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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Great documentary that will make you smile

8/10
Author: F_Jenkins from la
26 May 2014

I'm not the biggest Whoopie Goldberg fan but she did a fine job here and nice tribute to a comic not a lot of America has heard of. Moms Mabley was an elderly lady who had been working the "Chitlin circuit" since the 1920s. Finally in the 60s with the popularity of television, was seen by mainstream America. An innovator, she was one of the first women comics and first great black comics. This was a very respectful and well done tribute to Moms - I have no doubt had she been able to see it, would have beamed with pride. Folks like Areseno Hall, Eddie Murphy and Bill Cosby all talk about listening to her albums and what an influence she was.

I would love for more people to see this and recognize Mom's place in American comedy history. Good job, Whoopie. There's a great film in there, I hope someone recognizes it.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Mom's Mabley we love you!

10/10
Author: supercandybrown from Los Angeles, CA.
3 February 2014

Moms Mabley displayed humor publicly in areas that people would only speak about behind closed doors back in those days. She graced the runways for all the cougars of today! She didn't hold back, she enjoyed talking about the young man in fact!

I believe the only thing mom's liked that was old, was some money. She was never embarrassed about talking about sex, and she truly knew her words would take affect. Back in the day if we would have been caught looking at Mom's Mabley tape, we knew serious consequences was about to take place. But we really did't care, cause we wanted to see what in the world was so damn funny over there!

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Wonderful Doc About the Trailblazing Comedienne

9/10
Author: Larry Silverstein from United States
9 August 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Whoopi Goldberg makes her motion picture directorial debut here, in presenting a wonderful documentary on the trailblazing comedienne Moms Mabley. I was fortunate enough to have seen some of her performances on 1960's and 70's TV, and this film offers quite a bit of film footage of these comic gems.

In her unique get-up of mismatched clothes, distinctive hat, sans teeth, her one-of-a-kind raspy voice, and of course her incredible comedic timing Mabley was an unforgettable performer. In her own way, she was quite irreverent for the times, and could also get across political messages without you even knowing it.

Mabley, who passed away in 1975 at the age of 81, became a forerunner, especially for female comediennes, and in this film many pay tribute to her including Goldberg, Joan Rivers, Kathy Griffin, and Anne Meara. She influenced many males as well including Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall, and Jerry Stiller, among others and they also speak up for her in the doc.

This film is a little different than most of this ilk, in that that there isn't a tremendous amount of information about Mabley's upbringing or personal life. Goldberg specifically states that she resisted putting anything into the movie that she wasn't 100% certain about.

The doc focuses on Mabley's prolific career from the late 1920's through the mid-70's, showing her very successful vaudeville career on the Chitlin Circuit, or black performer circuit, while segregation was in place in America. It goes on to illustrate her transition eventually into mainstream American television in the 60's and 70's, even becoming the first black woman to perform at Carnegie Hall.

In summary, this HBO Documentary Film was well presented and humorously engaging and I would recommend it to anyone interested in its' subject matter.

The film is only 1hr and 11 minutes long.

RATING: A

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