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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 »
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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:
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:

She was everything America wanted a movie star to be... except white. 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

Halle Berry and Dorothy Dandridge were born in the same Cleveland hospital. 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

Dorothy Dandridge: [after Otto attends the premiere of "Carmen Jones" with his wife] How dare you parade her in front of me.
Otto Preminger: I didn't know she was coming.
Dorothy Dandridge: It was *my* night, Otto! You won't be seen with me in public, but then I have to watch you traipse around with her!
Otto Preminger: She's my wife.
Dorothy Dandridge: Tell her to leave. You have an understanding, remember? She openly makes the rounds with another man, Otto, and you don't complain about it! So, why couldn't you spend the evening with me?
See more »

Connections

References Tamango (1958) See more »

Soundtracks

Streamliner
Written by Bill Elliott
Performed by Bill Elliott Swing Orchestra
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Guess I wasn't black enough to lead the tribe.
7 April 2008 | by lastliberalSee all my reviews

Long before Barack Obama wasn't considered "Black" enough, Dorothy Dandridge suffered the same criticism. Black or not, she was beautiful and could sing like a meadowlark.

Looking at old pictures of Dandridge, you could see why Halle Berry was chosen. She is Dandridge brought back to life. She may not have the pipes of Dandridge, but she sure can act, and has the Emmy and Golden Globe to prove it! Playing the First African American actress to get an Best Actress nomination (for Carmen Jones) was the First African American actress to win the Oscar for Best Actress (for Monster's Ball).

Klaus Maria Brandauer (Out of Africa) was magnificent as Otto Preminger, one of the men who used Dandridge.

This film is extremely important, not only for the fact that is chronicles the life of one of America's best, but also for the reminder that most of us never had to pee in a cup or watch a pool drained because we put our toe in it.


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