PG-13 | | Biography, Comedy, Drama
A working-class Italian-American bouncer becomes the driver of an African-American classical pianist on a tour of venues through the 1960s American South.
Upon the film's release, the Shirley family stated thay Tony and Doc were not friends, they had "an employer-employee relationship". In January 2019, audio recordings of an interview with Don Shirley emerged in which he stated, "I trusted him implicitly... You see... not only was [Tony] my driver, we never had an employer/employee relationship. You don't have time for that bullshit. My life is in this man's hands!... So you've got to be friendly with one another."
Christ, I'm blacker than you are.
Dr. Don Shirley: Excuse me?
Tony Lip: You don't know shit about your own people. What they eat, how they talk, how they live. You don't even know who Little Richard is.
Dr. Don Shirley: Oh, so knowing who Little Richard is makes you blacker than me?
Tony criticizes Don for not being familiar with several black musicians whose music they hear on the radio while traveling, one of the artists being Aretha Franklin. The original poster doubted that Tony would know Aretha Franklin because by the fall of 1962 Aretha had had only six chart hits, none of which reached higher than #37. However, although we think of Aretha today as a soul singer, in the early 1960s she was signed with Columbia Records. Her label failed to recognize her gospel roots and didn't know how to market her. Her early songs were pop/jazz and not the soul music she's remembered for today. Even though her early songs weren't big hits on the Billboard Hot 100, her songs were in the Top 10 on the Rhythm and Blues charts. Given Tony's love for black music, it is not implausible that he would have have been familiar with her.
The real-life photos (and a few insights into their lives after the events in the movie) of Dr. Donald Shirley and Frank "Tony Lip" Vallelonga are shown before the end credits roll.
English, Italian, Russian, German
$320,429 18 November 2018