Watch Bessie

"Survival began with a song"

Bessie was an HBO film about Bessie Smith, a legendary blues singer. Bessie Smith was originally from Tennessee and became an orphan at a very young age. Bessie had several siblings and after her parents passed away her eldest sister was left to raise the children. Bessie Smith always had ambitions to be on the stage as a respected performer. However, Smith grew up at a time when African Americans were not respected as stage performers or singers. After trying very hard Bessie seemed to have no luck getting into show-business.

However, Bessie’s luck began to change when she met Ma Rainey. Ma Rainey was willing to help Bessie realize her dreams and true ambitions. After a period of time Bessie began to receive some positive recognition. After many years of hard work and rejection Bessie found that her luck began to change.

Bessie decided to take her brother Clarence wth her and she soon starts her very own show. Bessie met a manager who would later become her husband. Even though her husband helped boost her career the union was unhappy to say the least.

During the Great Depression most of the fortune that Bessie has earned disappeared. Bessie decides to move into a tiny apartment with her brother Clarence. In addition, Bessie finds herself back together with Ma Rainey. Possibly due to lonliness Bessie begins a relationship with a man named Richard.

Bessie is able to have a successful comeback. She once again earns a great deal of money from her singing talent and meets a man named John Hammond. Hammond would help to manage Bessie’s career and she seems to have really made her mark as a singer/ performer that really made it. Bessie gives a great deal of credit to Richard who would later become her husband.

R
| 2015 | 1 hr 52 min | 6.6/10
Cast
Michael Kenneth Williams, Tika Sumpter, Queen Latifah, Mike Epps
Studio
Zanuck Company
Director
Dee Rees
Language
English
Ad
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Watch Bessie Trailer

Bessie: Trailer (HBO Films)|1:31
What's Love Got To Do With It|1:19
Bessie: Trailer (HBO Films)|1:31

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