Lady Sings the Blues [VHS]
Top Customer Reviews
Diana Ross, as Billie, is passionate and driven, and her portrayal of Billie in the midst of drug withdrawal is heart-rending and effective. Playing the role "full out," Ross deals with the script she has been given, and she richly deserves her Golden Globe Award for Most Promising Female Newcomer in this screen debut. A consortium of scriptwriters, which drew on the frank, but partly fictionalized, autobiography Billie wrote with William Dufty in 1956, has omitted or changed many aspects of her life in order to make the film more unified and dramatic, creating a film that creates even more myths about Billie.
Billy Dee Williams is terrific as Louis McKay, appearing slick and smooth at the beginning, but showing subtle changes of feeling as he is drawn into Billie's orbit and provides some stability for her. The accompanist (Richard Pryor) seems genuinely to care for her, as, it seems, does Reg Hanley (James T. Callahan), though the reasons Harry Bradford (Paul Hampton) has for getting her hooked on drugs is not clear.Read more ›
Diana Ross tackled this role like a hungry dog might attack a piece of raw sirloin. She is astonishing both in her performance and her unique beauty. I literally gasped watching her during the heroin withdrawal scences it is so real, and her ability to mood swing from conivingly sweet, to wild eyed hellion is nothing short of brilliant!
I highly recommend this film especially if you've only seen The Wiz, and think Miss Ross can't act.
This movie gives but a glimpse of the grief, heartache and loss experienced by Billie Holiday in her tragically short life. Some visual images used in the movie are quite intense and emotionally riveting. They make it easy to understand how the 'blues' are truly experienced.
Ms Ross's smooth jazzy vocals resonate the soundtrack with a contrasting clarity to Holiday's original recordings but superbly capture the emotional intensity of Billie's vaccilating depression and addiction.
Billy Dee Williams and Richard Pryor are excellent in supporting roles. Williams provides the love and compassion that just aren't enough to rescue Holiday from the depths of her addiction. Pryor and Scatman Crothers (in a small role) add some islands of comic relief to the generally depressed mood.
Lady Sings the Blues is for those who want to get a glimpse of the tragic life of Billy Holiday. It's also for those who want to see Ms Ross's best dramatic performance and won't be upset with her 'smoother' vocal renditions of the Lady Day songbook.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Glad to have it on DVD rather than VHS, because it is more lastingPublished 28 days ago by Sandra Dee
I Love Diana Ross . In this film she's at her best--A sad , but true film about a great lady .Published 28 days ago by JOHN GALZINSKI
I loved this the first time I saw it on TV years ago. Billy Holiday was a fantastic performer & Diana Ross would have made her proud!Published 29 days ago by Jan
This movie is what took Diana Ross from being a singing star to being a Superstar! Richard Pryor is also fantastic in his breakout movie role. Read morePublished 1 month ago by rebeccatex
After watching Audra McDonald portray the late Billie Holiday in "Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill" I recalled scenes from the film starring Diana Ross and Billy Dee... Read morePublished 1 month ago by DDenise
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