6.6/10
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Bessie (2015)

TV-MA | | Biography, Drama, Music | TV Movie 16 May 2015
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1:31 | Trailer
The story of legendary blues performer Bessie Smith, who rose to fame during the 1920s and '30s.

Director:

Dee Rees

Writers:

Dee Rees (screenplay), Christopher Cleveland (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 23 wins & 45 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Khandi Alexander ... Viola
Michael Kenneth Williams ... Jack Gee
Tika Sumpter ... Lucille
Queen Latifah ... Bessie Smith
Bryan Greenberg ... John Hammond
Oliver Platt ... Carl Van Vechten
Mike Epps ... Richard
Charles S. Dutton ... William 'Pa' Rainey
Tory Kittles ... Clarence
Mo'Nique ... Ma Rainey
Crystal Lee Brown ... Bessie's Dancer
Jeremie Harris ... Langston Hughes
L. Warren Young ... Sharkish Man
Jennifer Sears ... Ma's Main Girl
Whitney Goin ... Fania Van Vechten
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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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 May 2015 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bessie See more »

Filming Locations:

Olde Town Conyers, Georgia, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Queen Latifah's topless scene in front of the mirror shows her real breasts. A body double was not used. See more »

Quotes

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


Soundtracks

Lost Your Head Blues
Written by Bessie Smith
Performed by Queen Latifah
Queen Latifah Performs Courtesy of Flavor Unit Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

an introduction
17 June 2016 | by KirpianuscusSee all my reviews

an introduction to a splendid career and bitter life. beautiful, seductive, impressing in few scenes. but only a good and useful introduction to the universe of Bessie Smith. and this is not a real surprise. it represents the recipes of many biopics who use great cast, splendid costumes, recreates the spirit of period but the afraid to make mistakes impose only a sketch of presented personality. sure, it is enough to listen her music for understand it. and against my belief than Viola Davies could be the best choice for the role of Bessie Smith, Queen Latifah does a great job. but not the slices of life, as isolated pieces from a puzzle are the wrong fact but the end who seems be not reasonable. to difficult to recreate in the most inspired manner a spectacular career, Bessie Smith becomes a symbol. a reasonable choice. but, maybe, not the best.


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