Tonight at 8PM HBO is premiering BESSIE, the bio pic of Bessie Smith famous singer of the 1920s and 1930s, starring Queen Latifah. For me Bessie Smith is inextricably linked to pre code film with her famous rendition of St. Louis Blues that can be heard in so many films of the era. I can't wait to see how her life is depicted.
Here she is a rare film short appearance from 1929, Bessie comes in at 4:20 and sings at 6:57. This film also features Jimmy Mordecai as the worst boyfriend in the world.
The network description:
Queen Latifah stars as legendary blues singer Bessie Smith in this HBO Films presentation, directed by acclaimed filmmaker Dee Rees from a screenplay by Dee Rees and Christopher Cleveland & Bettina Gilois. With a story by Dee Rees and Horton Foote, the film focuses on Smith’s transformation from a struggling young singer into “The Empress of the Blues,” who became one of the most successful recording artists of the 1920s and is an enduring icon today. BESSIE also stars Michael Kenneth Williams, Khandi Alexander, Mike Epps, Tika Sumpter, Tory Kittles, Oliver Platt, Bryan Greenberg, with Charles S. Dutton and Mo’Nique. Executive produced by Queen Latifah, Shakim Compere, Lili Fini Zanuck, Richard D. Zanuck, Shelby Stone, and Randi Michel. Ron Schmidt produces.
Here's the trailer