Dreamgirls (2006)

PG-13 | 130-131 mins | Drama, Musical | 25 December 2006

THIS TITLE IS OUTSIDE THE AFI CATALOG OF FEATURE FILMS (1893-1993)
You may also like these titles from the AFI Catalog of Feature Films, the most authoritative documentation of the First 100 Years of American filmmaking.

Director:

Bill Condon

Writer:

Bill Condon

Producer:

Laurence Mark

Cinematographer:

Tobias Schliessler

Editor:

Virginia Katz

Production Designer:

John Myhre

Production Companies:

DreamWorks SKG, Paramount Pictures Corp.
Full page view
HISTORY

Only the logos of Paramount and DreamWorks appear before the film begins; all of the other credits appear at the end of the picture. The first time the cast names are listed, the names Jamie Foxx, Beyoncé Knowles and Eddie Murphy appear before the title. Shots of them within the movie are shown under their names. Similar shots are presented for several other cast members, including Danny Glover and Anika Noni Rose. Two title cards reading “And introducing/Jennifer Hudson” are followed by scenes of her from the film. When the credits for director Bill Condon, director of photography Tobias Schliessler and other major crew members appear, sequences of them doing their jobs are presented. For production designer John Myhre and costume designer Sharen Davis, some of their sketches for the film are shown, along with the realized images. For editor Virginia Katz, a montage is presented, and when casting directors Debra Zane’s and Jay Binder’s title card appears, photos of the various extras appear to illustrate the depth of their work. Choreographer Fatima Robinson’s credit is accompanied by a montage of dances and the theatrical lighting designed by Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer is illuminated by examples of lighting used during the various concert scenes.
       The last title card before the main credits roll dedicates the film to the memory of Michael Bennett (1943—1987), who directed and choreographed the Broadway musical on which the film was based. The end credits thank Jack Morrissey and Dick Clark Productions, among others. When the characters in the film first watch the television show American Bandstand , archival footage of host Dick ... More Less

Only the logos of Paramount and DreamWorks appear before the film begins; all of the other credits appear at the end of the picture. The first time the cast names are listed, the names Jamie Foxx, Beyoncé Knowles and Eddie Murphy appear before the title. Shots of them within the movie are shown under their names. Similar shots are presented for several other cast members, including Danny Glover and Anika Noni Rose. Two title cards reading “And introducing/Jennifer Hudson” are followed by scenes of her from the film. When the credits for director Bill Condon, director of photography Tobias Schliessler and other major crew members appear, sequences of them doing their jobs are presented. For production designer John Myhre and costume designer Sharen Davis, some of their sketches for the film are shown, along with the realized images. For editor Virginia Katz, a montage is presented, and when casting directors Debra Zane’s and Jay Binder’s title card appears, photos of the various extras appear to illustrate the depth of their work. Choreographer Fatima Robinson’s credit is accompanied by a montage of dances and the theatrical lighting designed by Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer is illuminated by examples of lighting used during the various concert scenes.
       The last title card before the main credits roll dedicates the film to the memory of Michael Bennett (1943—1987), who directed and choreographed the Broadway musical on which the film was based. The end credits thank Jack Morrissey and Dick Clark Productions, among others. When the characters in the film first watch the television show American Bandstand , archival footage of host Dick Clark is seen, but an impersonator supplies his voice. During the picture, some of the songs highlight the action and express the characters’ emotions, such as the song “Listen,” during which “Deena Jones” declares her freedom from “Curtis Taylor, Jr.” Other songs have lyrics that advances the plot, such as “Family,” in which “Effie White’s” friends convince her to sing backup rather than lead.
       The immensely popular musical Dreamgirls , with music by Henry Kreiger, book and lyrics by Tom Eyen and directed and choreographed by Bennett, opened on Broadway on 20 Dec 1981. Loosely inspired by the careers of singer Diana Ross, who replaced her longtime friend Florence Ballard as the lead singer of the Supremes, and of music impresarios Berry Gordy, Jr. and Phil Spector, the musical won six Tony Awards. The key song, Effie’s show-stopping, plaintive lament “And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going,” became a regular feature of original theatrical cast member Jennifer Holliday’s nightclub act. In various sources, Condon related that he attended the opening night of Dreamgirls and had been fascinated with it ever since.
       According to a Sep 1996 Screen International item, Bennett, best known for creating the smash theatrical musical A Chorus Line , had hoped to direct a film version of Dreamgirls himself. In 1987, several sources noted that Whitney Houston was in talks to star in the film adaptation and at this point producer David Geffen was to make the picture with Howard Ashman, according to a Dec 2006 WSJ article. DV reported in Nov 1989 that Spike Lee was to direct the film for Geffen. At that time, the picture was to be co-produced by Geffen Pictures and Warner Bros., and in Mar 1989, HR noted that Eyen had written a screenplay for Geffen. In a Mar 1989 NYT interview, Eyen relayed that he had originally written Dreamgirls in the 1970s as a movie script but it “wound up on the stage” instead because he felt that the story was more suited to the theater.
       LAT reported in Nov 1992 that Frank Oz was “firmly attached” to direct, with Todd Graff in discussions to write the screenplay. In 1994, Geffen co-founded DreamWorks SKG with partners Steven Spielberg and Jeffery Katzenberg, and left the property with Warner Bros. Joel Schumacher was signed to direct the picture for Warner Bros. in Sep 1996 and in Dec 1997, DV reported that he was developing the screenplay with Tina Andrews. Among the stars announced as being in negotiations to star under Schumacher were Lauryn Hill, lead singer of the group The Fugees, as Deena, Kelly Price as Effie and Don Cheadle as “James ‘Thunder’ Early.” Other sources add that R&B singer Aaliyah was considered to star before her death in 2001.
       By Sep 1998, DV reported that Warner Bros. had canceled the project due to the box-office failure of its 1998 film Why Do Fools Fall in Love , a musical biography about 1950s black, teenaged singer Frankie Lymon. Geffen’s interest in reviving the property was renewed after the success of the 2002 film adaptation of the Broadway musical Chicago (see above), which was written by Condon. According to the Dec 2006 WSJ article, however, Warner Bros. was “concerned” about the picture’s proposed $73 million budget and “ultimately opted out of a co-production.” In Oct 2005, DV announced that Paramount was partnering with DreamWorks to co-finance Dreamgirls .
       DV noted in May 2005 that R&B performer Usher had been signed to star as “C. C. White,” but the part ultimately went to Keith Robinson. 13 Nov 2006 credits released by Paramount and DreamWorks list the following actors who were cut from the finished film: Jordan Belfi ( Adam Brooks ); Toni Trucks ( Woman in D.C. bar ); Damion Poitier ( Man in D.C. bar ); Rick Scarry ( Atlanta deejay ); E. J. Callahan ( Older white man ); Michael Cline ( Reporter ); Angela Sorensen ( Reporter ); Victor Togunde ( Contestant ); Denis F. Chavis ( Security guard ); and Jason Graham ( Roadie ). According to an article she wrote for the 5 Nov 2006 issue of LAT , Rachel Abramowitz appears in the film as an extra during the sequence set in the Caesar’s Palace nightclub. In the article, Abramowitz wrote that the film’s choreographer, Fatima Robinson, “won a contest” in order to get the job. Hinton Battle, who plays “Wayne” in the film, appeared as Jimmy Early in the 1980s Broadway production as a summer replacement for Cleavant Derricks, who originated the role, and Yvette Carson, who plays “May,” appeared in the Broadway cast as “Charlene” and also understudied the part of Effie. Loretta Devine, who played “Lorrell Robinson” in the original Broadway show, appears in the film version as the jazz singer who eulogizes Jimmy at a nightclub wake.
       Four original songs were written especially for the film by Henry Krieger and other composers: “Love You I Do,” “Patience,” “Perfect World” and “Listen.” The onscreen credits note that the soundtrack was available through Music World Music/Sony Urban Music/Columbia. As noted by the onscreen credits, the picture was shot at the Los Angeles Center Studios, at which was recreated the Crystal Room in Miami and the interior of a Caesar’s Palace nightclub, according to studio publicity. The press kit also reveals that the Palace Theatre in downtown Los Angeles was used as the interior of the Detroit Theatre, and that Los Angeles’ Orpheum Theatre, Tower Theatre and Alexandria Hotel, and Pasadena’s Ambassador Auditorium were used as location sites. According to a Sep 2006 Vogue article, some of the sequences involving Curtis’ Cadillac dealership were shot on location at “an old Cadillac dealership in South Central” Los Angeles. The interiors of the 1970s headquarters of Rainbow Records were filmed in the historic Los Angeles Times building in downtown Los Angeles, according to studio publicity. Additionally, the location of Curtis and Deena’s luxurious Hollywood mansion was the Frank Sinatra House in Chatsworth, CA. Various sources reported the film’s final budget as $75 million.
       The picture opened for a limited, roadshow engagement on 15 Dec 2006 in one theater each in New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco, with reserved seating and ticket prices set at $25. In a 7 Nov 2006 DV article, studio executives explained their decision to open the picture as old-fashioned roadshow as a desire to bring the picture to “audiences in a special way.” Included at the roadshow venues were special lobby exhibits on the making of the film, complete with costumes and props.
       The picture marked the feature film debut of Jennifer Hudson, who had been a heavily favored finalist on the 2004 season of the television reality series American Idol , although she did not win. According to studio publicity, Hudson beat out more than 700 other actresses for the pivotal role of Effie. In a Dec 2006 interview with WSJ , Geffen, one of the producers of the Broadway show, announced that after finally shepherding Dreamgirls onto the screen, he was “finished with the movie business” and would turn to other ventures. In the article, Geffen noted that he had “declined to take a producer credit on the movie” because he thought of himself as “just a facilitator” for Condon and producer Lawrence Mark.
       On 19 May 2006, only a few weeks after the end of principal photography, approximately twenty minutes of the film was screened at the Cannes Film Festival. According to several newspaper articles, Paramount and DreamWorks mounted a campaign to advertise the picture by paying the licensing fees for all high schools, colleges, community theaters and any other non-commercial group that wanted to produce the stage show during 2006. LAT noted on 12 Dec 2006 that to that date, more than fifty productions of the show had been staged around the country during the year, thanks to the promotion. In a 12 Dec 2006 LAT interview, Holliday complained that her original Broadway cast recording of the song "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" was used in the film's trailers rather than Hudson's, and that she had not received any compensation.
       The film received rave reviews, especially for Hudson, Eddie Murphy, the cinematography and costumes. Rolling Stone declared Hudson’s debut “a glorious, Oscar-ready cause for celebration” and called Murphy “electrifying in his riskiest role ever.” Many reviewers also praised the decision to have the film emphasize the racial tensions and social changes of the 1960s and 1970s much more than the Broadway show.
       Dreamgirls was named one of AFI’s Movies of the Year. In addition, the film won an Academy Award for Best Sound Mixing and, for her performance in the film, Hudson won Best Actress in a Supporting Role. The film garnered Academy Award nominations for Best Art Direction, Best Costume Design and three nominations for Best Song ("Listen," "Love You I Do" and "Patience"). Murphy was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. Dreamgirls also received the following Golden Globes: Best Movie—Musical or Comedy; Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture (Hudson); and Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture (Murphy). The picture was also nominated for Golden Globes in the categories of Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture--Musical or Comedy (Knowles) and Best Original Song--Motion Picture ("Listen"). Dreamgirls was nominated for feature film of the year by the Producers Guild of America and Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture by the Screen Actors Guild, which also nominated Hudson for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role and Murphy for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role. Hudson received the Best Breakthrough Performance—Female award from the National Board of Review, was named Best Supporting Actress by the New York Film Critics and received a BAFTA award for Actress in a Supporting Role. Krieger was nominated for a BAFTA for Achievement in Film Music. Condon was nominated for Directorial Achievement in Feature Film by the Directors Guild in America. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
3 Nov 1989
p. 1, 28.
Daily Variety
10 Sep 1996
p. 1, 27.
Daily Variety
11 Dec 1997.
---
Daily Variety
24 Sep 1998.
---
Daily Variety
4 Apr 2000.
---
Daily Variety
11 Jan 2005
p. 1, 40.
Daily Variety
12 May 2005
p. 1, 13.
Daily Variety
12 Oct 2005.
---
Daily Variety
8 Dec 2005.
---
Daily Variety
28 Apr 2006
p. 1, 12.
Daily Variety
7 Nov 2006
p. 1, 14.
Daily Variety
30 Nov 2006
Section A, p. 1, 8.
Daily Variety
1 Dec 2006
p. 2, 9.
Ebony
Dec 2006.
---
Entertainment Weekly
18 Aug 2006
pp. 92-93.
Entertainment Weekly
22 Dec 2006
pp. 54-55.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Jul 1987.
---
Hollywood Reporter
22 Mar 1989.
---
Hollywood Reporter
23 Nov 2005.
---
Hollywood Reporter
17 Jan 2006.
---
Hollywood Reporter
31 Jan--6 Feb 2006
p. 23.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Mar--3 Apr 2006
p. 27.
Hollywood Reporter
22 May 2006
p. 11, 16.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Nov 2006
p. 8, 68.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Dec 2006.
---
Los Angeles Daily News
30 Sep 1998.
---
Los Angeles Times
20 Sep 1991.
---
Los Angeles Times
15 Nov 1992.
---
Los Angeles Times
4 Dec 2005.
---
Los Angeles Times
5 Nov 2006.
---
Los Angeles Times
5 Dec 2006
Calendar, p. 1, 5.
Los Angeles Times
12 Dec 2006
Calendar, p. 1, 5.
Los Angeles Times
15 Dec 2006.
---
Los Angeles Times
18 Dec 2006
Calendar, p. 1, 5.
Los Angeles Times
20 Dec 2006
The Envelope, p. 20, 24-26.
Los Angeles Times
23 Dec 2006
Calendar, p. 1, 5.
New York Times
24 Mar 1989.
---
New York Times
24 Jul 1998.
---
New York Times
10 Sep 2006
p. 40, 42.
New York Times
15 Dec 2006.
---
Newsweek
11 Dec 2006.
---
People
16 Feb 1987.
---
Rolling Stone
14 Dec 2006
p. 132.
Screen International
20 Sep 1996.
---
Vanity Fair
Jan 2007
pp. 92-99, 142-44.
Variety
18 May 1988
p. 6.
Variety
30 Nov 2006.
---
Vogue
Sep 2006.
---
Wall Street Journal
8 Dec 2006
Section W, p. 1, 8.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
and introducing
Stepp Sisters:
Sweethearts:
Charles Jones
Go-go dancers:
Campbell Connection dancers:
Bad Side dancers:
Disco dancers:
Jimmy's band:
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Laurence Mark Production; A Bill Condon Film
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
2d unit dir
1st asst dir
2d unit 1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Co-prod
Assoc prod
WRITER
Wrt for the screen by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
2d unit dir of photog
Theatrical lighting des
Theatrical lighting des
Theatrical lighting consultant
Theatrical lighting coord
Theatrical lighting best boy
Theatrical lighting best boy
Theatrical lighting tech
Theatrical lighting tech
Theatrical lighting tech
Cam op/Steadicam
2d unit 1st asst cam
2d unit 2d asst cam
A 1st asst cam
A 2d asst cam
B cam op
B 1st asst cam
B 2d asst cam
C cam op
C 1st asst cam
C 2d asst cam
Loader
Still photog
Video op
2d unit video assist
24 frame playback op
24 frame playback op
Chief lighting tech
Asst chief lighting tech
Dimmer board op
Elec
2d unit gaffer
2d unit gaffer
Rigging gaffer
Best boy rigging elec
Key grip
Best boy grip
Dolly grip
Dolly grip
Grip
Rigging grip
Best boy rigging grip
Projectionist
Cam dollies by
Video cam
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Supv art dir
Asst art dir
Asst art dir
Art dept coord
Graphic des
Graphic des
Prod illustrator
Model maker
Storyboard artist
Storyboard artist
Storyboard artist
Storyboard artist
Cleopatra illustrations by
FILM EDITORS
1st asst ed
2d asst ed
Negative cutter
On-line ed, Company 3
Asst ed, Company 3
[Edited on]
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Prop master
Asst prop master
Asst props
Asst props
Asst props
Propmaker gang boss
Propmaker gang boss
Propmaker gang boss
Set des
Set des
Leadperson
Gang boss
Gang boss
Set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser
On set dresser
Set dec coord
Drapery foreman
Drapery gang boss
Const coord
Const foreman
Const foreman
Const foreman
Const foreman
Const foreman
Const foreman
Const foreman
Const foreman
Const buyer
Stand by painter
Paint supv
Sign supv
Paint foreman
Paint foreman
Paint foreman
Paint foreman
Gen foreman
Welding foreman
Head labor foreman
Labor foreman
Labor foreman
Labor foreman
Labor foreman
Labor foreman
Labor foreman
Tool foreman
Plaster foreman
Plaster foreman
COSTUMES
Cost des
Asst cost des
Cost supv
Key cost
Cost illustrator
Set cost
Set cost
Set cost
Mr. Foxx's cost
Mr. Murphy's cost
Cost
Cost
Cutter/Fitter
Tailor
MUSIC
Songs from the orig Broadway prod of Dreamgirls wr
Songs from the orig Broadway prod of Dreamgirls wr
Orig score and arr
Mus supv
Mus supv
Songs arr & prod
Mus exec
Addl mus
Supv mus ed
Mus ed
Addl mus ed
Vocal sync mus ed
Librarian
Vocal supv
Mus arr
Mus arr
Mus arr
Mus arr
Orig Broadway orch
Orig Broadway vocal arr
Mus eng
Mus eng
Mus eng
Mus eng
Addl mus and string arr
String arr
Horn arr
Orch and cond
Choirmaster
Mixing eng
Asst mixing eng
Mus contractor
Mus contractor
Rehearsal pianist
Rehearsal drummer
SOUND
Supv sd ed/Sd des
1st asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec at
Prod sd mixer
Boom op
Audio playback
Utility sd
Recordist
Sd editorial by
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Supv ADR ed
Dial ed
Supv Foley ed
Foley ed
Foley artist
Foley artist
Foley mixer
Loop group provided by
ADR services provided by
ADR services provided by
ADR services provided by
ADR services provided by
ADR services provided by
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff coord
Spec eff foreman
On set spec eff foreman
Spec eff tech
Spec eff tech
Spec eff tech
Spec eff tech
Spec eff tech
Pre-vis des
End title seq des and prod
Creative supv, Picture Mill
Lead des, Picture Mill
Des, Picture Mill
Prod, Picture Mill
Ed, Picture Mill
Lead anim & compositor, Picture Mill
Anim, Picture Mill
Anim, Picture Mill
3D anim, Picture Mill
Coord, Picture Mill
Visual eff supv
Visual eff supv prod
Visual eff prod, Gray Matter Visual Effects
Compositor, Gray Matter Visual Effects
Compositor, Gray Matter Visual Effects
Compositor, Gray Matter Visual Effects
Compositor, Gray Matter Visual Effects
Compositor, Gray Matter Visual Effects
Compositor/IO mgr, Gray Matter Visual Effects
Matte painter, Gray Matter Visual Effects
3D artist, Gray Matter Visual Effects
3D artist, Gray Matter Visual Effects
Roto artist, Gray Matter Visual Effects
Systems administrator, Gray Matter Visual Effects
Motion graphics mont
Motion graphics mont
DANCE
Choreog
Co-choreog
Assoc choreog
Choreog's asst
MAKEUP
Dept head makeup
Key makeup artist
Makeup artist
Makeup artist
Mr. Foxx's makeup artist
Ms. Knowles' makeup artist
Mr. Murphy's makeup artist
Dept head hairstylist
Key hairstylist
Hairstylist
Mr. Foxx's hairstylist
Ms. Knowles' hairstylist
Mr. Murphy's hairstylist
Mr. Murphy's hairstylist
Extras' hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Casting
Casting exec
Casting assoc
Casting assoc
Casting asst
Casting asst
Unit prod mgr
2d unit prod mgr
Prod supv
Prod coord
Asst prod coord
Scr supv
2d unit scr supv
Prod secy
Prod accountant
Assoc accountant
1st asst accountant
2d asst accountant
2d asst accountant
2d asst accountant
Payroll accountant
Payroll accountant
Const accountant
Accounting clerk
Account exec, Technicolor
Digital intermediate account exec, Company 3
Accountant, Gray Matter Visual Effects
Prod office coord, Gray Matter Visual Effects
Loc mgr
Key asst loc mgr
Asst loc mgr
Asst loc mgr
Asst loc mgr
Asst loc mgr
Loc scout
2d unit loc scout
Acting coach
Acting coach
Unit pub
Stock footage researcher
Stock footage researcher
Post prod supv
Post prod asst
Post prod services by
Asst to Mr. Condon
Asst to Mr. Mark
Asst to Ms. Whitcher
Asst to Mr. Foxx
Asst to Ms. Knowles
Asst to Ms. Knowles
Exec asst to Mr. Murphy
Personal asst to Mr. Murphy
Personal asst to Mr. Murphy
Asst to Mr. Schliessler
Prod assoc
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
2d unit prod asst
2d unit prod asst
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Transporation office coord
Transportation dispatcher
Picture car coord
Picture car wrangler
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Craft service
2d unit craft service
Addl craft service
Caterer
First aid
First aid
First aid
First aid
First aid
2d unit medic
2d unit medic
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stand-in
Stand-in
Stand-in
Stand-in
Stand-in
COLOR PERSONNEL
Telecine and preview services provided by
Dailies colorist, Technicolor
Preview colorist, Technicolor
High definition preview ed, Technicolor
Preview tech, Technicolor
Preview tech, Technicolor
Deluxe col timer
Digital intermediate provided by
Exec prod for Company 3/Colorist
Digital intermediate prod, Company 3
Company 3 prod
Asst colorist, Company 3
Digital intermediate scanning, Company 3
Digital intermediate technologist, Company 3
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the musical Dreamgirls , music by Henry Krieger, book and lyrics by Tom Eyen, produced on Broadway by Michael Bennett, Robert Avian, David Geffen and The Shubert Organization, directed and choreographed for the stage by Michael Bennett (New York, 20 Dec 1981).
MUSIC
"Big (Jazz Instrumental)" by Henry Krieger.
SONGS
[Songs below are listed in order of performance.] "I'm Looking for Something," music by Henry Krieger, lyrics by Tom Eyen, performed by Maxi Anderson, Charlene Carmon and Keisha Heely
“Goin’ Downtown,” music by Henry Krieger, lyrics by Tom Eyen, performed by Steve Russell, Durrell Babbs, Luke Boyd and Eric Dawkins
“Takin’ the Long Way Home,” music by Henry Krieger, lyrics by Tom Eyen, performed by Michael-Leon Wooley
+
SONGS
[Songs below are listed in order of performance.] "I'm Looking for Something," music by Henry Krieger, lyrics by Tom Eyen, performed by Maxi Anderson, Charlene Carmon and Keisha Heely
“Goin’ Downtown,” music by Henry Krieger, lyrics by Tom Eyen, performed by Steve Russell, Durrell Babbs, Luke Boyd and Eric Dawkins
“Takin’ the Long Way Home,” music by Henry Krieger, lyrics by Tom Eyen, performed by Michael-Leon Wooley
“Move,” music by Henry Krieger, lyrics by Tom Eyen, performed by Jennifer Hudson, Beyoncé Knowles and Anika Noni Rose
“Fake Your Way to the Top,” music by Henry Krieger, lyrics by Tom Eyen, performed by Jennifer Hudson, Beyoncé Knowles, Eddie Murphy and Anika Noni Rose
“Cadillac Car,” music by Henry Krieger, lyrics by Tom Eyen, performed by Laura Bell Bundy, Jennifer Hudson, Beyoncé Knowles, Eddie Murphy, Rory O’Malley, Anika Noni Rose and Anne Warren
“Steppin’ to the Bad Side,” music by Henry Krieger, lyrics by Tom Eyen, performed by Hinton Battle, Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Hudson, Beyoncé Knowles, Eddie Murphy, Keith Robinson and Anika Noni Rose
“I Want You Baby,” music by Henry Krieger, lyrics by Tom Eyen, performed by Jennifer Hudson, Beyoncé Knowles, Eddie Murphy and Anika Noni Rose
“Family,” music by Henry Krieger, lyrics by Tom Eyen, performed by Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Hudson, Beyoncé Knowles, Keith Robinson and Anika Noni Rose
“Dreamgirls,” music by Henry Krieger, lyrics by Tom Eyen, performed by Jennifer Hudson, Beyoncé Knowles and Anika Noni Rose
“Heavy,” music by Henry Krieger, lyrics by Tom Eyen, performed by Jennifer Hudson, Beyoncé Knowles and Anika Noni Rose
“It’s All Over,” music by Henry Krieger, lyrics by Tom Eyen, performed by Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Hudson, Beyoncé Knowles, Sharon Leal, Keith Robinson and Anika Noni Rose
“And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going,” music by Henry Krieger, lyrics by Tom Eyen, performed by Jennifer Hudson
“Love Love Me Baby,” music by Henry Krieger, lyrics by Tom Eyen, performed by Beyoncé Knowles, Sharon Leal and Anika Noni Rose
“I’m Somebody,” music by Henry Krieger, lyrics by Tom Eyen, performed by Beyoncé Knowles, Sharon Leal and Anika Noni Rose
“When I First Saw You,” music by Henry Krieger, lyrics by Tom Eyen, performed by Jamie Foxx
“I Am Changing,” music by Henry Krieger, lyrics by Tom Eyen, performed by Jennifer Hudson
“I Meant You No Harm/Jimmy’s Rap,” music by Henry Krieger, lyrics by Tom Eyen, performed by Eddie Murphy
“Lorrell Loves Jimmy,” music by Henry Krieger, lyrics by Tom Eyen, performed by Anika Noni Rose
“Family (Reprise),” music by Henry Krieger, lyrics by Tom Eyen, performed by Beyoncé Knowles, Sharon Leal, Anika Noni Rose
“Step on Over,” music by Henry Krieger, lyrics by Tom Eyen, performed by Beyoncé Knowles, Sharon Leal and Anika Noni Rose
“I Miss You Old Friend,” music by Henry Krieger, lyrics by Tom Eyen, performed by Loretta Devine
“One Night Only,” music by Henry Krieger, lyrics by Tom Eyen, performed by Jennifer Hudson
“One Night Only (Disco),” music by Henry Krieger, lyrics by Tom Eyen, performed by Beyoncé Knowles, Sharon Leal and Anika Noni Rose
“Hard to Say Goodbye,” music by Henry Krieger, lyrics by Tom Eyen, performed by Beyoncé Knowles, Sharon Leal and Anika Noni Rose
“Dreamgirls (Finale),” music by Henry Krieger, lyrics by Tom Eyen, performed by Jennifer Hudson, Beyoncé Knowles, Sharon Leal and Anika Noni Rose
“When I First Saw You (Duet),” music by Henry Krieger, lyrics by Tom Eyen, performed by Jamie Foxx and Beyoncé Knowles. [Songs written for the motion picture:] “Love You I Do,” written by Henry Krieger and Siedah Garrett, performed by Jennifer Hudson
“Patience,” written by Henry Krieger and Willie Reale, performed by Eddie Murphy, Keith Robinson and Anika Noni Rose
“Perfect World,” written by Henry Krieger and Siedah Garrett, performed by Steve Russell
“Listen,” written by Henry Krieger, Scott Cutler, Beyoncé Knowles and Anne Preven, performed by Beyoncé Knowles, produced by Beyoncé Knowles and The Underdogs
Jamie Foxx appears courtesy of J Records
Jennifer Hudson appears courtesy of Arista Records
Beyoncé Knowles appears courtesy of Sony Urban Music/Columbia Records
"White Christmas," written by Irving Berlin, performed by Paul Rabjohns
"Silent Night," music by Franz Grober, lyrics by Joseph Mohr, English lyrics anonymous, performed by The Impressions, courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp., by arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing.
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DETAILS
Release Date:
25 December 2006
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco openings: 15 December 2006
Production Date:
17 January--mid April 2006 at Los Angeles Center Studios
Copyright Claimant:
DreamWorks, LLC and Paramount Pictures
Copyright Date:
15 December 2006
Copyright Number:
PA0001341172
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Digital; dts Digital Sound; SDDS Sony Dynamic Digital Sound in selected theatres
Color
Deluxe; Kodak Motion Picture Film
Lenses/Prints
Filmed with Panavision cameras & lenses
Duration(in mins):
130-131
MPAA Rating:
PG-13
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
42971
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In early 1960s Detroit, childhood friends Effie White, Deena Jones and Lorrell Robinson attempt to participate in a big talent contest, but because Effie, the powerhouse lead singer of their group, The Dreamettes, is late, the girls are told they cannot perform. Curtis Taylor, Jr., an ambitious Cadillac salesman who wants to break into the music business, persuades the manager to allow The Dreamettes to go on. When he sees how talented the teenaged girls are, Curtis finagles them a job as backup singers for James “Thunder” Early, a charismatic R&B performer whose infidelities have cost him his usual singers. Although Effie is reluctant, as she considers singing backup a “trap,” the other girls are enthusiastic, as is C. C., Effie’s brother who is their songwriter and choreographer. They convince Effie to accept and also to allow Curtis to become their manager, and soon the starstruck girls are accompanying Jimmy on a ten-week, cross-country tour. The beautiful but naïve Deena and giggly Lorrell continue to follow the lead of curvaceous, boisterous Effie, whom Curtis has singled out for attention because he knows that she is the most talented. Jimmy attempts to flirt with Lorrell, but Lorrell, knowing that he is married, rebuffs him. After the tour, Effie begins a romance with Curtis, who tells Jimmy that he needs a “new sound” and gets him to listen to one of C. C.’s songs. Marty Madison, a more old-fashioned manager than the cunning Curtis, thinks that the song is low-class, but Jimmy likes the catchy tune and records it with The Dreamettes in a recording studio that Curtis and his partner, Wayne, have ... +


In early 1960s Detroit, childhood friends Effie White, Deena Jones and Lorrell Robinson attempt to participate in a big talent contest, but because Effie, the powerhouse lead singer of their group, The Dreamettes, is late, the girls are told they cannot perform. Curtis Taylor, Jr., an ambitious Cadillac salesman who wants to break into the music business, persuades the manager to allow The Dreamettes to go on. When he sees how talented the teenaged girls are, Curtis finagles them a job as backup singers for James “Thunder” Early, a charismatic R&B performer whose infidelities have cost him his usual singers. Although Effie is reluctant, as she considers singing backup a “trap,” the other girls are enthusiastic, as is C. C., Effie’s brother who is their songwriter and choreographer. They convince Effie to accept and also to allow Curtis to become their manager, and soon the starstruck girls are accompanying Jimmy on a ten-week, cross-country tour. The beautiful but naïve Deena and giggly Lorrell continue to follow the lead of curvaceous, boisterous Effie, whom Curtis has singled out for attention because he knows that she is the most talented. Jimmy attempts to flirt with Lorrell, but Lorrell, knowing that he is married, rebuffs him. After the tour, Effie begins a romance with Curtis, who tells Jimmy that he needs a “new sound” and gets him to listen to one of C. C.’s songs. Marty Madison, a more old-fashioned manager than the cunning Curtis, thinks that the song is low-class, but Jimmy likes the catchy tune and records it with The Dreamettes in a recording studio that Curtis and his partner, Wayne, have erected inside their car dealership. The group watches excitedly as the song moves up the charts, but then, as has happened frequently with other African-American artists, the song is re-recorded by white singers, with the original version being forgotten. Curtis, Jimmy and the girls are distraught, especially when the white group is featured on the influential television show American Bandstand . Determined to obtain more radio coverage, Curtis resorts to payola, the common practice of paying off radio deejays. To obtain the money, Curtis, Wayne and C. C. work overtime selling cars and gamble with the proceeds. Thanks to the bribes, which are recorded by Curtis in a ledger, Jimmy and the Dreamettes’ next song reaches number one. Because of their new prestige, the group is invited to sing at the Apollo Theatre in New York City, where C. C. choreographs an elaborate show for them. Curtis begins his own record label, Rainbow Records, and Effie is proud of his progress when he releases a recording of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Hoping that Curtis will promote her more, Effie records a love song for him, and although Curtis promises her that he will not let her magnificent voice “go to waste,” he cynically assumes that she is too dark-skinned and overweight to be his ticket to fame. Curtis is then confronted by Marty, who is furious that he is trying to book Jimmy into the prestigious, white-owned Paradise Hotel in Miami. Curtis in turn lambastes Marty for being so narrow-minded that he has kept Jimmy trapped in the “Chitlin’ Circuit.” After Jimmy affirms that Curtis is his new manager, the disillusioned Marty storms out. Reiterating his motto that Jimmy needs “a new sound,” Curtis softens his rough, jive style, and when Jimmy and the Dreamettes become the first black headliners at the Paradise, they perform a sophisticated ballad. As the number continues, however, Jimmy cannot restrain himself from breaking into some funky dance steps, and the white audience reacts with distaste. After the show, Lorrell confides in Deena that she has lost her virginity to Jimmy, whom she loves even though he is still married. Curtis then informs the girls that they will be forming their own group, without Jimmy, and be renamed The Dreams because they are now grown up. The girls are thrilled by Curtis’ designs for their new look until he tells them that Deena will sing lead while Effie will join Lorrell in singing backup. Although Curtis explains that the prettier, whiter-sounding Deena will ensure them television exposure, Effie is crushed, protesting that she is the one who has “the voice.” Effie is humiliated when C. C. supports Curtis, but eventually they all persuade her to acquiesce by asserting that she will have more opportunities after they are famous. The hotel soon presents the debut of The Dreams, although even Deena’s mother May has reservations about her daughter’s abilities. Curtis is pleased when May observes that he is treating the malleable Deena like “a product,” and continues to manufacture a polished image for the girls. As time passes, The Dreams become a sensation and fulfill Curtis’ ambition by appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show . Effie is annoyed when Curtis praises Deena during press conferences, claiming that she is the “true story” behind The Dreams, and begins to act erratically. Tired of Effie’s diva-like behavior, Curtis chastises her during a recording session and she declares that she knows he is sleeping with Deena, whom she accuses of stealing her dream and her man. Effie attempts to leave, but outside is stunned into immobility by rioters roaming the streets of Detroit. Curtis tenderly ushers her back inside but continues to favor Deena and criticizes Effie for gaining weight. Although Effie protests that she is unwell, everyone, including C. C., grows irritated by her behavior. Just before an important show, Effie is mortified to discover that she has been replaced in the group by Michelle Morris, Curtis’ secretary. Despite Curtis’ betrayal, Effie begs him to love her, but he turns his back on her. Now christened Deena Jones and the Dreams, the group achieves new heights over the next six years, with Curtis overseeing all aspects of their lives. Curtis and Deena, who have married, live in a Hollywood mansion, although Deena remains lonely and unfulfilled as Curtis builds his music empire. Curtis insists that Deena star in a black-produced film about Cleopatra, despite Deena’s protests that she is too old for the part. Curtis attempts to placate her with vows of love, although Deena suspects that he is not interested in the real her, only in the image he can mold. Meanwhile, Effie, having descended into poverty, is attempting to rear her daughter Magic alone. Effie, who never told Curtis that he was a father, has trouble finding singing work because of her reputation for being difficult and asks Marty for help. While Marty attempts to find Effie a job, Jimmy records C. C.’s latest socially conscious song. Curtis dismisses the song, however, telling Jimmy that success is about selling records, not emoting. Crushed, Jimmy resorts to shooting heroin, much to Lorrell’s dismay. Marty persuades nightclub owner Max Washington to audition Effie, who has been sabotaging herself due to her lack of confidence. When Marty and Max react negatively to Effie’s excuses, she regains some of her former bravado and upon becoming the club’s headliner, draws huge crowds. Meanwhile, in Hollywood, Curtis’ groups participate in a televised tribute for the tenth anniversary of Rainbow Records. Backstage, Lorrell tends to Jimmy, who deals with his personal and professional woes by continuing to get high. Lorrell realizes that Jimmy will never leave his wife, who is in the audience, and he ends her tirade by coldly telling her that he has a show to do. While singing the “mellow sounds” forced on him by Curtis, Jimmy changes tempo, declaring that he must be true to himself. His feisty performance wows the crowd, although Curtis is infuriated when Jimmy finishes by dropping his trousers. Curtis fires Jimmy, who turns to Lorrell for comfort, but she responds that she also has a show to do. Later, at Rainbow headquarters, C. C. upbraids Curtis for “squeezing the soul” out of his songs, while at home, Lorrell learns that Jimmy has died from an overdose. C. C. returns to Detroit but Effie, still hurt, refuses to acknowledge him until he corners her at a wake for Jimmy and explains that his newest song could be a hit if it is sung by her rather than becoming homogenized by Curtis. Effie records the song, “One Night Only,” and it becomes popular in Detroit. When Curtis hears it, he buys up all the copies, bribes deejays not to play it and, without telling Deena of its origin, has her re-record it in a disco version. Effie watches with despair as Deena, Lorrell and Michelle perform the song on television, and later, Deena is distressed when Curtis reprimands her for meeting with a movie director behind his back. Declaring that Deena is nothing but what he made her, Curtis warns her that he will never let her out of her contract. Deena discovers that “One Night Only” originally was Effie’s and, realizing that she is at a crossroads, uncovers Curtis’ ledgers detailing his bribery and mob connections. After Deena contacts them, Marty, C. C. and their lawyer confront Curtis, threatening that if he does not allow Effie’s version of “One Night Only” to be distributed nationwide, they will go public with the evidence of his corruption. Deena, who has reconciled with Effie, leaves Curtis, telling him that she needs a new sound. Soon after, at the farewell performance of Deena Jones and the Dreams, Curtis watches glumly as Deena proudly welcomes Effie onstage to sing with the group. While Effie sings to Magic, Curtis follows her gaze and, in astonishment, deduces that Magic is his daughter. As the audience gives The Dreams a standing ovation, Magic cries with pride at her mother’s accomplishment. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award
The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.