Jazz film

by rowan_hendriks | created - 03 Aug 2016 | updated - 12 Aug 2018 | Public
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1. St. Louis Blues (1939)

92 min | Comedy, Musical

A Broadway musical comedy star tires of the same old grind and flees the city. She runs into the skipper of a showboat who befriends her, and they make plans to put together a musical revue... See full summary »

Director: Raoul Walsh | Stars: Dorothy Lamour, Lloyd Nolan, Tito Guízar, Jerome Cowan

Votes: 43

2. Blues in the Night (1941)

Passed | 88 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

"Jigger' Lane forms a band that includes singer Ginger 'Character' Powell, wife of the trumpeter Leo Powell, and Nickie Haroyen and Peppi. All of them dedicate themselves to work as a unit ... See full summary »

Director: Anatole Litvak | Stars: Priscilla Lane, Betty Field, Richard Whorf, Lloyd Nolan

Votes: 871

3. Cabin in the Sky (1943)

Passed | 98 min | Fantasy, Musical

A compulsive gambler dies during a shooting, but he'll receive a second chance to reform himself and to make up with his worried wife.

Directors: Vincente Minnelli, Busby Berkeley | Stars: Ethel Waters, Eddie 'Rochester' Anderson, Lena Horne, Louis Armstrong

Votes: 2,512

4. Stormy Weather (1943)

Approved | 78 min | Musical

The relationship between an aspiring dancer and a popular songstress provides a retrospective of the great African American entertainers of the early 1900s.

Director: Andrew L. Stone | Stars: Lena Horne, Bill Robinson, Cab Calloway and His Cotton Club Orchestra, Katherine Dunham and Her Troupe

Votes: 1,781

5. Young Man with a Horn (1950)

Approved | 112 min | Biography, Drama, Music

A young trumpeter enjoys highs (musical success, fame, and fortune) and lows (sour marriage, death of his mentor, bout with alcoholism).

Director: Michael Curtiz | Stars: Kirk Douglas, Lauren Bacall, Doris Day, Hoagy Carmichael

Votes: 2,675

6. The Man with the Golden Arm (1955)

Passed | 119 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

A strung-out junkie deals with a demoralizing drug addiction while his crippled wife and card sharks pull him down.

Director: Otto Preminger | Stars: Frank Sinatra, Kim Novak, Eleanor Parker, Arnold Stang

Votes: 8,875

7. The Benny Goodman Story (1956)

Approved | 116 min | Biography, Drama, Music

The young Benny Goodman is taught clarinet by a Chicago music professor. He is advised by bandleader Kid Ory to play whichever kind of music he likes best, but to make a living, Benny begins by joining the Ben Pollack traveling band.

Director: Valentine Davies | Stars: Steve Allen, Donna Reed, Berta Gersten, Barry Truex

Votes: 1,038

8. Jazz on a Summer's Day (1959)

Not Rated | 85 min | Documentary, Music

Set at the Newport jazz festival in 1958, this documentary mixes images of water and the town with performers and audience. The film progresses from day to night and from improvisational ... See full summary »

Directors: Aram Avakian, Bert Stern | Stars: Louis Armstrong, Mahalia Jackson, Chuck Berry, Chico Hamilton

Votes: 869

9. All Night Long (1962)

Not Rated | 91 min | Drama, Music

This movie, based on William Shakespeare's Othello, is neatly positioned as a vehicle to showcase some of the best jazz musicians of the period, including Dave Brubeck and Charles Mingus.

Director: Basil Dearden | Stars: Patrick McGoohan, Keith Michell, Betsy Blair, Paul Harris

Votes: 879

10. Mingus: Charlie Mingus 1968 (1968)

58 min | Documentary, Music

A close-up of bass player and composer Charlie Mingus as he and his five-year-old daughter await eviction by the City of New York.

Director: Thomas Reichman | Stars: Walter Bishop, Charles McPherson, Carolyn Mingus, Charles Mingus

Votes: 94

11. Play Misty for Me (1971)

R | 102 min | Drama, Thriller

78 Metascore

A brief fling between disc jockey Dave Garver (Clint Eastwood) and obsessed female fan Evelyn Draper (Jessica Walter) takes a frightening, and perhaps even deadly turn when another woman, Tobie Williams (Donna Mills), enters the picture.

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Clint Eastwood, Jessica Walter, Donna Mills, John Larch

Votes: 23,636 | Gross: $10.60M

12. Lady Sings the Blues (1972)

R | 144 min | Biography, Drama, Music

The story of the troubled life and career of the legendary Jazz singer, Billie Holiday.

Director: Sidney J. Furie | Stars: Diana Ross, Billy Dee Williams, Richard Pryor, James T. Callahan

Votes: 3,380 | Gross: $9.60M

13. The Cotton Club (1984)

R | 127 min | Crime, Drama, Music

68 Metascore

The Cotton Club was a famous night club in Harlem. The story follows the people who visited the club, those who ran it, and is peppered with the Jazz music that made it so famous.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola | Stars: Richard Gere, Gregory Hines, Diane Lane, Lonette McKee

Votes: 15,176 | Gross: $25.93M

14. Bird (1988)

R | 161 min | Biography, Drama, Music

78 Metascore

The troubled life and career of jazz musician Charlie "Bird" Parker (Forest Whitaker).

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Forest Whitaker, Diane Venora, Michael Zelniker, Samuel E. Wright

Votes: 10,644 | Gross: $2.18M

15. Jazz (2001)

114 min | Documentary, History, Music

A survey of the musical form's history and major talents.

Stars: Keith David, Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet, Duke Ellington

Votes: 1,726

16. Let's Get Lost (1988)

Not Rated | 120 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

85 Metascore

Documentary on the life of jazz trumpeter and drug addict Chet Baker. Fascinating series of interviews with friends, family, associates and lovers, interspersed with film from Baker's ... See full summary »

Director: Bruce Weber | Stars: Chet Baker, Carol Baker, Vera Baker, Paul Baker

Votes: 1,673

17. Born to Be Blue (2015)

R | 97 min | Biography, Drama, Music

64 Metascore

A re-imagining of jazz legend Chet Baker's musical comeback in the late '60s.

Director: Robert Budreau | Stars: Ethan Hawke, Carmen Ejogo, Callum Keith Rennie, Tony Nappo

Votes: 7,280 | Gross: $0.83M

18. A Great Day in Harlem (1994)

Not Rated | 60 min | Documentary, Music

Art Kane, now deceased, coordinated a group photograph of all the top jazz musicians in NYC in the year 1958, for a piece in Esquire magazine. Just about every jazz musician at the time ... See full summary »

Director: Jean Bach | Stars: Dizzy Gillespie, Milt Hinton, Marian McPartland, Art Blakey

Votes: 393 | Gross: $0.53M

19. Sweet and Lowdown (1999)

PG-13 | 95 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

70 Metascore

In the 1930s, jazz guitarist Emmet Ray idolizes Django Reinhardt, faces gangsters and falls in love with a mute woman.

Director: Woody Allen | Stars: Sean Penn, Samantha Morton, Woody Allen, Ben Duncan

Votes: 30,810 | Gross: $4.20M

20. Dave Brubeck: In His Own Sweet Way (2010 TV Movie)

85 min | Documentary

A chronological look at the life and career of jazz musician, composer, and performer Dave Brubeck (December 6, 1920 to December 5, 2012), presented through contemporary interviews, ... See full summary »

Director: Bruce Ricker | Stars: Clint Eastwood, Bill Cosby, Sting, Duke Ellington

Votes: 78

21. Whiplash (2014)

R | 106 min | Drama, Music

88 Metascore

A promising young drummer enrolls at a cut-throat music conservatory where his dreams of greatness are mentored by an instructor who will stop at nothing to realize a student's potential.

Director: Damien Chazelle | Stars: Miles Teller, J.K. Simmons, Melissa Benoist, Paul Reiser

Votes: 637,163 | Gross: $13.09M

22. Bessie (2015 TV Movie)

TV-MA | 115 min | Biography, Drama, Music

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

Director: Dee Rees | Stars: Khandi Alexander, Michael Kenneth Williams, Tika Sumpter, Queen Latifah

Votes: 3,657

23. What Happened, Miss Simone? (2015)

Not Rated | 101 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

75 Metascore

A documentary about the life and legend Nina Simone, an American singer, pianist, and civil rights activist labeled the "High Priestess of Soul."

Director: Liz Garbus | Stars: Nina Simone, Lisa Simone Kelly, Roger Nupie, Al Schackman

Votes: 10,503

24. Miles Ahead (2015)

R | 100 min | Biography, Drama, Music

64 Metascore

An exploration of the life and music of Miles Davis.

Director: Don Cheadle | Stars: Don Cheadle, Emayatzy Corinealdi, Ewan McGregor, Michael Stuhlbarg

Votes: 8,670 | Gross: $2.61M

25. Amy (III) (2015)

R | 128 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

85 Metascore

Archival footage and personal testimonials present an intimate portrait of the life and career of British singer/songwriter Amy Winehouse.

Director: Asif Kapadia | Stars: Amy Winehouse, Mitch Winehouse, Mark Ronson, Russell Brand

Votes: 44,785 | Gross: $8.41M

26. Louis Armstrong - Chicago Style (1976 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 75 min | Biography, Drama

The story of how jazz great Louis Armstrong got his start playing in Chicago clubs, how he was framed on a drug charge, and his travels throughout Europe, where he first gained worldwide fame.

Director: Lee Philips | Stars: Ben Vereen, Red Buttons, Margaret Avery, Janet MacLachlan

Votes: 40

27. 'Round Midnight (1986)

R | 133 min | Drama, Music

A troubled, but talented musician flees the US to escape his problems, finding refuge and support in Paris.

Director: Bertrand Tavernier | Stars: Dexter Gordon, François Cluzet, Gabrielle Haker, Sandra Reaves-Phillips

Votes: 4,344 | Gross: $3.27M

28. Low Down (2014)

R | 114 min | Biography, Drama, Music

58 Metascore

A look at the life of pianist Joe Albany from the perspective of his young daughter, as she watches him contend with his drug addiction during the 1970s jazz scene.

Director: Jeff Preiss | Stars: John Hawkes, Elle Fanning, Glenn Close, Peter Dinklage

Votes: 1,738 | Gross: $0.04M

29. La La Land (I) (2016)

PG-13 | 128 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

93 Metascore

While navigating their careers in Los Angeles, a pianist and an actress fall in love while attempting to reconcile their aspirations for the future.

Director: Damien Chazelle | Stars: Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Rosemarie DeWitt, J.K. Simmons

Votes: 450,343 | Gross: $151.10M

30. Sinatra: All or Nothing at All (2015– )

TV-14 | 240 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

SINATRA: All or Nothing at All is an up-close and personal examination of the life, music and career of the legendary entertainer. Told in his own words from hours of archived interviews, ... See full summary »

Stars: Sammy Davis Jr., Pete Hamill, Phil Kuntz, John Lahr

Votes: 1,515

31. The Jazz Loft According to W. Eugene Smith (2015)

Not Rated | 87 min | Documentary, Biography, History

Art, obsession and anxiety permeate a dilapidated Manhattan loft building in Mid-century: The first movie to use photographer W. Eugene Smith's massive, fly-on-the-wall archive of photos ... See full summary »

Director: Sara Fishko | Stars: David Amram, Carla Bley, John Cohen, Harry Colomby

Votes: 62

32. I Called Him Morgan (2016)

92 min | Documentary, Drama, History

90 Metascore

An exploration of the relationship between jazz trumpeter Lee Morgan and his common-law wife Helen, who was implicated in his murder in 1972.

Director: Kasper Collin | Stars: Lee Morgan, Helen Morgan, Wayne Shorter, Larry Reni Thomas

Votes: 1,209 | Gross: $0.10M

33. Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary (2016)

Not Rated | 99 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

An exploration of the global power and impact of the music of John Coltrane where the passions, experiences and forces that shaped his life and revolutionary sounds are revealed.

Director: John Scheinfeld | Stars: Denzel Washington, Reggie Workman, Ravi Coltrane, Ashley Kahn

Votes: 1,469 | Gross: $0.41M



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