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Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown (2014)

A look at the music career of musician James Brown beginning with his first hit song, "Please, Please, Please," in 1956.


Alex Gibney


Alex Gibney
2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
James Brown ... Self (archive footage)
Christian McBride ... Self
Bobby Byrd Bobby Byrd ... Self
Greg Tate Greg Tate ... Self
Louis Jordan ... Self (archive footage)
Duke Ellington ... Self (archive footage)
Mick Jagger ... Self
John Starks ... Self (as John 'Jabo' Starks)
Eugene 'Bull' Connor ... Self (archive footage) (as Bull Connor)
Al Sharpton ... Self
Martha High Martha High ... Self
Little Richard ... Self (archive footage)
Melvin Parker Melvin Parker ... Self
Alan Leeds Alan Leeds ... Self
Clyde Stubblefield ... Self


A look at the music career of musician James Brown beginning with his first hit song, "Please, Please, Please," in 1956.

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Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Did You Know?


Goodbye My Love
Written and performed by James Brown
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User Reviews

fine TV doc
13 March 2018 | by SnoopyStyleSee all my reviews

This is a documentary of Soul Brother No 1 by prolific filmmaker Alex Gibney. It follows the soul legend from his difficult childhood in the south to his mustache/jumpsuit decline and its influence in the rise of 80's hip hop. I feared this would be a scrubbed down version of his life. The first half does touch upon his wild side but mostly it attributes it to the world in which he survives. It seems like an easy treatment until the second half painting a fuller picture. While it does not shy away from the violence against women, it doesn't dwell on it either. It also paints him as a man alone unable to trust anyone. He is ruthless with his dealings with money. Essentially, he had no friends, just employees. He grew up in a world of violence and is heavily influenced by it. Although it tells the story, it doesn't really show it. It doesn't enough of his own words and it doesn't hit him as hard as I want. Of course, this has his amazing music. It tackles his politics with which I'm less familiar. I know about Black and Proud but I didn't know about backing Nixon. That's an intriguing part of his bio. This is a well-rounded TV doc of this American music legend.

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Official Sites:

Official site [Japan]





Release Date:

18 June 2016 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

James Brown, Mr. Dynamite See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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