Tap (film)

Tap is a 1989 dance drama film written and directed by Nick Castle and starring Gregory Hines and Sammy Davis Jr.

Theatrical release poster
Directed byNick Castle
Produced byGary Adelson
Fran Saperstein
Richard Vane
Written byNick Castle
Music byJames Newton Howard
CinematographyDavid Gribble
Edited byPatrick Kennedy
Distributed byTriStar Pictures
Release date
February 10, 1989
Running time
111 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Box office$9.1 million


Max Washington (Gregory Hines), just released from prison after serving time for burglary, is a talented tap dancer. His late father owned a dance studio that is now run by Little Mo (Sammy Davis Jr.), whose daughter Amy Simms (Suzzanne Douglas) gives lessons to children. Back on the streets, Max isn't interested in dancing again but he is interested in seeing Amy, his former girlfriend. A local gangster, Nicky, doesn't care for Max personally but does try to recruit him to take part in a robbery. Amy has a job as dancer in an upcoming Broadway show and tells its choreographer about Max, hoping to land him a role in the chorus. Max is reluctant to agree to it, then incensed when he is humiliated during the auditions. Max must decide whether to swallow his pride and dance the way the man wants, or give up his art once and for all and return to a life of crime.



Tap was the final feature film appearance of Sammy Davis Jr. (he would co-star in the 1990 TV movie The Kid Who Loved Christmas, which aired after his death.)

The cast also included Suzzanne Douglas, Savion Glover, Joe Morton, and Terrence E. McNally. The original score was composed by James Newton Howard and the dance routines performed in Washington's old hangout, a club patronized by "hoofers", were choreographed by Henry LeTang. Also included are cameos, particularly during a challenge sequence, by veteran dancers Arthur Duncan, Bunny Briggs, Howard Sims, Steve Condos, Harold Nicholas, and Jimmy Slyde.

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