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Mo' Better Blues Details

FULL SYNOPSIS

Spike Lee's 1990 directing effort is a jazz film, the story of a fictional trumpeter named Bleek Gilliam (Denzel Washington). He leads a quintet at the Beneath the Underground club with a flashy saxophonist named Shadow Henderson (Wesley Snipes). Though Shadow takes a few too many solos, everything seems fine in Bleek's life. Trouble soon arises, however, and he is forced to make decisions regarding both his best friend Giant (Spike Lee), and his relationships with two women. Giant, his manager and old pal, is addicted to gambling and often gets roughed up by thugs looking for pay back. Bleek is the only member of the quintet who wants to keep him as manager. The trumpeter's woman problems concern trying to decide between two girlfriends who both love him: a schoolteacher (Joie Lee) and a singer (Cynda Williams). Spike's father Bill Lee scored the film, with contributions from Branford Marsalis, Terence Blanchard, Abbey Lincoln and Ruben Blades (who plays Giant's bookie). ~ John Bush, Rovi

  • Release date:August 3, 1990

Cast

Denzel Washington
as Bleek Gilliam
Spike Lee
as Giant
Wesley Snipes
as Shadow Henderson
Joie Lee
as Indigo Downes
Cynda Williams
as Clarke Bentancourt
Giancarlo Esposito
as Left Hand Lacey
Robin Harris
as Butterbean Jones
Bill Nunn
as Bottom Hammer
Dick Anthony Williams
as Big Stop Gilliam
Rubén Blades
as Petey
Nicholas Turturro
as Josh Flatbush
Abbey Lincoln
as Lillian Gilliam
Linda Hawkins
as Jeanne
Zakee Howze
as Young Bleek/Miles
Bill Lee
as Father of the Bride
Branford Marsalis
as Party Guest
Samuel L. Jackson
as Madlock
Leonard Thomas
as Rod
Charlie Murphy
as Eggy
Steve White
as Born Knowledge
Joe Seneca
as Big Stop's Friend
Tracy Camilla Johns
John Canada Terrell
Monty Ross
Mamie Louise Anderson
as Club Patron
Douglas Bourne
as Jimmy the Busboy
Leon Addison Brown
as Smith
Arnold Cromer
as Miles, Age 5
Raye Dowell
as Rita
Anaysha Figueroa
as Shanika
Flavor Flav
as Impatient Movie Patron
Angela Hall
as Cora
Coati Mundi
as Roberto
Robi Reed
Deon Richmond
as Tyrone
Scot Anthony Robinson
as Cooley
Christopher Skeffrey
as Louis
John Sobestanovich
as Taxi Driver
Raymond Anthony Thomas
as Joe
Sheldon Turnipseed
as Benny
Terrence Williams
as Sam
Raymond Anthony Thomas
as Joe
Terrence Williams
as Sam
Angela Hall
as Cora
Raye Dowell
as Rita
John Sobestanovich
as Taxi Driver
Arnold Cromer
as Miles, Age 5
Leon Addison Brown
as Smith
Sheldon Turnipseed
as Benny
Deon Richmond
as Tyrone
Douglas Bourne
as Jimmy the Busboy
Christopher Skeffrey
as Louis
Scot Anthony Robinson
as Cooley
Coati Mundi
as Roberto
Mamie Louise Anderson
as Club Patron
Flavor Flav
as Impatient Movie Patron
Anaysha Figueroa
as Shanika

Crew

Spike Lee
Director
Spike Lee
Producer
Jon Kilik
Producer
Spike Lee
Screenwriter
Ernest R. Dickerson
Cinematographer
Spike Lee
Songwriter
Raynard Miner
Songwriter
Branford Marsalis
Songwriter
John Coltrane
Featured Music
Christopher "Play" Martin
Songwriter
Terence Blanchard
Songwriter
Miles Davis
Featured Music
Ornette Coleman
Songwriter
Wayne Shorter
Songwriter
Bill Lee
Songwriter
Bill Lee
Musical Direction/Supervision
Bill Lee
Composer (Music Score)
Sam Pollard
Editor
Wynn P. Thomas
Production Designer
Ted Glass
Art Director
Monty Ross
Co-producer
Ted Glass
Set Designer
Ruth E. Carter
Costume Designer
Tom Newton
Special Effects
Tom Brumberger
Special Effects
Terence Blanchard
Consultant/advisor
Jeff Ward
Stunts
Robi Reed
Casting
Matiki Anoff
Makeup
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