6.6/10
3,228
16 user 16 critic

Bessie (2015)

TV-MA | | Biography, Drama, Music | TV Movie 16 May 2015
Trailer
1:31 | Trailer

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

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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Popularity
3,887 ( 342)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 22 wins & 46 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
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Jack Gee
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Carl Van Vechten
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John Hammond
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Lucille
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Viola
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Richard
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William 'Pa' Rainey
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Clarence
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Detroit Theater Manager
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Langston Hughes
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Chorus Girl #1
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Fania Van Vechten
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Swarm Boy #2
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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:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 May 2015 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

В блюзе только Бесси  »

Filming Locations:


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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Quotes

Ma Rainey: Remember what I told you about the blues? If you're not risking nothing, neither would they.
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Soundtracks

Sea Lion Woman
Traditional
Performed by Tamar-kali
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A Basket Full of Emmys
18 May 2015 | by See all my reviews

The camera has a love affair with Queen Latifah from beginning to end in this tour de force, a performance that may have been worthy of an Oscar, let alone the Emmy she is destined to receive. The movie was co-executive produced by the late Richard Zanuck, based on a story by the late Oscar winning screenwriter Horton Foote, and their posthumous talent is impressively displayed at every level.

The screenplay was smart enough not to try and convert the audience to liking the blues, which is always an acquired taste, instead focusing on the intense drama that was this woman's personal life, from childhood traumas (i.e. being chased by her older sister with a knife), to lesbian love affairs as a grown woman. Thanks mainly to Queen Latifah's amazing performance, a basketful of Emmys should be in the future for this bold and seriously worthy TV drama.


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