Watch James Brown - Live at Montreux 1981
- 1 hr 11 min
James Brown - Live at Montreux 1981 from 2014 is a musical documentary directed by John Frankenheimer and Sidney Levin, which captures a legendary concert performance by the Godfather of Soul, James Brown. The film stars Chadwick Boseman as James Brown, Nelsan Ellis as Bobby Byrd, and Dan Aykroyd as the concert promoter. The film begins with a brief introduction by Dan Aykroyd, who sets the scene for the concert that took place at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland in July 1981. Aykroyd explains how James Brown was initially reluctant to perform at the festival, but was eventually persuaded by the promoter to take the stage. The audience is then transported to the concert, where tensions are high and the anticipation is palpable.
James Brown's live performance in Montreux is truly electrifying. He takes the stage in a bejeweled outfit, flanked by his band and a group of backup dancers. From the very first notes of "Soul Power," it is clear that Brown is in top form. He moves with incredible precision and energy, thrilling the crowd with his signature dance moves, call and response chants, and soulful vocals.
Throughout the concert, Brown delivers some of his biggest hits, including "Get Up Offa That Thing," "It's a Man's Man's Man's World," and "Sex Machine." He also showcases some newer material, like "Rapp Payback (Where Iz Moses?)" and "Unity." The songs are all delivered with incredible passion and showmanship. At times, Brown even breaks out into impromptu preaching, urging the crowd to love and respect each other.
The film's standout performance is undoubtedly "Living in America," which Brown dedicates to the just-released American hostages in Iran. He performs the song with such passion and energy that it is impossible not to feel uplifted by his message of American pride.
Throughout the concert, Brown is supported by an incredibly talented band and backing vocalists, including Bobby Byrd, who plays a key role in many of Brown's songs. Byrd and Brown have a deep bond, and their chemistry is palpable on stage.
The film is not just a celebration of James Brown's music, but also a tribute to his incredible showmanship and artistry. He is a true master of his craft, commanding the stage with every strut, spin, and shout. Despite the intense energy of his performance, Brown also shows a softer side, like when he sits at the piano to perform a rendition of "Georgia on My Mind."
Overall, James Brown - Live at Montreux 1981 from 2014 is an incredible tribute to an iconic musician. Chadwick Boseman delivers a stunning performance as James Brown, capturing his charisma, energy, and talent. The film is a must-see for any fan of soul, funk, or R&B music, and is sure to leave audiences feeling inspired and uplifted.
James Brown - Live at Montreux 1981 is a drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 11 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.9 and a MetaScore of 71.