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A few words about…™ Lady Sings the Blues – in Blu-ray (1 Viewer)

Robert Harris

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Lady Sings the Blues, oddly only one off three films (that I can find) in which Diana Ross appears, has made it to Blu-ray via Paramount, and it's fine.

Nothing special, but neither am I seeing problems.

The image harvest appears to be derived from an IP, with just the requisite amount of movement to be film-like.

Colors seem fine. Can't speak to densities, as I don't know the film well enough.

Audio, likewise, is fine.

If world events and a health crisis haven't given you enough to be depressed, this is the film that will help.

Image – 4

Audio – 5

Pass / Fail – Pass

Upgrade from DVD – Yes

RAH
 
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I'm really eager to see this iconic Black musical biopic on Blu-ray, having seen it on opening day at the Cooper Cinerama in Denver CO! This is the first of three films produced by Motown founder Berry Gordy, one of the first deals of it's kind in cinema history engaging an African American producer, also bringing Suzanne De Passe into the film industry (she is worth google searching!). The film launched Richard Pryor into International movie stardom. Along with BRIAN'S SONG on ABC, LADY... cemented Billy Dee Williams' status as an African American leading man with crossover popularity and it earned Diana Ross an Academy Award in a debut film performance. No Black actresses had been nominated for an Oscar in the leading category since Dorothy Dandridge in CARMEN JONES. While the film is a romantic gloss on the considerably tragic life of the great Billie Holiday, it was a huge box office sensation and is an important moment for African American work in Cinema history. The review seems not to engage any of it's importance. I understand that it is not in the caliber of CABARET or SOUNDER (still no blu-ray!), both in that same exceptional year but the review here feels a little bit perfunctory, considering the singularity and number of historic benchmarks the film achieved. There are significant cinematic firsts connected to this film that paved the way for other African American artists and material that cinephiles and movie fans could and should be made aware of. If viewing it for the first time, their experience might be enriched with this context in mind.
 

Colin Jacobson

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I didn't realize until now that Ross only starred in 3 movies.

Anyone know why she (apparently) bailed on movies after only 3 flicks?
 

Malcolm R

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Two of the three features were relative flops, so either she didn't want her reputation to be tainted by a string of unsuccessful films or perhaps the offers dried up.

She was in a couple of TV movies in the 90's.
 

Colin Jacobson

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Two of the three features were relative flops, so either she didn't want her reputation to be tainted by a string of unsuccessful films or perhaps the offers dried up.

She was in a couple of TV movies in the 90's.

Yeah, I saw the TV movies of the 90s, but those seem like a big step down from the major features of the 1970s.

I have to imagine Ross still could've gotten roles even after the "flops", but maybe she just didn't receive offers she liked.

It doesn't feel like she threw herself into movies whole hog anyway: one film every 3 years wasn't much.

Compare to Madonna, who did 6 films over the same span - and who wasn't even a major star when cast in "Susan".

Anyway, I did feel surprised that she made so few movies. I had in my head that she'd courted Hollywood a lot more than she did!
 

noel aguirre

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Well she single handedly ruined the Wiz, killed Blaxploitation films, and her reputation in general with that bomb by using her star cred to snatch and get changed the lead character from a young innocent girl to a neurotic, emotionally stunted 30 year old Dorothy in search of Werner Erhard to get back home.
But I did like her other films.
LSTB is only$9.96 now on Amazon so I’m not expecting anything great however I was pleasantly surprised by Popeye’s transfer at that price.
 

Colin Jacobson

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Well she single handedly ruined the Wiz, killed Blaxploitation films, and her reputation in general with that bomb by using her star cred to snatch and get changed the lead character from a young innocent girl to a neurotic, emotionally stunted 30 year old Dorothy in search of Werner Erhard to get back home.
But I did like her other films.
LSTB is only$9.96 now on Amazon so I’m not expecting anything great however I was pleasantly surprised by Popeye’s transfer at that price.

"The Wiz" had plenty of issues beyond Diana Ross!

Sidney Lumet did more to damage that movie than she did...
 

RolandL

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I'm really eager to see this iconic Black musical biopic on Blu-ray, having seen it on opening day at the Cooper Cinerama in Denver CO! ...

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noel aguirre

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"The Wiz" had plenty of issues beyond Diana Ross!

Sidney Lumet did more to damage that movie than she did...
Sorry but I disagree as once that storyline shifted from a girl Dorothy to an adult Dorothy it was doomed. No director could have fixed that arc in the storyline which just dragged the whole thing down. Diana is a fantastic star and maybe it’s not all her fault for taking the role but clearly that was the problem and she certainly wanted that role. But I do agree Lumet was not a good choice but they wanted urban grittiness.
But back to LSTB I read a review elsewhere that says it’s a drab looking disc which is exactly how I remember it. But DR really shines in it as does Billy Dee Williams. I’ve ordered it and also interested to see the new version that’s been getting raves.
 
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Home of SO MUCH GREAT MOVIEGOING THROUGHOUT MY YOUTH...! GRAND PRIX, 2001, LADY SINGS THE BLUES, HOW THE WEST WAS WON, JAWS, STAR WARS(12 TIMES...!), ALIEN, CLOSE ENCOUTERS, THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT, I and II, LOVE STORY, PETE and TILLIE, KRAMER vs KRAMER, WHAT'S UP DOC (multiple times...!) even "lesser" films like PAINT YOUR WAGON seemed better on that spectacular screen and the SOUND was SPECTACULAR. In it's waning days the theatre re-ran a number of classics and roadshow films to try and generate business and as a fan, I was there A LOT! Great Pictures
 

Mark-P

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I just realized that this release was scheduled to capitalize on the new movie The United States Vs. Billie Holiday. :blink:
 
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Robert Crawford

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I just realized that this release was scheduled to capitalize on the new movie The United States Vs. Billie Holiday. :blink:
That is a totally different take on Billie Holiday as she was hounded by law enforcement due to her civil rights activism.
 

Robert Crawford

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After listening to Lee Daniels, the director this evening, I'll be watching this new Billie Holiday movie on Hulu, February 26th.
 

AlanP

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"The Wiz" had plenty of issues beyond Diana Ross!

Sidney Lumet did more to damage that movie than she did...
They should have stuck closer to the BROADWAY version and used either Stephanie Mills or maybe Janet Jackson. After all Janet could have handled it as she did "Good Times" and man can she sing.......
 

Ken Koc

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Started LSTB last night....I had to turn it off. As a biopic I never realized how wildly inaccurate in regards to Billie's life it was. The PQ was adequate...the sound level was very low.
 

Colin Jacobson

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They should have stuck closer to the BROADWAY version and used either Stephanie Mills or maybe Janet Jackson. After all Janet could have handled it as she did "Good Times" and man can she sing.......

They might've thought Janet was a little too young, as she would've been 11 during the shoot. She'd only just started on "Good Times" and had no other formal acting or performing credits at that time.

Mills probably wasn't enough of a box office draw!
 

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