The story of legendary blues performer Bessie Smith, who rose to fame during the 1920s and '30s.

Director:

Dee Rees

Writers:

Dee Rees (screenplay), Christopher Cleveland (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
Won 4 Primetime Emmys. Another 19 wins & 46 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Queen Latifah ... Bessie
Kamryn Johnson ... Young Bessie
Rikki McKinney Rikki McKinney ... Chorus Guy
Alan T. Coleman Alan T. Coleman ... Stagehand
Tory Kittles ... Clarence
Clay Chappell ... '81' Theatre Owner
Tika Sumpter ... Lucille
Sharan C. Mansfield Sharan C. Mansfield ... Miss Taylor (as Sharan Mansfield)
Neko Parham ... Rehearsal Director
Onira Tares Onira Tares ... Chorus Girl (as Onira Tarés)
Jhoni Davis ... Chorus Girl
Jim R. Coleman ... Host
Melissa Youngblood ... Theatergoer
Mo'Nique ... Ma Rainey
Jennifer Sears ... Ma's Main Girl
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Storyline

The story of legendary blues performer Bessie Smith, who rose to fame during the 1920s and '30s.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Queen brings Bessie back to life.

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Music

Certificate:

TV-MA | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Project took over 20 years to be made. See more »

Quotes

Bessie Smith: No yellow bitch in my show!
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Soundtracks

Down Hearted Blues
Written by Lovie Austin, Alberta Hunter
Performed by Queen Latifah
Queen Latifah Performs Courtesy of Flavor Unit Records
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User Reviews

 
Singer
23 May 2015 | by cekadahSee all my reviews

Bessie is a nicely produced flick about 'Bessie Smith the singer' with a little suggestion of 'Bessie Smith the person' sprinkled throughout the story. At movies end you don't feel you know something about her outside of her remarkable singing.

There are scenes of her rise from rags to riches and the family she tries to make but that's all you get through brief scenes and then it's back to her as a singer.

This isn't a bad movie, it's entertaining and Queen Latifah pulls out all the stops as Bessie the singer. But the ending leaves you pretty much where you were when you started the movie as far as Bessie the person is portrayed.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 May 2015 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bessie See more »

Filming Locations:

Olde Town Conyers, Georgia, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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