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  • This was a really good movie. I really hadnt heard of Dorothy until after this movie came out. She really was a wonderful actress and if only she had been born 20 years later she would have been as big as Audrey, Grace and the rest. I thought Halle Berry did a good job bringing Dorothy back to life. That shot of her on Life magazine is just amazing. I can't believe how much they look alike. Great performances by all and Berry better be getting an Emmy for her peformance next year. She deserves it.
  • Long before Barack Obama wasn't considered "Black" enough, Dorothy Dandridge suffered the same criticism. Black or not, she was beautiful and could sing like a meadowlark.

    Looking at old pictures of Dandridge, you could see why Halle Berry was chosen. She is Dandridge brought back to life. She may not have the pipes of Dandridge, but she sure can act, and has the Emmy and Golden Globe to prove it! Playing the First African American actress to get an Best Actress nomination (for Carmen Jones) was the First African American actress to win the Oscar for Best Actress (for Monster's Ball).

    Klaus Maria Brandauer (Out of Africa) was magnificent as Otto Preminger, one of the men who used Dandridge.

    This film is extremely important, not only for the fact that is chronicles the life of one of America's best, but also for the reminder that most of us never had to pee in a cup or watch a pool drained because we put our toe in it.
  • By far, a tour de force for Berry. She gives a more than convincing portrayal of the first black woman ever to be nominated for a Best Actress Oscar. Not only is Berry's performance breathtaking, but the fact that the story is based on actual events, made my lungs collapse as well.

    Too bad Dandridge didn't make the Emmy nomination deadline.....Berry would have taken home the award that both her and Dandridge deserve(d).
  • sigure17 September 2002
    Halle Berry shines in her role as the tragic Dorothy Dandridge, for which she received her well-deserved Golden Globe and Emmy. Great supporting cast,(Brent Spiner, Klaus Maris Brandauer,Tamara Taylor), intelligent and witty script, beautiful production values. Takes on Hollywood and racism in an entertaining and insightful way.
  • This movie is all about Halle Berry - to look at it from any other point of view would be to overlook the most powerful force in the movie. Berry is brilliant in her portrayal of Dorothy Dandridge - her acting is flawless and we witness the greatness of Dandrige and exprience the pain of her downfall with Halle Berry as our guide. What a tremendous coincedence that Halle Berry would play the first African-American woman to be nominated for an Academy Award when she herself would later become the first African-american woman to actually receive the prestegious award! She is supported by a strong cast which all help to make this a movie to remember. 7/10
  • I've been a fan of Dorothy Dandridge for years and when I saw that Halle Berry brought her life to the big screen, her performance was very credible. If someone other than Halle would have done that part, the movie wouldn't have been as great as it was. It takes a hell of a lot of talent to pull off someone else's life and that couldn't have been very many actress in Hollywood. So, any old' actress wouldn't have done the job that Halle did. There were some aspects of Dorothy's life that weren't covered, but those weren't as important as the one's capture in the movie. When I saw Halle Berry playing Dorothy Dandridge, it was like I was seeing the real thing, because Halle Berry was very convincible. Plus, I see Halle and Dorothy Dandridge having a lot in common within their lives, and what Halle gave off wasn't anything rinky-dink, but the real thing. And it gives others who knew nothing about Dorothy Dandridge an insight on her life. Of course there were going to be things left out, of course there were going to things exaggerated, it wasn't going to be perfect, if you want to know how Dorothy was in temperament, read books on her, because those are where the real information comes from. Movies don't always tell everything, but Halle's performance wasn't based on looks, but how she gave off the image of Dorothy Dandridge on screen. So, Halle Berry did work hard to that story to life, and her I found it amazing that she went to such lengths and did it.
  • Haile Berry is radiant in the title role. An excellent job is done of separating the woman from the myth. Klaus Maria Brandauer is quite memorable in a key supporting role. Brent Spiner is also good. But, Berry's tour-de-force performance is the reason to watch this made-for-HBO biographical feature.

    It is not often that one has the opportunity to take in such a movie. After her night club career took off, Dandridge eventually found her way to Hollywood where she appeared in the movie version of George Gershwin's famous opera, Porgy and Bess. Next she co-starred with up-and-coming singer Harry Belafonte in the fascinating Carmen Jones. Such talent is rare indeed. Indeed, it is rare to find such a talent.
  • Admittedly, it's probably unfair to call Dorothy Dandridge unknown, as I've just done in the title. She was, after all nominated for an Academy Award and had a fairly long resume of parts, even if the majority of them were small ones. Many probably know her. I, however, aside from this movie, have no knowledge of her whatsoever. I've never seen any of her movies and was not familiar with the name until I came across this bio-pic. The title of this movie would seem to suggest that I'm not alone - she has to be introduced to us, after all. And - what an introduction!

    Halle Berry was absolutely perfect in this role. To me, she became the character with all the right moves and all the right emotions and presented a fascinating portrait of her subject. I find it hard to believe that so much was introduced in a little under two hours. Dandridge's problematic relationships (especially her relationship with the great director Otto Preminger) were interesting; her troubled upbringing being abused by whoever "Auntie" was supposed to be to the family was sad; her devotion to her mentally retarded daughter; the subtle look at the reality of racism in the era (she dips her toes in a hotel swimming pool, and the pool has to be drained and scrubbed as a result); her growing drug and alcohol dependence; her ultimate tragic death. In some respects she's portrayed as a black Marilyn Monroe, who does pop up from time to time in this movie. You would think that trying to show so much in so little time would lead to a shallow presentation, but it didn't. The movie leaves you wanting more, but not because it hasn't given you a lot.

    The secondary characters were also interesting: from Dandridge's first husband (Obba Babatunde) - who is captivated by her beauty but can't agree with her on what they want out of life, to her manager Earl Mills (Brent Spiner) - who quietly falls in love with her, to Preminger (Klaus Maria Brandauer) - who also seems to love her, but who finally turns away from her, possibly because she wanted more of a commitment than he wanted to give or perhaps because he felt that creating personal distance between them would help him to further her career.

    I'm shocked that this movie doesn't have a higher rating here. I think this was absolutely marvellous. 10/10
  • This film tells the sad story of Dorothy Dandridge, an African-American woman who was the first to be nominated for a Best Actress Oscar. She had much promise as an actress and nightclub singer, but (and I hope I'm not spoiling anything) an unhappy personal life led to a dependence on pills and booze, which destroyed her career and eventually her life. The movie tells her story in a pretty striaght-forward way. Halle Berry delivers a solid performance as Dandridge. Despite how sad it seems, however, there are supposed to be some exciting parts, such as Dandridge's nightclub scenes, in which she's supposed to sizzle. Berry doesn't sizzle very much, and in her speaking scenes has to grapple with a very obvious script. She manages pretty well, but she and the whole movie just lack oomph! There's really nothing more than meets the eye here. It's pretty one-dimensional and flat, if still very sad.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    There is a lot to recommend here -- audiences unfamiliar with the history of African American entertainers in Hollywood will get a good introduction to Dorothy Dandridge, and a decent introduction to other figures of the era such as the Nicholas Brothers. Halle Berry was born to play Dandridge -- the physical resemblance is remarkable, and her acting skills are top notch. The production values are good enough that it probably could have, and should have, been released to theaters instead of cable. Many scenes manage to distill the indignity of life as a black entertainer in that era -- and some (think: Dixie Cup Bathroom) even manage to do so with a good dose of dark humor.

    Although Brent Spiner is a very good actor, and his character is engaging, I think that the presence of an approving and sympathetic white character in almost every scene is a weakness for the film. I was not surprised to see that the film was based on Spiner's character's memoirs, because his character appears as a sort of white saint -- an apology, if you will, and a sop for white audiences who might otherwise feel alienated by the negative portrayals of white characters (particularly Klaus Maria Brandauer's excellent performance as sadistic director Otto Preminger).

    Another minor problem is the pace of the film; by attempting to show the entire life of Dandridge, the later parts where she is burdened by depression and drug addiction come too swiftly. It makes the whole aspect of her story seem a bit cliché, although Berry really plays "strung out" pretty convincingly.

    So, it's not a masterpiece, but it's a lot better than a made-for-cable movie has a right to be. It will be of great interest to those who enjoy Hollywood history but have not discovered the joys of "Carmen Jones" and such. And it's a triumph for Berry, who would go on of course to win the famous Academy Award that Ms. Dandridge was the first black woman nominated for.
  • An important, well-made film about a tragic figure in movie history with excellent performances by all. Dorothy Dandridge paved the way for the actresses of today, Halle Berry included, and Berry labored long and hard to get this film made. The usual historical inaccuracies do abound, however. Obba Babatunde is a fine dancer as well as dramatic actor, but way too old to play Harold Nicholas in the early 1940s, when the real Nicholas was in his early 20s; and by 1950-51 (Dandridge stated was about to film the 1951 release Tarzan's Peril) Ava Gardner was a big star in the middle of a torrid romance with the still-married Frank Sinatra. She would hardly have to introduce herself to anyone at a party. The scene where Dandridge is told she will have to use a Dixie cup for bathroom (a clip that Berry used when promoting the film on talk/news shows) brought was powerful but highly improbable coming on the heels of her speech that she knew all about the South. If she knew about the South she knew she wouldn't be able to use the restroom!
  • A nice attempt at covering the life of a tragic but trailblazing Hollywood actress, but inaccurate at times. Having Ava Gardner have to introduce herself to anyone in 1951 (the same year Dorothy's Tarzan movie came out) was ridiculous; she was a household word by then. Obba Babatunde, though a fine actor, was way too old to play an early 20's Harold Nicholas (and obviously much older than the actor who played his older brother Fayard). When Dorothy declares she knows all about the South (which she would have, having played the chitlin' circuit in her childhood) and looking so shocked to learn she couldn't use the rest room was pure Hollywood drama. The movie never explained what happened to Geri's marriage to Fayard Nicholas, or if Earl Mills ever asked Dorothy to marry him . . . he was obviously in love with her. Oh, well. This is the same problem that exists with most Hollywood biographies.
  • Halle Berry deserved recognition for the recreation of a Hollywood legend. It was interesting to watch her character's relationship with her agent played beautifully by Brent Spiner who is known for his role as an android in Star Trek, the Next Generation. I liked watching him so much that I have a crush on him now. It was sad that Dorothy did not realize that true love was underneath her all those years by her agent, Earl Mills. He helped her and truly loved her. I don't know if he was gay or just too obvious. Halle Berry really struts her acting abilities in this role. She makes us understand Dorothy's painful life. The violation by her own family to see if she was still a virgin after dating the Nicholas brothers. She was more than just an actress, she was truly an entertainer who deserved more. She puts a feet in the swimming pool and the hotel drains it because of her race. It was kind of hard not to be saddened by the racism of the past and what Dorothy did to endure.
  • In the 1990s, HBO made some wonderful films about famous and not so famous Black Americans and I own copies of several of these films. THE TUSKEGEE AIRMEN and MISS EVERS' BOYS are probably the best, but they also made THE JOSEPHINE BAKER STORY and INTRODUCING DOROTHY DANDRIDGE--quite an impressive record for a relatively small production company.

    Of the four films listed, INTRODUCING DOROTHY DANDRIDGE was my least favorite. While still a good film and one to watch, it seemed to suffer in two respects. First, despite being a biography, I never really felt connected to the main character and the film seemed rather episodic. I think the film would have been better had it not try to cram her entire life into one film--perhaps a mini-series or adding an hour to the film would have helped. Second, the film began with such an intense and unnecessarily brutal scene in which Dorothy was digitally raped--something that could have been alluded to or done a bit less explicitly. This made the film rated R and that is a real shame, as kids should see all four of these films--they are all important historical lessons for the 20th century. However, with that scene, there is no way that I would let my kids see the film--it was just too much for kids (let alone adults) to see. You can know it's happening without having to see it happen.

    Also, as for this assaultive character, Dorothy's "aunt". If you ARE going to include this in the film, at least then hash out exactly who this woman was as well as her relationship with Dot's mother. It seemed like they were perhaps trying to imply these two older women were lesbians, but they never really followed up on this--it was just a dangling plot point that they seemed to have forgotten. Also, other than this horrible scene, what was this woman's relationship with the kids? This character just left a whole lot of unanswered questions.

    To be fair, I must admit that THE JOSEPHINE BAKER STORY features some nudity, but it was all part of Miss Baker's real-life act--you couldn't exactly discuss her life without featuring her most famous routine. It was not sexual in nature, but artistic and I'd have a much easier time letting kids see this film because it lacks the violence of the digital rape scene of INTRODUCING DOROTHY DANDRIDGE.

    Other than these complaints, the actors seemed to try very hard to make this film and it was rather interesting. As for Brent Spiner, he looked and talked a lot like his "Data" character--I couldn't get past this and it just shows how being so strongly associated with one role makes it tough for others to accept you in a different one. For my time I say see the other films first--then this one without the kids.
  • This was a great movie. Mind you I don't know much about Dorothy so I don't know how Hallie Berry faired. But I did'nt see the movie for her. I saw it for Brent Spiner. He is one of the most talented actors I have seen on the big screen. I wish he was in bigger roles like this. Besides him the movie itself was great. Good acting, good story, wonderful Brent. lol, sorry.
  • MarioB23 January 2000
    It could be good. But 90 % of the time, biographies of cinema actors and actresses don't work. This one is part of that 90 %. Why ? There is no originality here, no imagination by Martha Coolidge, crew around Halle Berry are very weak. There are also lots of cliche about Hollywood. I don't feel anything about this movie. There is simply no sparks to move me. Just a B movie TV production. HBO had done more better than this one.
  • SheShines320 April 2004
    I recently watched the movie Introducing Dorothy Dandridge with Hally Berry acting the part of Dorothy. The movie touched me deeply & I would like to learn more on her life story & talk with others who are deeply affected by her amazing life & all she endured. This movie will stay with me always. For that I am thankful. She was an amazing women! I am a white female who will never understand the mistreatment, pain, etc. of black people. Thank you Dorothy for your incredible story! Such an inspiration.
  • In reviewing African-Americans in film in chronological order for Black History Month, we're now at 1999 with another biographical movie from HBO called Introducing Dorothy Dandridge. Before she herself became the first woman of color to win the Oscar for Best Actress (for Monster's Ball), Halle Berry portrayed the first such woman to be nominated in that category-Ms. Dorothy Dandridge. Framed by scenes in which Dorothy is talking on the phone to someone named Geri, we find out early on that Geri (Tamara Taylor) is the wife of one of the Nicholas Brothers (Fayard) she talks to on the set of the dance scene she performed with them on Sun Valley Serenade. The other brother, Harold (Obba Babatunde), Dorothy eventually marries. The bed scene, cut between those of the Auntie (LaTanya Richardson) abusing Dorothy from earlier, is a harbinger of the struggles Dandridge goes through in life. And what struggles they are: painfully dealing with segregation in various hotels and nightclubs with manager Earl Mills (Brent Spiner) constantly trying to reassure her, Carmen Jones director Otto Preminger (Klaus Maria Brandauer) becoming intimate with her during the filming and subsequent release through to the Academy Awards only to drop her after it's all over, his later treatment of her during Porgy and Bess, drunken abuse from later husband Jack Denison (D.B. Sweeney) over losing his nightclub after she failed to attract crowds night after night, and her eventual decline in pills and alcohol even with Mills back in her career. There's also notable turns by Loretta Devine as Dorothy's mother Ruby, Cynda Williams as sister Vivian, Darrian C. Ford as Fayard Nicholas, and William Atherton as Fox head Darryl F. Zanuck. Director Martha Coolidge made a mostly compelling account of the highs and lows of this trailblazing personality with Berry providing the beauty and range to put it through nicely. Her scenes with her mentally impaired daughter Harolyn were also pretty heartbreaking. The film's source was Mills' biography of her. I haven't read that though I did read another one by Donald Bogle that I heartily recommend as I definitely do of this nearly excellent movie.
  • Halle Berry won an Emmy for her performance in INTRODUCING DOPROTHY DANDRIDGE, a lavish TV movie (that should have been a theatrical release) that chronicles the tragic life and seesaw show business career of the legendary Dorothy Dandridge, Hollywood's first true African American movie star and the first black actress to ever receive an Oscar nomination for Best Actress in a Leading Role (for CARMEN JONES). This film economically chronicles Dandridge's humble beginnings as a child of sexual abuse who becomes a nightclub singer and eventually a major film star despite her race, which threw up all kinds of road blocks along the way. In addition to her show business struggles, we see her romances with one of the Nicholas Brothers as well as an affair with CARMEN JONES director Otto Preminger. Berry finally found a role where her natural beauty worked for her...her resemblance to Dandridge is quite striking, especially in one scene where she is filming a scene for CARMEN JONES. The film also reveals Dandridge's inner demons, which manifested themselves through drugs and alcohol and eventually led to her tragic early death. HBO spared no expense in bringing this tragic star's life to the screen and it paid off in a lush and entertaining film worthy of theatrical release.
  • Two things I noticed about the movie: The very talented Obba Babatunde, who is obviously 45+, was too old to play a young (early 20s) Harold Nicholas. He appeared older than the actor who played his brother Fayard, who in reality is about six years older than Harold! Another thing that bothered me was that scene were DD gives her manager the speech about knowing all about the South, and then she asks him to zip her so she could go to the bathroom and he gives her a Dixie cup. It makes me want to know where in the South she was able to use the bathroom!
  • rambow21 August 1999
    I usually find that HBO does a good job with its films and once more they have. I enjoyed the film, but was left wanting more. I wondered more about her mother's relationship with her "special auntie" and also more about how her career started and the people in her life. Two hours is a short time to cover all that so overall I'd say they did a decent job. As a cable film it's worth a watch, but I wouldn't pay to see this at the theater. If you really want a good bio try something on A & E, they usually give you more background.
  • Although Halle Berry is a very beautiful actress. She was not very credible as Dorothy Dandridge. I have seen Ms. Dandridge in several movie parts and she was strong, sassy, fiery and very emotional. Halle just did not capture the soul and depth of Ms. Dandridge. It was a nice effort but I would have rather seen an actress in that part who embodies the depth and personal character of Ms. Dandridge. Ms. Dandridge and Halle have beauty in common, but that is all. Ms. Dandridge's physical beauty was only the top layer of many layers as to who she really was. I would have chosen a young African-American actress by the name of Tamala Jones for the part. She is so "Dorothy". Her resemblance to Ms. Dandridge is physical as well as characteristic. But that's Hollywood for you...always tempted to choose beauty over talent for many a role. The awards Halle received for the role were undeserved on the one hand, but deserved in honor and on behalf of Ms. Dandridge, who truly is the one and only person who deserved them so very long ago.
  • I just read the book by Donald Bogle. I was looking forward to the movie, but I was disappointed. Although Halle Berry is very beautiful she does not have the acting skills to play such a tragic story. Also I felt they left out important parts of her story in order to use dramatic license. Dorothy was exploited again. (I don't think Janet or Whitney would have done any better.)
  • This movie is all about Halle Berry - to look at it from any other point of view would be to overlook the most powerful force in the movie. Berry is brilliant in her portrayal of Dorothy Dandridge - her acting is flawless and we witness the greatness of Dandrige and exprience the pain of her downfall with Halle Berry as our guide. She is supported by a strong cast which all help to make this a movie to remember. 7/10
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