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Introducing Dorothy Dandridge (1999)

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This biography of Dorothy Dandridge follows her career through early days on the club circuit with her sister to her turn in movies, including becoming the first black actress to win a Best... See full summary »

Director:

Martha Coolidge

Writers:

Earl Mills (book), Shonda Rhimes (teleplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 21 wins & 27 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Halle Berry ... Dorothy Dandridge
Brent Spiner ... Earl Mills
Klaus Maria Brandauer ... Otto Preminger
Obba Babatundé ... Harold Nicholas (as Obba Babatunde)
Loretta Devine ... Ruby Dandridge
Cynda Williams ... Vivian Dandridge
LaTanya Richardson Jackson ... Auntie (as LaTanya Richardson)
Tamara Taylor ... Geri Nicholas
William Atherton ... Darryl Zanuck
D.B. Sweeney ... Jack Denison
Don Gettinger Don Gettinger ... Hotel Clerk
Nicholas Hormann ... Oscar Emcee
Sharon Brown ... Etta Jones
Darrian C. Ford Darrian C. Ford ... Fayard Nicholas
M.J. Sawyer M.J. Sawyer ... B&W Movie Actress
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Storyline

This biography of Dorothy Dandridge follows her career through early days on the club circuit with her sister to her turn in movies, including becoming the first black actress to win a Best Actress Nomination in 1954 for "Carmen Jones", to her final demise to prescription drugs, which was debated whether it was suicide or accidental. Brent Spiner plays her faithful manager who stood beside her through all of the roller coaster of her career. The film also examines her love affair with director Otto Preminger, which is shown to have probably initially helped her career, but later probably led her to some wrong decisions. The film also examines 50's racism as the black star is not permitted to use white bathrooms or the Vegas pool. In the first situation, she was given a bathroom cup to pee in. In the second situation, the hotel drained the pool and scrubbed it after she dared put her foot in the water. Written by John Sacksteder <jsackste@bellsouth.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Right woman. Right place. Wrong time. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 August 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dorothy Dandridge See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$9,200,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

William Atherton and Martha Coolidge have previously collaborated on the sci-fi comedy Real Genius (1985). See more »

Goofs

Sprite soft drink bottles appear on the set of a movie shot in the 1940s. Sprite was first marketed in 1961. See more »

Quotes

Vivian Dandridge: You think because you've become a big film star by shaking your tail, people aren't going to treat you like you're colored? Well, I'm something too! I'm something too! I'm more than Dorothy Dandridge's *big sister*! Didn't you ever notice that? Didn't you?
See more »

Connections

Featured in The 52nd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

That's All
Music by Bob Haymes
Lyrics by Alan Brandt
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Sad story, but a little flat
22 August 1999 | by Tommy-92See all my reviews

This film tells the sad story of Dorothy Dandridge, an African-American woman who was the first to be nominated for a Best Actress Oscar. She had much promise as an actress and nightclub singer, but (and I hope I'm not spoiling anything) an unhappy personal life led to a dependence on pills and booze, which destroyed her career and eventually her life. The movie tells her story in a pretty striaght-forward way. Halle Berry delivers a solid performance as Dandridge. Despite how sad it seems, however, there are supposed to be some exciting parts, such as Dandridge's nightclub scenes, in which she's supposed to sizzle. Berry doesn't sizzle very much, and in her speaking scenes has to grapple with a very obvious script. She manages pretty well, but she and the whole movie just lack oomph! There's really nothing more than meets the eye here. It's pretty one-dimensional and flat, if still very sad.


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