- 1 hr 40 min
Bojangles is a biographical drama based on the life of legendary tap dancer Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, played by Gregory Hines. The film follows Robinson's rise to fame during the early 20th century, as he became one of the most iconic and influential figures in the world of dance. The movie opens with a young Robinson living in poverty in Richmond, Virginia, where he began dancing as a way to escape the harsh realities of his life. However, it was clear from an early age that Robinson had a natural talent for tap dancing, and he quickly made a name for himself on the local vaudeville circuit. As Robinson's fame grew, he began to attract the attention of big-time producers and Broadway directors, which eventually led to his breakout role in the 1935 film The Little Colonel, starring Shirley Temple. The film's famous "stair dance" sequence featuring Robinson and Temple became an instant classic, and cemented Robinson's place as one of the greatest entertainers of his time. Throughout the film, we see Robinson facing various challenges, both professionally and personally. He deals with discrimination and racism, both from white audiences who refuse to accept a black performer, as well as from other black performers who accuse him of pandering to white audiences. Additionally, Robinson struggles with a tumultuous love life, as he marries and divorces several women throughout his career. Despite these challenges, Robinson remains a beloved figure in the entertainment industry, known for his incredible talent, his infectious charisma, and his unwavering commitment to his craft. He continues to perform into his later years, even as his health begins to decline, and his legacy as a pioneer in the world of tap dancing lives on to this day. The supporting cast of Bojangles is equally impressive, with standout performances from Peter Riegert as Robinson's producer and mentor Marty Forkins, and Kimberly Elise as Robinson's wife and fellow performer Lena Horne. The film also features an incredible soundtrack, with Hines delivering show-stopping dance numbers to classic jazz and swing music. Overall, Bojangles is a heartfelt tribute to one of the greatest entertainers of all time, and a fascinating look at the history of tap dancing and African American performers during the early 20th century. With incredible performances, stunning dance sequences, and a compelling story that is both entertaining and informative, this film is a must-see for anyone interested in the history of American entertainment.