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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.

Director:

Brian Gibson

Writers:

Tina Turner (book), Kurt Loder (book) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

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

Not just the story of a life - The movie of a lifetime. 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 June 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

What's Love Got to Do with It See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$39,100,956
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Touchstone Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby | Dolby Digital (Dolby 5.1)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The film takes place in 1958, 1960, 1964, 1968, 1971, 1974, 1977 and 1980. See more »

Goofs

After her last fight with Ike, Tina leaves the hotel with pumps on, then runs across the highway in sneakers. See more »

Quotes

[LAST TITLE CARD]: "What's Love Got To Do With It?" hit number one. Tina's first solo album won four Grammy Awards including Record of the Year.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Saturday Night Live: The Best of Molly Shannon (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Rock Me Baby
Written by B.B. King (as Riley King) and Joe Josea
Performed by Tina Turner
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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 EUyeshimaSee 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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