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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:

Introducing 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

Dorothy Dandridge: Have you seen my man? That Carmen Jones snatched him from me and I'm all lost over what to do about it. Can't decide. If it's better I follow him up to the Windy City, or should I wait? Wait for him to come back to his happy-hearted home? Tell me what to do... I'm Cindy Lou.
Otto Preminger: The hell you are.
See more »

Connections

References Corregidor (1943) See more »

Soundtracks

Chattanooga Choo Choo
Music by Harry Warren
Lyrics by Mack Gordon
See more »

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User Reviews

A labor of love by Halle Berry
5 February 2001 | by BLG-2See all my reviews

An important, well-made film about a tragic figure in movie history with excellent performances by all. Dorothy Dandridge paved the way for the actresses of today, Halle Berry included, and Berry labored long and hard to get this film made. The usual historical inaccuracies do abound, however. Obba Babatunde is a fine dancer as well as dramatic actor, but way too old to play Harold Nicholas in the early 1940s, when the real Nicholas was in his early 20s; and by 1950-51 (Dandridge stated was about to film the 1951 release Tarzan's Peril) Ava Gardner was a big star in the middle of a torrid romance with the still-married Frank Sinatra. She would hardly have to introduce herself to anyone at a party. The scene where Dandridge is told she will have to use a Dixie cup for bathroom (a clip that Berry used when promoting the film on talk/news shows) brought was powerful but highly improbable coming on the heels of her speech that she knew all about the South. If she knew about the South she knew she wouldn't be able to use the restroom!


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