7.0/10
17,235
92 user 80 critic

Cadillac Records (2008)

Trailer
2:18 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
Chronicles the rise of Chess Records and its recording artists.

Director:

Writer:

Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 7 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Joshua Alscher ...
Tim Bellow ...
Man in the Caddy (as Timothy Bellow)
...
Lomax
...
Isabelle Allen
...
Alan Freed
...
Keith Richards
...
...
...
Douglas Crosby ...
Policeman (Little Walter beating)
...
Geneva's Teenage Son
...
Blonde Girl
Sean Shyboy Davis ...
Toothless Hillbilly Little Walter (as Sean Davis)
...
Charles Waters
...
Phil Chess
Edit

Storyline

In this tale of sex, violence, race, and rock and roll in 1950s Chicago, "Cadillac Records" follows the exciting but turbulent lives of some of America's musical legends, including Muddy Waters, Leonard Chess, Little Walter, Howlin' Wolf, Etta James and Chuck Berry. Written by Sony Pictures

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Follow the beat to its source. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive language and some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 December 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cadillac Records - Csillogó fekete lemezek  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,445,559, 7 December 2008, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$8,195,551
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Billy "Roquel" Davis produced Etta James' records for Chess, not the Chess brothers. See more »

Goofs

In the film, Leonard Chess opens Chess Studios in 1954 or 1955. It actually opened in 1957. Before that, Chess recorded exclusively at Universal Recording. See more »

Quotes

Muddy Waters: You and me not gonna wake up every morning and get everything we want. Mostly we got to take what come. And half the time, that's gonna be a bunch of bullshit.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The 66th Annual Golden Globe Awards (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Country Blues
Performed by Jeffrey Wright
Written by Robert Johnson (as Robert Leroy Johnson) and Muddy Waters (as McKinley Morganfield)
Published by MPCA King of Spades Music, Claud L. Johnson
administered by MPCA LLC and Watertoons Music
administered by Bug
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
GREAT Music, Flashy Nostalgia, Fascinating Cultural History

"Cadillac Records" is a fun, fast, flashy introduction to the world of Chess Records. In the 1950s, Leonard Chess, a Polish-born Jew in Chicago, along with his brother Phil (not seen in this film) produced "race" records by African American blues and rock and roll legends like Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Chuck Berry and Etta James.

These artists' work had huge impact on popular music; the Rolling Stones are shown on a pilgrimage to Chess Studio. Their music is great and is played all but non-stop on the soundtrack, which is a very good thing. Flashy glimpses into the glamorous styles of the 1950s and 60s include loving looks at the many Cadillacs Chess gives as gifts to his star performers.

Jeffrey Wright is quietly compelling as Muddy Waters. Mos Def is a charming Chuck Berry; he really communicates the charisma that Berry exuded to his adoring female fans. Eamonn Walker is terrific, and appropriately intimidating, as Howlin' Wolf. Walker electrifies the screen with his every morsel of screen time; I wish that after they'd finished "Cadillac Records," they had just kept the sets up and kept the cameras running and began a biography of Howlin' Wolf with Walker in the lead. Beyonce Knowles is very beautiful and pays worthy tribute to Etta James, the singer she plays.

"Cadillac Records" feels a bit rushed, and not as deep and probing as it could have been. Perhaps much backstory was cut out? A shame, because Adrien Brody, a brilliant and compelling actor, is not given enough to do.

So much more could and should have been said about Chess the man and his motivations, and the complex relationship he had with his singers. There is the story that Chess put Muddy Waters to work painting his ceiling. Some accused him of paternalism; curious viewers are advised to pick up Nadine Cohodas' book "Spinning Blues into Gold: The Chess Brothers and the Legendary Chess Records." Also, "Cadillac Records" can't avoid the clichés inherent in music biopics: the innocent character is introduced to drugs for the first time, and is ruined by them; the self destructiveness of brilliant people, the exhilarating, brutal, rags-to-riches-to-obscurity trajectory of show biz careers. For all that, "Cadillac Records" is fun and it makes you want to learn more about an important cultural moment in American history.


43 of 50 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 92 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial