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Standing in the Shadows of Motown (2002)

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Documentary about the Funk Brothers, a group of Detroit musicians who backed up dozens of Motown artists.

Director:

Paul Justman

Writers:

Walter Dallas (Narration), Ntozake Shange (Narration) | 1 more credit »
8 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard 'Pistol' Allen Richard 'Pistol' Allen ... Himself
Jack Ashford ... Himself
Bob Babbitt ... Himself
Benny 'Papa Zita' Benjamin Benny 'Papa Zita' Benjamin ... Himself (archive footage)
Eddie 'Bongo' Brown Eddie 'Bongo' Brown ... Himself (archive footage)
Bootsy Collins ... Himself
Johnny Griffith Johnny Griffith ... Himself
Ben Harper ... Himself
Joe Hunter ... Himself
James Jamerson James Jamerson ... Himself (archive footage)
Uriel Jones Uriel Jones ... Himself
Montell Jordan ... Himself
Chaka Khan ... Herself
Gerald Levert Gerald Levert ... Himself
Joe Messina ... Himself
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Storyline

In 1959, Berry Gordy Jr. gathered the best musicians from Detroit's thriving jazz and blues scene to begin cutting songs for his new record company. Over a fourteen year period they were the heartbeat on every hit from Motown's Detroit era. By the end of their phenomenal run, this unheralded group of musicians had played on more number ones hits than the Beach Boys, the Rolling Stones, Elvis and the Beatles combined - which makes them the greatest hit machine in the history of popular music. They called themselves the Funk Brothers. Forty-one years after they played their first note on a Motown record and three decades since they were all together, the Funk Brothers reunited back in Detroit to play their music and tell their unforgettable story, with the help of archival footage, still photos, narration, interviews, re-creation scenes, 20 Motown master tracks, and twelve new live performances of Motown classics with the Brothers backing up contemporary performers. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The best kept secret in the history of pop music. See more »

Genres:

Documentary | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for language and thematic elements | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 November 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Standing in the Shadows of Motown: The Story of the Funk Brothers See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$114,442, 17 November 2002, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,600,547, 23 February 2003
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Title Card: In 1959, Berry Gordy gathered the best musicians from Detroit's thriving jazz and blues scene to cut songs for his new record company.
Title Card: Over a fourteen year period they were the heartbeat on "My Girl," "Bernadette," "I Was Made to Love Her" and every other hit from Motown's Detroit era.
Title Card: By the end of their phenomenal run, this unheralded group of musicians had played on more number one hits than the Beach Boys, the Rolling Stones, Elvis, and the Beatles combined...
Title Card: Which makes them the greatest ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

After all of the credits roll, we see a few of the Funk Brothers leaving the Snake Pit and turning off the lights. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Film Geek (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Girl (Why You Wanna Make Me Blue)
by Norman Whitfield (as Norman J. Whitfield) and Eddie Holland (as Edward Holland Jr.)
Performed by The Temptations
Used by permission of Jobete Music Co., Inc.
All Rights Reserved
Courtesy of Motown Record Company, L.P.
under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Just beautiful....
11 January 2005 | by marsupial3300See all my reviews

At 35, I'm too young too have been around when all this great music first appeared. But I truly feel the Motown music in my soul, always have. I still get goosebumps, to this day, when I hear certain Motown songs.

Therefore, I spent half this film sobbing, for the beauty & genius of the music, the happiness I felt that that Funk Brothers were finally getting their due, and lamenting, as always, that they simply do not make music like this any more, and never will again.

Beautifully filmed, fascinating....if it doesn't move you, or get you moving, you must be comatose.


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