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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 »

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Dorothy Dandridge
... Earl Mills
... Otto Preminger
... Harold Nicholas (as Obba Babatunde)
... Ruby Dandridge
... Vivian Dandridge
... Auntie (as LaTanya Richardson)
... Geri Nicholas
... Darryl Zanuck
... Jack Denison
Don Gettinger ... Hotel Clerk
... Oscar Emcee
... Etta Jones
Darrian C. Ford ... Fayard Nicholas
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:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 August 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dorothy Dandridge  »

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Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When production ran over budget, the studio wanted to cut the red carpet scene at the film's ending. Halle Berry desperately wanted to keep the scene, so she paid for it herself. HBO subsequently reimbursed her. See more »

Goofs

Otto Preminger tells Dorothy Dandridge that Carmen Jones is the first major studio movie to feature an all-black cast. MGM's Cabin in the Sky was released 11 years earlier. See more »

Quotes

Earl Mills: [notices thick makeup on Dorothy's face] What happened to your face?
Dorothy Dandridge: Guess I wasn't black enough to lead the tribe.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Jeopardy!: Episode #22.15 (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Rent Party Blues
Written by Duke Ellington and Johnny Hodges
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User Reviews

 
Sad story, but a little flat
22 August 1999 | by See 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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