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Mo' Better Blues (1990)

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Jazz trumpeter Bleek Gilliam makes questionable decisions in his professional and romantic lives.

Director:

Spike Lee

Writer:

Spike Lee
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Denzel Washington ... Bleek Gilliam
Spike Lee ... Giant
Wesley Snipes ... Shadow Henderson (Sax)
Giancarlo Esposito ... Left Hand Lacey (Piano)
Robin Harris ... Butterbean Jones
Joie Lee ... Indigo Downes
Bill Nunn ... Bottom Hammer (Bass)
John Turturro ... Moe Flatbush
Dick Anthony Williams ... Big Stop Williams
Cynda Williams ... Clarke Bentancourt
Nicholas Turturro ... Josh Flatbush
Jeff 'Tain' Watts ... Rhythm Jones (Drums)
Samuel L. Jackson ... Madlock
Leonard L. Thomas ... Rod
Charlie Murphy ... Eggy (as Charles Q. Murphy)
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Storyline

Opens with Bleek as a child learning to play the trumpet, his friends want him to come out and play but mother insists he finish his lessons. Bleek grows into adulthood and forms his own band - The Bleek Gilliam Quartet. The story of Bleek's and Shadow's friendly rivalry on stage which spills into their professional relationship and threatens to tear apart the quartet. Written by David <DGOWERS6@CHECLABA.SCU.EDU.AU>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A Spike Lee joint.

Genres:

Drama | Music | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 August 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Love Supreme See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$16,153,600
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Spike Lee goes over his bets with the bookie, they review a real New York Post from Friday, September 29, 1989. See more »

Goofs

During the performance of Bleek's "Pop Top Urban 40 Funk Love ... Song", Bleek's headgear changes from hat to baseball cap. See more »

Quotes

Butterbean Jones: I'm a try-sexual. I'll try your little ass tonight.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Flavor Flave of the rap group Public Enemy spells out the letters in "Universal" as the studio logo appears on the screen. See more »

Connections

Featured in Inside Men: Denzel & Spike - Man to Man (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Mo'Better Blues
Written and performed by Branford Marsalis Quartet and Terence Blanchard
See more »

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User Reviews

My Favorite Film Tie
6 December 1999 | by supremeallah7See all my reviews

After just writing a comment about one of the least greatest black films (Belly) I decided to write about my favorite film. Actually Mo Better Blues is tied with Carlito's Way as my favorite film. At any rate Mr. Spike Lee expressed the story of love that everyone feels. Finding your creative spark in life, the person that adds on to your physical being, and being to able balance the both of them is the task for which this film tries to display and accomplish. It asks, if you didn't have the one thing which makes you you any more,how would you function. Bleek (Denzel Washington) was solely dependant upon his music because that was what he could outlet every strain of energy in him out on. Being an m.c. I know what it's like to have my lyrics be my way of venting out the world's hell. What complemented to his music was his love of women though. Yo, I thought Cynda Williams (Clark) was going to be my wife when I first saw this film. Anyway the black women portrayed the savior to Bleek once he could not depend on the only thing that he exclusively gave his attention to. Also on a side note this film was the first to portray a character from the Nation of Gods and Earths. Next time you watch it look for Born Knowledge. Overall this film was one of the reasons I'm in film school now. It was highly overlooked as one of the true black romantic comedies of my generation, as was Love Jones so we got to love our own before we love the other man's films. I loved this film and it is tied with Malcolm X as my favorite Spike Lee film.


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