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Amazing Grace (2018)

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In 10 theaters near Ashburn VA US [change]

A documentary presenting Aretha Franklin with choir at the New Bethel Baptist Church in Watts, Los Angeles in January 1972.
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918 ( 97)
4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Aretha Franklin ... Herself (archive footage)
Reverand James Cleveland Reverand James Cleveland ... Himself (archive footage) (as James Cleveland)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
C.L. Franklin C.L. Franklin ... Himself (archive footage)
Alexander Hamilton Alexander Hamilton ... Himself (archive footage)
Bernard Pretty Purdie Bernard Pretty Purdie ... Himself (archive footage) (as Bernard Purdie)
Chuck Rainey Chuck Rainey ... Himself (archive footage)
Clara Ward ... Herself (archive footage)
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Storyline

A documentary presenting Aretha Franklin with choir at the New Bethel Baptist Church in Watts, Los Angeles in January 1972.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary | Music

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 May 2019 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Amazing Grace See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$744,816, 18 April 2019
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Director Sydney Pollack was totally inexperienced in shooting music documentary and shot without clapper boards snapping shut at the beginning of each take to help synchronize sound and picture in post-production. As a result of this mistake, even after months of work by experts, the 20 hours of footage couldn't be synchronized with the audio tracks. The choir director from the Watts recordings was brought in to try to lip-read the reels, but after months of work, only about 150 minutes of footage had been matched with sound, none of it adding up to a complete, useable song. Deadlines passed as the "Amazing Grace" album came out in June 1972, selling millions with no synergy. In August, Warner Bros. officially wrote off and shelved the movie. Pollack never gave up on the project, but constantly had other commitments. In 2007, dying of cancer, Pollack finally handed the documentary project over to producer and music enthusiast Alan Elliott. See more »

Soundtracks

Mary Don,t You Weep
Sung by Aretha Franklin
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User Reviews

 
Incandescent songs of love

This is much more than a concert film. Sydney Pollack's use of multiple cameras that record everyone involved in this affair -- not least the choir and the audience -- leads to electrifying results. There is so much heart and enthusiasm and interchange in this movie that it almost eclipses the music -- fantastic though that music is. Because this is Aretha Franklin and all the talented people with her making incredible Gospel music come to life. But again, this is much more than Aretha -- it is everyone in the room singing, dancing, relating and having the time of their lives.

Special kudos go to the team that synched up the sound with the picture, and to the editor (Jeff Buchanan) whose sensitive interweaving of the footage makes seeing this movie as good, if not better, as being in the room when the concerts happened.

Nearly 50 years in the making, this is a movie you must go out and see on a large screen. Don't miss it!


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