Lady Sings the Blues

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A staple biopic of Billie Holiday with all the time-hallowed mundanity of the genre (its preoccupation with her heroin addiction, for instance, or the sequence that 'explains' the song 'Strange Fruit'). What it tells you most about is those kitschy concepts of 'stardom' and the like on a soap-opera/backstage drama level. Diana Ross, managing to avoid doing a Supremes-type number and keeping the songs this side of pastiche, comes out with a straightforward performance that only modulates to pure DR in an outrageous last shot that reduces Billie Holiday's death to the transience of a newspaper cutting, while holding on Diana Ross doing the pinnacle of success bit.

Release details

Duration: 144 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Sidney J Furie
Screenwriter: Terence McCloy, Chris Clark, Suzanne De Passe
Cast: Diana Ross
Billy Dee Williams
Richard Pryor
James Callahan
Paul Hampton
Sid Melton
Virginia Capers
Scatman Crothers
Ned Glass
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