Filmmaker Davis Guggenheim follows Al Gore on the lecture circuit, as the former presidential candidate campaigns to raise public awareness of the dangers of global warming and calls for immediate action to curb its destructive effects on the environment.
In New York City's Harlem circa 1987, an overweight, abused, illiterate teen who is pregnant with her second child is invited to enroll in an alternative school in hopes that her life can head in a new direction.
The story of the life and career of the legendary rhythm and blues musician Ray Charles, from his humble beginnings in the South, where he went blind at age seven, to his meteoric rise to stardom during the 1950s and 1960s.
Detroit, the early 1960s. Curtis Taylor, Jr., a car salesman, breaks into the music business with big dreams. He signs a trio of young women, the Dreamettes, gets them a job backing an R&B performer, James "Thunder" Early, establishes his own record label and starts wheeling and dealing. When Early flames out, Curtis makes the Dreamettes into headliners as the Dreams, but not before demoting their hefty big-voiced lead singer, Effie White, and putting the softer-voiced looker, Deena Jones, in front. Soon after, he fires Effie, sends her into a life of proud poverty, and takes Deena and the Dreams to the top. How long can Curtis stay there, and will Effie ever get her due?Written by
The film, and the original Broadway musical, are based heavily on The Supremes (later known as "Diana Ross & The Supremes"). Curtis Taylor, Jr. represents Motown Founder Berry Gordy, Jr. Both men worked in the automotive industry before focusing on music, and integrated aspects of the automotive business into the music making process. Both men were romantically involved with the lead singer of the most successful female group on their label. Effie's departure from the group closely matches Florence Ballard, who was known to have a much more powerful voice than Diana Ross. See more »
While adjusting her outfit backstage during the Detroit Theater Talent show, Effie is shown adjusting her wig. In the very next shot, it is perfectly in place. See more »
Effie Melody White:
Tell me something, Curtis. Do you think it's right to promote an amateur performer over a professional?
Curtis Taylor Jr.:
I'm not sure what this is about...
Effie Melody White:
It's about fairness, Curtis. It's about people paying their dues. Isn't that what you keep telling me? "Get in line, Effie. Wait your turn". So why am I sitting here without so much as a B-side on a 45, when an amateur like Martin Luther King Jr. gets his own freaking album? I mean, can he even sing?
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The original 1981 "Playbill" cover for the Broadway version of "Dreamgirls" is displayed during the end credits just before the names of the show's Broadway creators are featured. See more »
In 2017, Paramount released a "Director's Extended Edition" of "Dreamgirls." This version runs ten minutes longer than the theatrical version and contains changes which include the following:
The opening talent show scene has extended performances of "I'm Looking' for Something'" and "Goin' Downtown," including a longer scene on the stairs outside the Detroit Theater, where Curtis offers Marty a cigarette and a sales pitch after Charlene and Joanne walk out on him, and Curtis catches a first glimpse of Deena
Sung dialogue leading up to "Steppin' to the Bad Side" ("You've got me to think for you now...") proceeds the scene in which Curtis tells Wayne and CC of his plan to sell off the car dealership, similar to the lead-up to the song in the original Broadway show. This scene takes the place of the shorter, spoken word alternate version used in the theatrical version
All shots of Wayne enacting Curtis' payload plans at radio stations are replaced with scenes of the Mafia members Curtis makes a deal with distributing the records and the money
The Jimmy & the Dreamettes performance section go "Steppin to the Bad Side" is extended
"Love You I Do" is extended by adding an instrumental break under the scene in which Michelle gets a job at Rainbow Records, and then showing Effie sing the song's second verse on camera
"Heavy" is extended by adding a break and a chorus, and placing more emphasis on Effie keeping an eye on Deena's image taking over the TV studio monitors
There is an extra shot of Curtis and Deena's mansion as Deena heads to the service car outside
An extra scene shows Curtis, C.C., Wayne and other Rainbow executives at a board meeting, at which Curtis decides to finance his "Cleopatra" film pet project with a 10th anniversary special (This scene includes two F-bombs by Jamie Foxx; the Director's Extended Edition is unrated as a result)
"Patience" is extended by adding extra choruses to the section in which Jimmy and Lorrell record the song, accompanied by a choir
"Perfect World" is extended by including a full verse and chorus
"I Meant You No Harm" and "Lorrell Loves Jimmy" are both extended by a few bars
Jimmy's silent glare at Deena basking in her fame at the Rainbow 10th anniversary TV special is replaced by sung dialogue ("Because I was here long before you...") similar to the "Firing of Jimmy" scene in the original Broadway show
"I Miss You, Old Friend" is extended by a few bars
"Effie, Sing My Song" - sung dialogue in which C.C. and Effie reconcile - is added in place of the spoken word alternate version used in the theatrical version
"One Night Only" is performed in full (only half is used in the theatrical version). At the conclusion of the song, Curtis' Mafia associates come to Effie's performance in Max Washington's bar, which is how they get word (and a tape) to alert Curtis
Curtis has an extra line of dialogue when being interviewed on the Dreams' farewell performance red carpet, in which he announces that his new artist, Tania Williams, will be releasing her debut album in a month
I just saw DreamGirls yesterday, and I was REALLY underimpressed. Despite all the Oscar buzz, this is nothing special. Anyone who was really impressed by this film has never bothered to see any of the true movie musical classics. Except for Eddie Murphy's great musical and dramatic performance, Dreamgirls is just a glorified TV movie with no style or flair. Just a bunch of amateurs singing AT each other!
Now, the first half hour was good, but I was irritated at how Eddie Murphy's terrific raveup performances were truncated and interrupted by montages. Those were easily the best songs and best performances in the film. And the "rise to the top" portion of the film was the only part of the film that had a consistent point of view or any momentum. The remaining hour and 45 minutes was a formless, rambling mess that was neither realistic nor fantastic enough to be interesting. It was also visually dull and included too many sound-alike tunes.
Condon didn't try to turn any of the tunes into big show pieces as I'd expected they would. Each number in the 2nd half was just one closeup after another of people "singing" AT each other. And the way they shot Hudson's big "love me" number was criminal! Condon just shot her stomping around the stage--no drama at all! God it sucked!
AND note to all involved--that "sing-talking dialog" stuff might work on stage, but it DOES NOT WORK IN MOVIES (see embarrassing failures of Evita and Phantom). All that "I'll teeeell youuuu something Efff-ieeee!" crap should have been left on the editing room floor. Those aren't "songs."
Again, the film--except for Eddie Murphy's amazing performance--was nothing more than a glorified TV movie. There must have been megabucks behind the PR work for this film! I wonder how much money was spent to give it that pre-release "one to beat" Oscar buzz? As a whole this film was, except for Eddie, NOWHERE NEAR an Oscar caliber movie! (except for Eddie) I'd rank it right up there with Grease 2. BIG disappointment, especially after all the (very expen$I've) hype!
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