7.4/10
11,095
79 user 149 critic

Twenty Feet from Stardom (2013)

PG-13 | | Documentary, Music | 26 July 2013 (USA)
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Backup singers live in a world that lies just beyond the spotlight. Their voices bring harmony to the biggest bands in popular music, but we've had no idea who these singers are or what lives they lead, until now.

Director:

Morgan Neville
Won 1 Oscar. Another 20 wins & 26 nominations. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Lou Adler ... Himself
Stephanie 'Stevvi' Alexander ... Herself (as Stevvi Alexander)
Patti Austin ... Herself
Chris Botti ... Himself
Todd Boyd Todd Boyd ... Himself (as Dr. Todd Boyd)
Carole Childs Carole Childs ... Herself
Amy Christian Amy Christian ... Herself
Greg Clark Greg Clark ... Himself
Kyliyah Clayton Kyliyah Clayton ... Herself
Merry Clayton ... Herself
Susan Collins Susan Collins ... Herself
Charlotte Crossley Charlotte Crossley ... Herself
Sheryl Crow ... Herself
Chris Darrow Chris Darrow ... Himself
Paul Epworth ... Himself
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Storyline

The backup singer exists in a strange place in the pop music world; they are always in the shadow of the feature artists even when they are in front of them in concert while they provide a vital foundation for the music. Through interviews with veterans and concert footage, the history of these predominately African-American singers is explored through the rock era. Furthermore, special focus is given to special stand outs who endeavored to make a living in the art burdened with a low profile and more personal career frustrations, especially those who faced the very different challenge of singing in the spotlight themselves. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Meet the unsung heroes behind the greatest music of our time.

Genres:

Documentary | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some strong language and sexual material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 July 2013 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A 20 pasos de la fama See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$54,596, 16 June 2013, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$4,946,445

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$5,892,661
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was a financial success, grossing over $5 million internationally on a $1 million budget. See more »

Connections

Features Stop Making Sense (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

Walk On The Wild Side
Written by Lou Reed
Performed by Lou Reed
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
VH-1 Doc in Disguise
2 March 2014 | by jlgAltmanSee all my reviews

I didn't see 20 FEET FROM STARDOM in the theater because I thought it would be just a lame VH-1 type doc. And guess what, it is! I finally saw it because it has such Oscar buzz. It's ultimately an unfocused mess. Nice to see so many talented "background" singers but the film can't contain itself when it comes to fame and the big time. Why is that the focus? Is fame the only reward? The singers in the film continually tell us it is not but the filmmakers cannot stay clear of the topic. And why delve into the topic with great producer like Lou Adler who appears in the film. He knows that talent is not what drives success. Some of the least talented people have had massive careers in pop music and some of them are even in this film!

These women deserve to be celebrated for what they brought to music. The film does this but then it veers all over the place. Imagine a deep analysis of GIMME SHELTER and what that song would be like without the masterful female background vocals.

20 FEET is just a big nothing. These women deserve better!


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