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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
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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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

John Turturro (Moe Flatbush) and Nicholas Turturro (Josh Flatbush) are brothers in real-life. 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

Butterbean Jones: [during his stand-up, recognizing Giant] Look at that little ugly guy at the bar. Hey, fella! That's Bleek Gilliam's manager. Little Mr Magoo-looking fucker there. You think l didn't see you back over there, Giant. 'Trying to sneak in here in the colored section. l see you sitting at the bar. Yeah, that poor fucker. l first met him trying out for the Celtics a couple of years ago. He got mad 'cos Robert Parish was on the team. That Larry Bird told me. He ain't got nothing but a three-pointer. ...
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

References Mister Magoo (1960) See more »

Soundtracks

Again, Never
Written and performed by Branford Marsalis Quartet and Terence Blanchard
See more »

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User Reviews

Spike Lee hit a good note on this one
15 July 2002 | by drtturnerSee all my reviews

This is a good romantic film featuring two of hollywood's biggest stars in denzel and wesley. What struck me most about this film was what it shared with the film called "Unforgiven". Without giving away too much, I was shocked that the hero here was found to clark kent leanings more than superman ones. Unsettling at first, I grew to appreciate that the protagonists small steps and minor triumphs are okay and arguably more realistic than the shafts of the world. I grew to accept the vulnerability of this spike lee character called bleak.


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