Born poor in St. Louis, Missouri, Josephine Baker achieved fame and fortune through her sizzlingly exotic, erotic performances. Starting life on the American Vaudeville circuit, success ...
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Klaus Maria Brandauer
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In 1950s Massachusetts, a wealthy black woman engaged to a poor white beatnik learns about her family history. The stories revolve around the racial and class complexities of interracial and class-based marriages.
A drama set in the 1920s, where free-spirited Janie Crawford's search for happiness leads her through several different marriages, challenging the morals of her small town. Based on the novel by Zora Neale Hurston.
Born poor in St. Louis, Missouri, Josephine Baker achieved fame and fortune through her sizzlingly exotic, erotic performances. Starting life on the American Vaudeville circuit, success takes Josephine to Paris where her semi-nude dancing causes an international sensation. Through her marriages to an Italian pseudo-count and an orchestra leader, to her bond with army officer Sydney Williams, Josephine's life is a rollercoaster ride of love and rejection from both her lovers and her country. But semi-nude, or head-to-toes in sequins; in battle fatigues or rags - her beauty and ambition ensured that Josephine Baker will always be remembered as the first, and possibly most loved, truly international star.Written by
HBO Home Video
Filmed in over one hundred different locations, with eighty speaking parts, and six thousand extras, this movie was given the biggest budget of any HBO production (up until that time), as well the network's most extensive promotional campaign. See more »
Stop that man! You stop! You called me a nigger! You said you didn't want to sit alongside a nigger! Well, I don't know if you know it, but there are laws against that! Call the police and tell them I am making a citizen's arrest now!
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Some outstanding performances here by Whitfield, Blades, Gossett, and others in this overly long biography of an important, outspoken, and controversial African American woman, who was years ahead of her time. It was quite a revelation to see how African Americans were treated in St. Louis and in New York in the decades before the civil rights advances of the 50's and 60's. We all know about the history of the South, but in many places up North, things were nearly as difficult for minorities in the 1930's and 40's.
The story of Josephine Baker had to be told since so many of us are not familiar with her achievements. And HBO and the cast did an outstanding job doing so. The movie was entertaining and sexual, eye-opening and thought provoking. It covered American society as well as French and even gave us some insights into Josephine's heroics and patriotism during WWII and her push for equality of the races in the U.S. military. I would have preferred to see the movie end while Josephine was at the top and still young, rather than drag on with her numerous adoptions and comeback attempts. That's why it was not a major motion picture.....too long and drawn out for theater audiences.
A good movie to watch at home while putting away the laundry or brushing the dog.
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