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Dolemite Is My Name (2019)

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Eddie Murphy portrays real-life legend Rudy Ray Moore, a comedy and rap pioneer who proved naysayers wrong when his hilarious, obscene, kung-fu fighting alter ego, Dolemite, became a 1970s Blaxploitation phenomenon.

Director:

Craig Brewer
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107 ( 54)

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Craig Robinson and his Dolemite Is My Name co-stars talk "The Office" and other early projects they didn't think would become successful.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Eddie Murphy ... Rudy
Keegan-Michael Key ... Jerry
Mike Epps ... Jimmy
Craig Robinson ... Ben
Tituss Burgess ... Toney
Da'Vine Joy Randolph ... Lady Reed
Kodi Smit-McPhee ... Nick
Snoop Dogg ... Roj
Ron Cephas Jones ... Ricco
Barry Shabaka Henley ... Demond
T.I. ... Walter Crane (as Tip 'TI' Harris)
Luenell ... Aunt
Tasha Smith ... Jimmy's Wife
Wesley Snipes ... D'Urville Martin
Chris Rock ... Bobby Vale
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Storyline

Eddie Murphy portrays real-life legend Rudy Ray Moore, a comedy and rap pioneer who proved naysayers wrong when his hilarious, obscene, kung-fu fighting alter ego, Dolemite, became a 1970s Blaxploitation phenomenon.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Make your own legend.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive language, crude sexual content, and graphic nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 October 2019 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dolemite Is My Name See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.00 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Lawrence Woolner explains that Dimension International has two "sweet spots": redneck pictures" and blaxploitation films. Dolemite faces off against rednecks in The Human Tornado (1976). See more »

Goofs

The clips of The Front Page are shown out of order. See more »

Quotes

Rudy Ray Moore: This microphone smells like ass!
See more »

Connections

References Rosemary's Baby (1968) See more »

Soundtracks

Signifying Monkey
Original Comedy by Rudy Ray Moore
Music by Craig Robinson
Performed by Eddie Murphy
Produced by James Fauntleroy, 1500 or Nothin' and The Math Club
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Dolemite is dynamite!
7 October 2019 | by ferguson-6See all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. The old flea market adage is "one person's trash is another's treasure", and the same can be said for comedy. What you find obtuse and humorless may be the funniest thing your neighbor has ever seen or heard. No scientist can explain this phenomenon, and it's never been better exemplified than with a scene in director Craig Brewer's (BLACK SNAKE MOAN, HUSTLE & FLOW) latest film. Rudy Ray Moore and his group of friends are in a theatre watching Billy Wilder's comedy THE FRONT PAGE (1974), starring Walther Matthau and Jack Lemmon. The befuddled looks on the faces of Moore and his cohorts can't mask their confusion over the raucous laughter in the theatre and what they are viewing on screen. It's a turning point for Rudy Ray Moore and his next career step.

Eddie Murphy stars as Rudy Ray Moore, and though it's not necessary, having some knowledge of the career of the real Mr. Moore will likely enhance your viewing experience during this exceedingly entertaining, and sometimes riotous biopic. Ruby Ray Moore was a hustler who dreamed of making it big in show business - first as a singer, then as a stand-up comedian, and finally as movie star. His ambition and dreams kept him going, even after others wrote him off. We first meet Rudy as an assistant manager at Dolphin's of Hollywood record store. He's trying to smooth-talk the store DJ (Snoop Dogg) into playing Rudy's R&B records ... one of which is "The Ring-A-Ling-Dong" song. The DJ tells him the time for that music has passed, but the next light bulb soon goes off Rudy. A local panhandler (a terrific Ron Cephus Jones cameo) regales those in the store with tall tales from the 'hood. Rudy decides to fine-tune those tales and turn it into a comedy act.

Add some clothes and attitude and that's how Dolemite was born ... Rudy Ray Moore's onstage alter ego - part pimp, part rapping philosopher. His memorable catchphrase is repeated a few times throughout the film, and I'll do my best to present a PG version: "Dolemite is my name, and 'effing' up mother-'effers' is my game." Yep, now you have a better feel for Rudy and Dolemite. However, co-writers Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewsi (also co-writers on Tim Burton's ED WOOD, 1994), and especially Eddie Murphy, dig much deeper and provide a look at the man, his friends, and his career pursuits.

It's pretty interesting to see a guy, without much going for him, figure out a strategy that ends up working. Part of his wisdom was in 'knowing his audience'. His own preferences, and those of his friends, played right into what went on stage, on vinyl, and on screen. When a producer tells him his act will only be funny to the 5 blocks in Rudy's neighborhood, Rudy brilliantly responds, "Yeah, but every city in America has these same 5 blocks." It's that kind of instinct, along with his generosity, and understanding his own shortcomings, that allowed him to reach a level of success. The scene where he cuts a deal with uppity actor D'Urville Martin (a superbly funny Wesley Snipes) portrays Rudy's keen sense of persuasion ... he played to the ego.

Eddie Murphy reminds us of his immense comedic talents and how he became such a mega-superstar in the first place. Here, he's not really impersonating or mimicking Moore, but rather capturing his spirit and paying tribute to a man he so clearly respects. The supporting cast is also outstanding. In addition to Mr. Snipes, who we wish had more scenes with Mr. Murphy, Craig Robinson is hilarious as singer Ben Taylor, Keegan-Michael Key is socially-conscious playwright Jerry Jones, Titus Burgess is wide-eyed co-worker Theodore Toney, Mike Epps plays Moore's pal Jimmy Lynch, and Kodi Smit-McPhee (THE ROAD) plays the student-DP. In addition, we get a couple of other cameos from Chris Rock as DJ Daddy Fatts, and Bob Odenkirk plays a film distributor with dollar signs in his eyes. Deserving of special mention is Da'Vine Joy Randolph ("On Becoming a God in Central Florida") as Lady Reed, Rudy's muse and discovery. She is funny and ferocious in this role that should lead to much more work.

The film is produced by Netflix and it screened at the inaugural North Texas Film Festival. The music (Scott Bomar) and especially the costume design (Ruth Carter) are top notch, and contribute to the story and film. Rudy Ray Moore became a Blaxploitation icon at a time when the comedy of Richard Pryor, Red Foxx, and Moms Mabley were popular - so hopefully that gives you some indication of the type of humor the film delivers. Raunchy humor with Kung-Fu action and plenty of skin - that's the formula for the three Dolemite movies, as well as Moore's comedy albums (and their covers). This was a time when dropping Fred Williamson's name garnered instant respect. Some may compare this to James Franco's THE DISASTER ARTIST, but instead I recall Mario van Peebles' BAADASSSS!, a tribute to his filmmaking father Melvin. Hopefully your sense of humor will allow you to find the many laughs in this one, because Dolemite is dynamite ... and that' a WRAP!


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