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The Josephine Baker Story (1991)

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1:42 | Trailer

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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 ... See full summary »

Director:

Brian Gibson

Writers:

Ron Hutchinson (story), Michael Zagor (story) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 8 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Lynn Whitfield ... Josephine Baker
Rubén Blades ... Count Giuseppe Pepito Abatino
David Dukes ... Jo Bouillon
Louis Gossett Jr. ... Sidney Williams
Craig T. Nelson ... Walter Winchell
Kene Holiday ... Sidney Bechet (as Kene Holliday)
Vivian Bonnell ... Josephine's Mother
Mayah McCoy Mayah McCoy ... Josephine -Age 8
Ainslie Currie Ainslie Currie ... Josephine - Age 13
Pierre Magny Pierre Magny ... Poul Colin
Franco Britt Franco Britt ... Victor (as Franco Iiriti)
George Faison George Faison ... Emcee in Harlem Club
Robert Lesser Robert Lesser ... Copa City Manager
Luis Reyes Luis Reyes ... Josephine's Father
Vivienne Eytle Vivienne Eytle ... Josephine's Sister
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Storyline

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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Before Madonna. Before Marilyn. There was Josephine.


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 March 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Die Josephine-Baker-Story See more »

Filming Locations:

Budapest, Hungary

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Quotes

Josephine Baker: 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!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Live with Kelly and Ryan: Episode dated 6 March 1991 (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Dans mon village
Music by Francis Lopez
Lyrics by Henry Lemarchand
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Way too long
6 February 2006 | by longislandlloydSee all my reviews

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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