Lady Sings the Blues
Lady Sings the Blues (1972)

Diana Ross plays the magnificent, tragic song stylist Billie Holiday, who while writhing in a strait jacket in a prison cell, awaiting sentencing on drug charges, reflects on her turbulent life. Raped in her youth by a drunk (Adolph… More

Directed By:
Rated: R
Running Time:
Release Date: October 12, 1972
DVD Release Date: November 8, 2005
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Critic Score: 75% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Douglas Pratt
Hollywood Reporter

Ross conveys the vulnerability and determination of her character across a very believable arc of maturation.

Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader

Clearly, it's an affront to Holiday's art, but just as clearly, it's a good piece of low entertainment.

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Cole Smithey

Ross so perfectly captures the essence of Billie Holiday's vocal style that it sends chills down your spine.

Vincent Canby
New York Times

How is it possible for a movie that is otherwise so dreadful to contain such a singularly attractive performance in the title role?

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Emanuel Levy

Though she doesn't look or sing as Billie Holiday, Diana Rosss gives a commendable performance in this fictionalized biopic, for which she received an Oscar noimination.

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Eric Henderson
Slant Magazine

Berry Gordy's gift to Diana Ross was this lavish, bloated Billie Holiday biopic.

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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

The movie is filled with many of the great Billie Holiday songs, and Ross handles them in an interesting way. She doesn't sing in her own style, and she never tries to imitate Holiday, but she sings somehow in the manner of Holiday.

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TV Guide

View this film about Billie Holiday as a completely fictional story, and you'll enjoy it far more than you would otherwise.

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Don Willmott

Ross and director Sidney J. Furie seem to feel that the slower the song, the more serious the mood, so at times the film seems to be grinding almost to a halt

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More reviews for Lady Sings the Blues

Flixster Audience Score: 86% Flixster User Reviews
Mister Caple
Diana Ross should have won the Oscar for her brilliant portrayal of jazz legend Billie Holliday in a riveting performance produced by Motown legend Berry Gordy… More
Cameron Johnson
"Lady sings the blues, she's got them bad, she feels so sad and wants the world to know just what the blues is all about!" "And I guess… More
Stella Dallas
i'm a big fan of billie and she deserves a better film. this is dated, cliched, too long and hardly better than a tv movie. diana's not horrible but… More
John Ballantine
Diana Ross was an ideal candidate to breathe life into the train wreck that Billie Holiday became. The fall into the drug use is particularly horrific.

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