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Little Richard (2000)

Leon , Jenifer Lewis , Robert Townsend  |  NR |  DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Leon, Jenifer Lewis, Carl Lumbly, Tamala Jones, Mel Jackson
  • Directors: Robert Townsend
  • Writers: Bill Kerby, Daniel Taplitz
  • Producers: Iain Paterson, J. Todd Harris, John Davis, Little Richard
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Live / Artisan
  • DVD Release Date: October 22, 2002
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00006JMPU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #292,708 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Little Richard" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

The Richard Penniman (better known as Little Richard) depicted in this 2000 film was a flamboyant, larger-than-life character, not to mention a vital figure in pop music history--perhaps even "the architect of rock & roll," as he's called here. The fact that both of those portraits are accurate is a tribute to the makers of this TV movie, especially director Robert Townsend (Hollywood Shuffle) and Leon in the title role (Little Richard himself was an executive producer). Sure, it's a bit heavy on the melodrama, especially Richard's volatile relationship with his demanding father, and light on the music ("Tutti Frutti," "Lucille," and Richard's other hits are heard, with Leon lip-syncing to the original recordings, but there's no clue as to how Richard actually forged his style), but hey, that's TV for you. By and large, Little Richard is an entertaining ride, even without any DVD bonus material. --Sam Graham

Customer Reviews

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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Moving Tribute to a Living Legend!! October 24, 2004
The Little Richard Story is a credible account of the man who, more than any other individual artist, erased the word "race-music" and created popular music. Although only a small part of his life and 55 year (and still counting) career was highlighted, the DVD really captures the essence of the man - the battle between his faith in the Lord and the temptations of the world, and the development of the most important musical art form of the twentieth century - rock music. Leon is amazing in the title role, bringing to the screen the attractive, sensual black musician with the raspy, force-of-nature voice, that racist parents in America fought so hard (and so unsuccessfully) to keep from their children's senses. If you love rock, r&b or rap, and are interested in the roots of the music (the black church), this DVD is a must to add to your collection.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enough With The Pancake 31! December 19, 2002
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Little Richard had been talking about a movie of his life as far back as 1962. Around the time of his critically acclaimed *book* biography, "The Life & Times of Little Richard" (Charles White, Crown, New York), he mentioned Michael Jackson, Prince, or Eddie Murphy as his celluloid self. About fifteen years later Leon got the job. I'm not familiar with the gentleman's work, but I strongly believe that he did the best possible job of all. Murphy would have been great if the story took us into the late '60s/early '70s, but the younger actor managed to capture the "soul" of the early Penniman, as he achieved worldwide fame on his first major record release, and nearly saw it taken away, or at least tarnished by unfair competition and by a perfectly legal but unfair recording contract. And by his own offstage indulgence. By the way, if you look at the 45 rpm picture cover of LR's "Ooh! My Soul"/"True, Fine Mama" you'd think for a second that it was this actor. The resemblance actually does help here.
In some ways we can compare Richard's biopic with Jerry Lee Lewis' biopic. They both disappointed the deep fan, the historian, but served the purpose of introducing a Legend to those who knew very little about them. The movies got alot of folks interested. "Little Richard" wins out by the strength of the acting.
Those who read the Charles White book need to (almost) forget the book while they watch the movie. There's a large amount of distortion and exaggeration. There's a certain amount of invention: "By The Light of the Silvery Moon" was his first RCA release, complete with *1956* arrangement? - okay...Tutti Frutti" was recorded in 1953? - it may have been first *performed* in 1953, but it sure wasn't recorded that year! (In record business years, *two* years is like two lifetimes!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Little Richard March 9, 2010
By Eddy B
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Personally I'm a big fan of Little Richard and I really enjoyed this TV movie about his life. I've heard all of his recordings, I've read the book and I've even met the Man. But in all the reviews I've read, one thing has been missing. I own the Artisan DVD release listed on Amazon. The DVD itself, the liner notes in the case, and the Amazon listing have the time listed at 120 minutes. My Artisan DVD release only plays at ~ 88 minutes. Am I missing something?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Introduction to "The Originator" May 23, 2008
I almost forgot about this Robert Townsend-directed movie until I saw it on television the other night. What I do remember is that it was a made for TV movie that aired in 2000, and I did see it then. Not knowing much about Little Richard's background other than his flamboyant stage act and his classic records, I thought that this was a great introduction to the life of a man whom, in my opinion, never really got the credit he deserved being a pioneer of rock 'n roll. Those honors always seem to go to other acts of the day (Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis, Pat Boone - please give us a break!), when the REAL pioneers of the genre are mostly ignored or have been reduced to being mere footnotes in rock 'n roll history. Those who are die-hard fans of Richard and his music might find this film to be lacking in many ways, but for those who are just getting familiar with this man's life and his music, this is a good place to begin their research.

Leon is an exceptional actor who seems to portray a lot of musical figures on film, and very well, I might add. Who can forget his dynamic (and probably most well known) performance as the former Temptation David Ruffin in the still popular "The Temptations" mini-series, or as J.T. Matthews in the early 1990's feature film "The Five Heartbeats"? (I've even seen him play Jackie Wilson in another movie mini-series, however, he had a small role in that film.) As Little Richard Penniman, Leon engrosses himself in his subject and although the film is not entirely factual, it piques your interest enough to make you want to seek out the real story of his life. I know, after seeing it yet again, I want to learn more!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars je suis le jeune le plus fou de little richard December 20, 2004
By cedrick
je suis un garcon qui adord chanter et dancer du little richard jai deja vus votre films et je le recherche a nouveau pour pouvouir chanter et rocker comme lui jàime sa voie car il chantais,criais et pouvais faire vibrer des coeur comme le miens
cedrick chapman un veritable fan
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Funny like LR lol
Published 1 month ago by Ishmar Muhammad
5.0 out of 5 stars Leon as Little Richard! Great choice of actors!
This movie is fantastic. I have watched it many times. I have been trying to buy it for a long time. I finally gave up on the DVD and still had to pay about $20.00 for a used VHS! Read more
Published 1 month ago by Wilma L. Polk
1.0 out of 5 stars Wow
I would like to buy a DVD but it's way to expensive for a TV movie. I just don't understand why it would cost this much. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Noodle
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie and a must see for all Rock and Roll Fans...
This is a great movie about the life of Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Little Richard Pennyman but the price to own it is far beyond normal and one of the reasons why more copies of... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Richard K. Love
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoy the movie--then go find ALL the music!
This isn't a perfect movie--I've never found a musical biopic that lived up to my hopes as a fan (that would probably be too much "documentary-style" to be entertaining). Read more
Published 6 months ago by Elisa 20
2.0 out of 5 stars Just OK, Could have been much better
As a LR fan this movie was too short and missed quite a few details. For instance there was no mention of his father kicking him out of the house and he went to live with a white... Read more
Published 6 months ago by RJM Music Man
5.0 out of 5 stars Little Richard Movie
I loved this movie when it first came out. The price is nuts. I guess they don't want to sell it. I would never pay that outrageous price.
Published 10 months ago by Caryn
4.0 out of 5 stars It was alright.I have seen the Little Richard story before onTV. It...
It was okay. I have seen Little Richard story on home TV, however I ordered this product for someone else and he loved it. He has watched it over and over and over and over. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Janice Marshall
5.0 out of 5 stars money lover
little Richard is bangin. i love this movie,these people that selling this awesome movie is some money hungry people. who pay 50-100 for a movie. Read more
Published on April 23, 2012 by suck
5.0 out of 5 stars Great!
I was searching for this movie for quite a while and I found one used but not overpriced. That was great and I'm very happy!
Published on April 16, 2012 by XBatsuX
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