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Cadillac Records (2008)

Trailer
2:18 | Trailer

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Chronicles the rise of Chess Records and its recording artists.

Director:

Darnell Martin

Writer:

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

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Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Joshua Alscher Joshua Alscher ... Mick Jagger
Tim Bellow Tim Bellow ... Man in the Caddy (as Timothy Bellow)
Tony Bentley ... Lomax
Tammy Blanchard ... Isabelle Allen
Eric Bogosian ... Alan Freed
Marc Bonan ... Keith Richards
Adrien Brody ... Leonard Chess
Cedric the Entertainer ... Willie Dixon
Emmanuelle Chriqui ... Revetta Chess
Douglas Crosby Douglas Crosby ... Policeman (Little Walter beating)
Dexter Darden ... Geneva's Teenage Son
Veronika Dash ... Blonde Girl
Sean Shyboy Davis Sean Shyboy Davis ... Toothless Hillbilly Little Walter (as Sean Davis)
Eshaya Draper ... Charles Waters
Shiloh Fernandez ... Phil Chess
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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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Sony Pictures [Japan]

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 December 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cadillac Records - Csillogó fekete lemezek See more »

Filming Locations:

Louisiana, USA See more »

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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 IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Leonard Chess' brother, Philip, was his partner in both the nightclub and Chess Records. However, Philip is never mentioned throughout this movie, and only appears in Chess Records scenes. See more »

Goofs

Cigarettes didn't have filters in the 1940s and 1950s. See more »

Quotes

[from trailer]
Leonard Chess: That's a record!
See more »


Soundtracks

I'm Your Hoochie Coochie Man
Performed by Jeffrey Wright
Written by Willie Dixon
Published by Hoochie Coochie Music
administered by Bug
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
GREAT Music, Flashy Nostalgia, Fascinating Cultural History
21 December 2008 | by Danusha_GoskaSee all my reviews

"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.


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