40 user 14 critic

Mahogany (1975)

PG | | Drama, Romance | March 1976 (UK)
Tracy, an aspiring designer from the slums of Chicago puts herself through fashion school in the hopes of becoming one of the world's top designers. Her ambition leads her to Rome spurring ... See full summary »


Berry Gordy, Tony Richardson (uncredited) | 1 more credit »


John Byrum (screenplay), Toni Amber (story)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Diana Ross ... Tracy Chambers
Billy Dee Williams ... Brian Walker
Anthony Perkins ... Sean McAvoy
Jean-Pierre Aumont ... Christian Rosetti
Beah Richards ... Florence
Nina Foch ... Miss Evans
Marisa Mell ... Carlotta Gavina
Lenard Norris Lenard Norris ... Wil
Jerome Arnold Jerome Arnold ... Campaign Worker
Pemon Rami Pemon Rami ... Campaign Worker
Obelo Obelo ... Campaign Worker
Ira Rogers Ira Rogers ... Stalker
Kristine Cameron Kristine Cameron ... Instructress
Ted Liss Ted Liss ... Sweatshop Foreman
Bruce Vilanch ... Dress Manufacturer


Tracy, an aspiring designer from the slums of Chicago puts herself through fashion school in the hopes of becoming one of the world's top designers. Her ambition leads her to Rome spurring a choice between the man she loves or her newfound success. Written by Renee Ann Byrd <byrdie@wyrdbyrd.org>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Mahogany - the woman every woman wants to be - and every man wants to have See more »


Drama | Romance


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »





English | Italian

Release Date:

March 1976 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Mahagoni See more »


Box Office

Gross USA:

$5,000,000, 17 December 1975
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Producer Berry Gordy fired original director Tony Richardson and then took over direction of the picture himself. See more »


The final shot of the film (an overview of the crowd gathered to hear Brian's speech) shows Tracy rushing up to Brian and madly embracing him, but moments earlier they had already walked up to each other in the middle of that crowd and kissed. See more »


Tracy: The men love me, the women love me, the children love me... You're just jealous Brian 'cause no one loves you.
See more »


Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: I Accuse My Parents (1993) See more »


She's The Ideal Girl
Written by Jermaine Jackson and Don Daniels
Performed by The Temptations
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

17 June 2010 | by clivechristySee all my reviews

This movie is a roller-coaster of camp, from start to finish. It is like a bunch of gay men sat down to figure out how to dress up Diana Ross and put her in different outfits all done to a never-ending loop of Diana's own song. The montage of Diana as fashion model is perhaps one of the funniest and campest scenes in a movie, and of course was copied almost shot for shot for the Beyonce montage scene in "Dreamgirls". It has to be seen to be believed.

But no-one can inspire a drag queen like Ms. Ross who never lets plot or story-line interfere with her chances to soft pout or give us long enigmatic looks. The good thing is the plot and story-line is so thin and transparent, she doesn't have to struggle too much. The storyline is simple....girl from the projects with big dreams leaves behind the bleakness of Chicago as she is "discovered" by Anthony Perkins who can't quite figure out if he is gay in the movie (as he was in real life) or straight. He veers from camp to psychotic misogynist sometimes in the same scene. The result is unintentional hilarity.

Part of the rags to riches subplot (if you can call it that) is the Billy Dee Williams character who we know is the true love of Ms.Ross. He is a local activist in Chicago who runs for political office. This part of the story is boring, because Diana isn't dressed up and mincing though every scene. It is also boring because Billy Dee's character is almost as clichéd as the rest of the story. Fighting the white honky sometimes with words but sometimes with fists. He is down-to-earth and hard-working as well as fearless. We are supposed to want him to win. Ms.Ross makes a decision that happiness trumps fame and glory and that is the end...or kind of the end. Actually I don't remember the story, because the camera barely moves from Ross the whole time.

If you love high camp then this movie is for you. At one point Diana Ross says, "I wonder if I'm doing the right thing.." Oh Diana, you are. You are doing the right thing. Fun fact, some of the frocks on display were designed by Ms. Ross, and the whole camp drag-show was put together by her then lover, Berry Gordy.

This move is camptastic!

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