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What's Love Got to Do with It (1993)

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The story of singer Tina Turner's rise to stardom and how she gained the courage to break free from her abusive husband, Ike Turner.

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Writers:

(book), (book) | 1 more credit »
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4,392 ( 158)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Young Anna Mae (as Rae'Ven Kelly)
... Choir Mistress
Dororthy Thorton ... Choir Member (as Dorothy Thornton)
Demetrice Cheathon ... Choir Member
Nita Woods Allen ... Choir Member
Helen Marie Lovelace ... Choir Member
Natalie Wilson ... Choir Member
Seymour Daniel Jr. ... Choir Member
David McKinney ... Choir Member
Jayd Stanfield ... Choir Member
Maurice O'Neal ... Choir Member
Frank Rasberry ... Choir Member
Monroe Howard ... Choir Member
Serist Roberts ... Choir Member
Wakeen Best ... Choir Member
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Storyline

Anna Mae Bullock always had a special voice. Soon after arriving in St. Louis to live with the mother who had walked out when she was small, the now teenage Anna Mae soon attracts the attention of pop group leader Ike Turner. She becomes the band's singer, his wife, and mother to his children - not all hers. In love with Ike and determined not to leave in the way her mother had, she finds herself the target of increasing violence from her unstable husband who can't see who is making the band such a success. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The triumphant true-life story of Tina Turner! See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for domestic violence, strong language, drug use and some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

25 June 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

What's Love Got to Do with It  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$39,100,956
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| (Dolby 5.1)

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Tina Turner has said publicly that she's never actually seen this movie and says most of which is depicted did not happen as well. See more »

Goofs

In a scene dated 1968, Ike and Tina open for the Rolling Stones, doing "Proud Mary." The Stones didn't do any concerts in 1968; Ike and Tina opened for them in 1969. Creedence Clearwater Revival's original version was released in 1970. See more »

Quotes

Zelma Bullock: Now, Anna Mae, I know I wasn't around. But believe me, you were too young to know what was going on with your daddy and me.
Tina Turner: Did Alline understand? She ain't that much older then me.
Zelma Bullock: Now, don't think you're going to come live in my house and make me feel bad. You're gonna have to pull your own weight, girl. This ain't just some party town, you hear?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Alec Baldwin/Tina Turner (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

I Might Have Been Queen
Written by Jeanette Obstoj, Rupert Hine and Jamie West-Oram
Performed by Tina Turner
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Two Red-Hot Blazing Performances Bring Fire, Glory and Nuance to Tina Turner's Story
8 February 2006 | by See all my reviews

It was gratifying to see rock legend Tina Turner earn the coveted Kennedy Center honor last month, certainly reason enough to revisit this wonderful biopic based on her 1987 self-affirming autobiography, "I, Tina" co-written with Rolling Stone editor Kurt Loder. Directed by the late Brian Gibson in an appropriately feverish manner, the 1993 movie still burns brightly thanks to the electrifying performances of Angela Bassett and Laurence Fishburne. There have been several fine performances in biopics of late - Jamie Foxx in "Ray", Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon in "Walk the Line" - but I still feel Bassett and Fishburne maintain the high watermark as they seem to inhabit the roles of Ike and Tina completely in this film.

Adapting probably the most melodramatic parts of Tina's book, Gibson and screenwriter Kate Lanier built a dramatic framework about the former Anna Mae Bullock that is somewhat standard-issue and probably biased, but it works on a visceral level as a story of personal triumph punctuated by some of the most gut-wrenching scenes of domestic violence captured on film. Playing one of the most recognizable and enduring celebrities in the rock world, Bassett manages to capture the physical mannerisms, vocal patterns, and onstage energy of the real Tina, even though her voice obviously had to be dubbed. With her almost distracting musculature, she convincingly rips into all her musical performances with unabated fire, but it's really in her dramatic scenes, especially when she becomes an increasingly degraded victim of her husband's demons, that she soars. Fishburne has an extremely tough role, as he has to transcend the inherent villainy of Ike by displaying the bravado and talent that brought the pair the spotlight in the early years. He brilliantly manages to imbue a spirit that is at once frightening and pitiable.

With a relatively sparse filmography, Gibson provides surprisingly sturdy direction here, often using an effective faux-combination of grainy home movies and TV programs to make the movie feel like a "Behind the Scenes" rock documentary. I particularly liked how he edited the inevitable "Proud Mary" - complete with gyrating Ikettes and Tina in her classic cave woman mini - to show the passage of time between the late sixties to the mid-seventies. Unsurprisingly, no one else makes nearly the impression of the two stars, though Jenifer Lewis has a few funny moments as Tina's mother Zelma, and Vanessa Bell Calloway does what she can in her switch from hard-bitten back-up singer to becalming Buddhist. Regardless, see it for two actors - sadly underutilized since this movie was released, the wondrous Bassett in particular - giving all they have into this memorable movie. The DVD has no significant extras other than the original trailer.


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