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Mo' Better Blues (1990)

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Jazz trumpeter Bleek Gilliam makes questionable decisions in his professional and romantic lives.

Director:

Spike Lee

Writer:

Spike Lee
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Denzel Washington ... Bleek Gilliam
Spike Lee ... Giant
Wesley Snipes ... Shadow Henderson (Sax)
Giancarlo Esposito ... Left Hand Lacey (Piano)
Robin Harris ... Butterbean Jones
Joie Lee ... Indigo Downes
Bill Nunn ... Bottom Hammer (Bass)
John Turturro ... Moe Flatbush
Dick Anthony Williams ... Big Stop Williams
Cynda Williams ... Clarke Bentancourt
Nicholas Turturro ... Josh Flatbush
Jeff 'Tain' Watts ... Rhythm Jones (Drums)
Samuel L. Jackson ... Madlock
Leonard L. Thomas ... Rod
Charlie Murphy ... Eggy (as Charles Q. Murphy)
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Storyline

Opens with Bleek as a child learning to play the trumpet, his friends want him to come out and play but mother insists he finish his lessons. Bleek grows into adulthood and forms his own band - The Bleek Gilliam Quartet. The story of Bleek's and Shadow's friendly rivalry on stage which spills into their professional relationship and threatens to tear apart the quartet. Written by David <DGOWERS6@CHECLABA.SCU.EDU.AU>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A Spike Lee joint.

Genres:

Drama | Music | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 August 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Love Supreme See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$16,153,600
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The last film scored by Spike Lee's father, Bill Lee. See more »

Goofs

During the performance of Bleek's "Pop Top Urban 40 Funk Love ... Song", Bleek's headgear changes from hat to baseball cap. See more »

Quotes

Bleek: But the jazz, you know if we had to dep... if we had to depend upon black people to eat, we would starve to death. I mean, you've been out there, you're on the bandstand, you look out into the audience, what do you see? You see Japanese, you see, you see West Germans, you see, you know, Slabobic, anything except our people - it makes no sense. It incenses me that our own people don't realize our own heritage, our own culture, this is our music, man.
Shadow Henderson: That's bullshit.
Bleek: Why?
Shadow Henderson: [slurred] It's all ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Flavor Flave of the rap group Public Enemy spells out the letters in "Universal" as the studio logo appears on the screen. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Inside the Actors Studio: Episode #7.6 (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

A Jazz Thing
By Gang Starr, Kenny Kirkland and Robert Hurst
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Great film
17 October 2006 | by davisdontayeSee all my reviews

One of the best film's Spike Lee has ever created. Denzel Washington plays Bleek Gilliam, a selfish musician who only listens to his music. He cheats on his women and wants the spotlight only to himself. On his road to redemption he encounters betrayal, lies, and greed before he finds happiness. A happiness that comes at a heavy price. Denzel Washington and Wesley Snipes give superb performances in their roles. The supporting cast members also give terrific performances in this film. The supporting cast members include Giancarlo Esposito, Samuel L. Jackson, Bill Nunn and Spike Lee. Spike Lee gives these characters enough personality to keep this movie entertaining. Each member adds enough color commentary to the film making this a joyous event from beginning to end. Add this movie to your video collection if you haven't already.


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