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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

The vocals of Dorothy Dandridge were performed by Wendi Williams, one of the vocalists in For Real band. See more »

Goofs

Minutes before she is to take the stage in Miami, Dorothy Dandridge discovers that the club is still under construction. Her act involved a good deal of choreography and perhaps even rehearsal, so she should have been aware. At the very least, she would have checked out the stage to get the physical layout of the performance space before she made her entrance. See more »

Quotes

Harold Nicholas: Dottie, it's a whole different ballgame over there! They don't know the difference between black and white, and when they do, it's because they're treating us better than they treat their own!
Dorothy Dandridge: I can't go to Paris! Lynn is going to need special care!
Harold Nicholas: Then get special care.
Dorothy Dandridge: Not in an institution!
Harold Nicholas: Dottie, she doesn't even know we're here.
Dorothy Dandridge: I'm her mother. And you are her father.
Harold Nicholas: And I married you. Not this.
Dorothy Dandridge: Well, I am this! What are you?
Harold Nicholas: I'm Harold Nicholas, of the Nicholas Brothers. And maybe ...
See more »

Connections

References Porgy and Bess (1959) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
Berry magnificent in title role
28 February 2004 | by tomreynolds2004See all my reviews

Haile Berry is radiant in the title role. An excellent job is done of separating the woman from the myth. Klaus Maria Brandauer is quite memorable in a key supporting role. Brent Spiner is also good. But, Berry's tour-de-force performance is the reason to watch this made-for-HBO biographical feature.

It is not often that one has the opportunity to take in such a movie. After her night club career took off, Dandridge eventually found her way to Hollywood where she appeared in the movie version of George Gershwin's famous opera, Porgy and Bess. Next she co-starred with up-and-coming singer Harry Belafonte in the fascinating Carmen Jones. Such talent is rare indeed. Indeed, it is rare to find such a talent.


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