage Son
...
Blonde Girl
Sean Shyboy Davis ...
Toothless Hillbilly Little Walter (as Sean Davis)
...
...
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Storyline

In this tale of sex, violence, race, and rock and roll in 1950s Chicago, "Cadillac Records" follows the exciting but turbulent lives of some of America's musical legends, including Muddy Waters, Leonard Chess, Little Walter, Howlin' Wolf, Etta James and Chuck Berry. Written by Sony Pictures

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

If you take the ride, you must pay the price. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive language and some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 December 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cadillac Records - Csillogó fekete lemezek  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$3,445,559 (USA) (5 December 2008)

Gross:

$8,134,217 (USA) (2 January 2009)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Leonard Chess' brother, Philip, was his partner in both the night club and Chess Records. However, Philip is never mentioned throughout the film, and only appears in Chess Record scenes. See more »

Goofs

Etta James is portrayed as never having recorded before she signed with Chess, but an earlier insert shot showing a Chess record moving up the charts includes her hit "Wallflower," recorded for Modern Records in 1955, five years before she started recording for Chess. See more »

Quotes

[from trailer]
Leonard Chess: That's a record!
See more »

Connections

Featured in The 66th Annual Golden Globe Awards (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

All I Could Do Was Cry
Performed by Beyoncé Knowles (as Beyoncé)
Background Vocals: Meegan Voss & Steve Jordan
Written by Berry Gordy, Billy Davis (as Roquel Davis) & Gwen Gordy Fuqua
Published by EMI April Music Inc. & EMI Blackwood Music Inc.
on behalf of Jobete Music Co., Inc. & Stone Agate Music
(A Division of Jobete Music Co., Inc.)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Huge
5 December 2008 | by (San Francisco) – See all my reviews

While this film lacks an original framework (it's "Ray" and "La Bamba" and "Hot Wax" and "Why Do Fools Fall in Love"....), both the subject--a seminal recording label--and the performances make this electrifying entertainment.

I can't speak to the accuracy of its historical facts regarding Leonard Chess' exploitation of some of music's largest figures, but the screenplay zooms along and takes us with it. Jeffrey Wright finally gets a role that hopefully will secure his stature. It's overdue. As Muddy Waters his towering strength both as a character and an actor are very impressive here. As well, the entire supporting cast (and it's a large cast) really rise to the occasion. Columbus Short as Little Walter and Gabrielle Union as Water's wife are equally impressive. And in smaller roles, Eamonn Walker as Howlin' Wolf and Mos Def as Chuck Berry nearly steal the show.

I've never been much of a fan of Adrien Brody, but in the first half of the film, he's quite effective. It's only when Beyoncé Knowles arrives that he stumbles, and who can blame him. Ms. Knowles takes a sensational role and scorches the screen. As the conflicted and troubled Etta James, there's a scene on a livingroom floor in front of a fireplace that should win Ms. Knowles many awards. And we're given a generous helping of sensational James' track very well covered by Ms. Knowles.

When we watch America's taste in music change--both before and after the centerpiece of this story--we're at first exhilarated at the discovery of this "new" form of music, and when it wanes and the lives that were propelled to stardom flag, we feel an enormous sadness. But what we know today--that these individuals became legends--is of great consolation.

I don't care that the structure is straightforward. The recreation of the period and it's attitudes are spot on, and the cinematography by Anastas N. Michos make the film rise above any weakness in the script.

Then, there's the soundtrack....


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