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Whitney: Can I Be Me (2017)

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Tells the story of Whitney Houston's extraordinary life and tragic death.
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Credited cast:
Whitney Houston ... Herself (archive footage)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Tony Anderson Tony Anderson ... Himself
Burt Bacharach ... Himself
Michael Baker Michael Baker ... Himself
Bobbi Kristina Brown ... Herself (archive footage)
Bobby Brown ... Himself (archive footage)
Tina Brown Tina Brown ... Herself
Robyn Crawford Robyn Crawford ... Herself (archive footage)
Doug Daniel Doug Daniel ... Himself
David Foster ... Himself
Sharlotte Gibson ... Herself
Toni Gregory Toni Gregory ... Herself
Frances Grill Frances Grill ... Herself
John Russell Houston Jr. John Russell Houston Jr. ... Himself (archive footage)
Cissy Houston ... Herself


By the time Whitney Elizabeth Houston was 15, she was singing background vocals for Chaka Khan, Lou Rawls, and Jermaine Jackson. In 1983 Whitney signed a worldwide recording contract with Clive Davis's Arista Records. However her success came with its fair share of drug use, love affairs, and scandals.

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Plot Keywords:

based on real person | woman | See All (2) »


Documentary | Music


Not Rated | See all certifications »





English | French

Release Date:

18 August 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Whitney Houston See more »

Filming Locations:

Vienna, Austria See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color | Black and White (archive footage)

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Unlike a lot of his other documentaries, Nick Broomfield is not an active on-screen participant in this film. See more »


Whitney Houston: I want people to remember me just being a real nice person.
See more »


Referenced in The Andrew Klavan Show: Is MAGA Over? (2017) See more »

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User Reviews

Cracked at the top
2 September 2017 | by Prismark10See all my reviews

Nick Broomfield tends to make controversial documentaries. He usually turns up with a camera and a boom mike and ensures chaos unfolds.

Whitney: Can I Be Me is a departure from Broomfield's usual documentary style. Using archive footage as well as interviewing some people who worked or were close to Whitney we see a person who came up from gospel singing and crossed over to pop and made it big in the USA and around the world.

In 1992 when she got an acting role in The Bodyguard, her profile went to the stratosphere. The film was a commercial hit, the songs became best sellers. Whitney's cover of I Will Always Love You has become an enduring hit.

Yet in 1992 she also married singer Bobby Brown despite some years of rumours about her sexuality. Brown was riding high as a pop star at the time, the general consensus was this was a union that would not last.

The trouble was it led to Houston going on a destructive path. Keen to hide her sexuality, wanting a child, her conflict with her and her family's deep religious convictions. Houston increasingly found solace in drugs as Brown and Houston engaged in wild living, he was also having affairs and she also had her own special friend in Robyn Crawford.

Undoubtedly this is a sad documentary. A life wasted and cut short. We see footage of another documentary that was shot in 1999 which followed Whitney in her last major world tour. After that her recording output declined, so did her voice but her erratic behaviour increased.

I think Broomfield himself liked her, hence a rather respectful approach. As her long term bodyguard commented, Whitney could had been saved but those around her were not interested in keeping her off drugs.

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