What's Love Got to Do with It (film)
What's Love Got to Do with It (marketed as Tina: What's Love Got to Do with It in some territories) is a 1993 American biographical musical drama film directed by Brian Gibson, from a screenplay written by Kate Lanier, based on the life of American singer Tina Turner. The film stars Angela Bassett as Turner, and Laurence Fishburne as Ike Turner. Adapted from Turner's autobiography I, Tina (1986), the film follows Turner's life, from her impoverished upbringing, to her rise to rock music superstardom, along with a tumultuous and abusive marriage to Ike.
|What's Love Got to Do with It|
|Directed by||Brian Gibson|
|Screenplay by||Kate Lanier|
|Based on||I, Tina|
by Tina Turner
|Music by||Stanley Clarke|
|Edited by||Stuart Pappé|
|Distributed by||Buena Vista Pictures|
|Box office||$56 million|
What's Love Got to Do with It premiered in Los Angeles on June 6, 1993, and was theatrically released on June 25 by Touchstone Pictures to critical and commercial success. Reviewers praised Gibson's direction, Lanier's adaptation, it's soundtrack, and most notably the performances of Bassett and Fishburne, while the film grossed $56 million on a $16 million budget. For their performances, Bassett and Fishburne received nominations at the 66th Academy Awards, for Best Actress, and Best Actor respectively. Bassett also won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Comedy or Musical.
Following her grandmother's death, Anna Mae relocates to St. Louis, reuniting with her mother and close sister Alline. Anna Mae pursues a chance to be a professional singer, after seeing charismatic bandleader Ike Turner perform one night. Later, she wins her spot in Turner's band after singing onstage, and he begins mentoring her. In time, an unexpected romance develops between the two, after she moves into Ike's home. Shortly afterwards, they marry and begin having musical success together as Ike & Tina Turner.
The marriage quickly turns violent when Ike starts physically dominating Tina, leaving her no chance to escape. In public, Tina rises from local St. Louis phenomenon into an R&B superstar, with Ike growing increasingly jealous of the attention given to her. Ike turns to drugs as his behavior worsens while Tina seeks to find solace in her chaotic life. Her friend turns her on to Buddhism, eventually convincing her that reciting the Lotus Sutra and chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo will help "change her life." Tina grows increasingly confident afterwards and, in a final fight with Ike, finally musters the courage to defend herself; eventually leaving Ike after they arrive at a hotel.
Winning the right to retain her stage name after their divorce, Tina continues working to pay bills. Tina gets a break after meeting Roger Davies, who eventually helps her realize her dreams of rock stardom. Despite Ike's attempts to win her back, Tina eventually prevails and finds solo success, accomplishing her dreams without Ike. The film concludes with real life concert footage of Tina in the 1980s.
- Angela Bassett as Tina Turner, born Anna Mae Bullock
- Rae'Ven Larrymore Kelly as young Anna Mae
- Cora Lee Day as Grandma Georgiana
- Khandi Alexander as Darlene
- Laurence Fishburne as Ike Turner
- Jenifer Lewis as Zelma Bullock, Tina's mother
- Phyllis Yvonne Stickney as Alline Bullock
- Penny Johnson Jerald as Lorraine Taylor
- Vanessa Bell Calloway as Jackie
- Chi McBride as Fross
- Sherman Augustus as Reggie
- Terrence Riggins as Spider
- Bo Kane as Dance Show Host
- Terrence Evans as Bus Driver
- Rob LaBelle as Phil Spector
- James Reyne as Roger Davies
- Richard T. Jones as Ike Turner Jr.
- Shavar Ross as Michael Turner
- Damon Hines as Ronnie Turner
- Suli McCullough as Craig Turner
- Elijah B. Saleem as teenage Ike Turner Jr.
Halle Berry, Robin Givens, Pam Grier, Whitney Houston, Janet Jackson, and Vanessa L. Williams were all considered for the role of Tina Turner. Whitney Houston was actually offered the role, but had to decline due to imminent maternity. Jenifer Lewis also originally auditioned to play Tina Turner but was cast instead as Tina's mother despite being only a year older than Bassett.
Angela Bassett auditioned for the role in October 1992 and was chosen only a month before production began in December. During that time she had to learn not only how to talk like Turner but to dance and move like her. She would have been willing to try to do the singing as well, but ''not in the time we had,'' she said. ''I did think about it for a second, though.'' Instead, she lip syncs to soundtracks recorded by Tina Turner and Fishburne. Bassett worked with Tina Turner, but only ''a little bit.'' Turner helped most with the re-creations of her famed dance routines. Bassett was injured while filming the first spousal abuse sequence. She fell off the back of a high-rise sofa, put her hands out to reduce the impact, and suffered a hairline fracture of her right hand. She only tried the stunt fall once, and footage leading up to the mishap appears in the film.
Actress Vanessa Bell Calloway, who plays the fictional character Jackie, was leery of voicing the Buddhist chant because of her strong Christian faith. Director Brian Gibson allowed her to form the words with her lips silently during filming and added the words with a voice double in post-production.
All the Ike & Tina Turner songs used in the film were newly re-recorded versions by Tina Turner. On "Proud Mary" and "It's Gonna Work Out Fine", Laurence Fishburne sings Ike Turner's parts. For Tina Turner's solo recordings, the original masters were used, including the Phil Spector-produced "River Deep - Mountain High."
Laurence Fishburne was offered the role of Ike Turner five times and turned it down each time. "It was pretty one-sided," said Fishburne, who turned down the project based on the script he first read. Ike, Fishburne added, was "obviously the villain of the piece, but there was no explanation as to why he behaved the way he behaved - why she was with him for 16 to 20 years, what made her stay." The writers made some changes and though Ike is still shown as a pretty despicable sort, the film offers at least some insight into him - most notably a scene in which Ike recalls watching, at age 6, his father's death from wounds suffered in a fight over a woman. The changes helped persuade Fishburne to do the role, but he says that Bassett's casting as Tina "was the deciding factor."
Fishburne did not have Ike Turner around as a role model as much as he would have liked. He met him once during production of the film. "He was not particularly welcome on this project," Fishburne says. The actor's only meeting was a brief introduction when Ike showed up at the Turners' former home in View Park during a location shoot. Ike signed some autographs and showed Fishburne his walk. "It was nice to meet him," says Fishburne. "Regardless of his actions, he was so much a part of Tina's life. The movie is about him just as much as her. It's unfortunate that he wasn't welcomed, that both of them weren't around more." Director Brian Gibson had no contact with Ike. "I never spoke to him," says Gibson. "I was not allowed to. Disney felt that it would not be a good idea."
Screenwriter Kate Lanier omitted much of the brutality Tina Turner said she endured in her book. Her character was also sanitized, most notably her relationship with saxophonist Raymond Hill and the birth of their son was excluded from the film. Lanier admitted that Tina Turner was not happy with certain aspects of the film because some parts were fictionalized. Tina Turner tried to talk to the Disney filmmakers about the script. In 1993, she told Vanity Fair that they saw "a deep need" to make a film about "a woman who was a victim to a con man. How weak! How shallow! How dare you think that was what I was? I was in control every minute there. I was there because I wanted to be, because I had promised." She added, "O.K. so if I was a victim, fine. Maybe I was a victim for a short while. But give me credit for thinking the whole time I was there. See, I do have pride."
- Ike did not sing or play guitar on the record "Rocket 88" as depicted in the film. He wrote the song and played piano on the record. His saxophonist Jackie Brenston was the vocalist. The record was released under the alias Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats who were actually Ike's band the Kings of Rhythm.
- The song Anna Mae first performs onstage with Ike, "You Know I Love You", was actually a slower B.B. King blues ballad; Ike played piano on King's record. When Anna Mae sang the song, Ike played the organ not the guitar as depicted in the film. Tina recorded a blues rock rendition of the song for the film's soundtrack.
- Anna Mae and Ike did not have sex the night his live-in girlfriend Lorraine Taylor shot herself as depicted. In reality, when Anna Mae was pregnant in 1958, Lorraine pulled a gun on her before shooting herself because she believed that Anna Mae and Ike were having an affair. However, Anna Mae and Ike were platonic friends until 1960 when she went to sleep in his bed after a musician threatened to come into her room.
- The first song Anna Mae is portrayed recording, "Tina's Wish", is actually a 1973 track titled "Make Me Over" from the album Nutbush City Limits. In reality, the first song she recorded is "Boxtop" in 1958.
- A theater marquee is shown for a 1960 show starring Otis Redding, Martha and the Vandellas, and Ike & Tina Turner. In reality, Martha and the Vandellas were known as The Del-Phis until 1961, and Otis Redding didn't become a solo act until 1962.
- In the film, Anna Mae learns of her name change to Tina Turner after the song is played on a radio in the hospital where a groggy Anna had given birth. In reality, Tina said she saw a vinyl copy of the song that showcased the name Ike & Tina Turner.
- In real life, Ike didn't call her Anna Mae, he called her either Ann or "Bo" (short for her surname Bullock). Even after she received the stage name Tina Turner, family and friends still called her Ann.
- The film implies that Tina's eldest child, Craig Raymond (born Raymond Craig in 1958), is Ike's biological son. In reality, his biological father was saxophonist Raymond Hill and Ike later adopted him. Tina and Ike have one biological child, Ronald "Ronnie" Renelle, born in 1960.
- The film depicts Ike and his entourage sneaking Tina out of the hospital after she gave birth to get married. In reality, Ike was not present for the birth of their son Ronnie. Tina wrote in her book that a few days after she checked herself out of the hospital, she discovered that the woman Ike hired to replace her while she recuperated was a prostitute using her stage name Tina Turner to get clients. She confronted the woman and after they got into a fight, Tina performed a show that night. Ike wrote in his book Takin' Back My Name that he was unaware the woman was a prostitute. He was out of town to attend a court hearing in St. Louis when Tina gave birth in Los Angeles. They married in 1962, two years after the birth of their son.
- Lorraine Taylor, the mother of Ike's sons Ike Junior and Michael, did not drop them off at his home with Tina as depicted in the film. In reality, Ike went to St. Louis and brought his sons to Los Angeles after Lorraine informed him she was going to leave them there. Tina also brought her son Craig to live with them.
- A reenactment clip of an interview with Ike and Tina was recreated in 1964, rather than 1971 when the real-life Turners were interviewed backstage during their gig at Caesar's Palace in a similar posture.
- In a scene dated 1968, Ike and Tina open for The Rolling Stones performing "Proud Mary." In reality, Ike and Tina didn't perform "Proud Mary" until after it was released by Creedence Clearwater Revival in 1969. The Rolling Stones didn't have any concerts in 1968; Ike and Tina opened for them on their 1966 British Tour and 1969 American Tour.
- Jackie and Frost are both fictional characters. Jackie represents an amalgamation of Ikettes and associates of Tina, one of which was Ike's Hokkeko friend named Valerie Isabel Bishop. Tina began practicing Buddhism from Bishop, who served and signed as her official sponsor during the Buddhist vow ceremony of what was then called "The Nichiren Shoshu of America" in 1973.
- The infamous "eat the cake Anna Mae" scene was an exaggerated reenactment of an incident that occurred during the early years of the revue. Tina recalled that when they stopped to order food, someone brought her a pound cake while they were sitting in a car. Although Tina said she didn't order it, Ike ordered her to eat all of it while he watched.
- The scene where Tina was raped during the recording of "Nutbush City Limits " was exaggerated from what she stated in her book. Tina claimed that sometimes after Ike would hit her, he then would have sex with her. Ike maintained that he never raped Tina. "Nutbush City Limits" was recorded at their Bolic Sound recording studio, not at home as depicted in the film.
- The film depicts Tina's suicide attempt in 1974 when it actually occurred six years prior in 1968.
- Ike did not tell Tina "if you don't make it, I'll kill you" as depicted in the ambulance scene. Tina stated in her book that after her suicide attempt she joked with a friend that she was so afraid of Ike, he probably threatened her which is why she survived. She was unconscious and didn't know what he actually said. Ike stated in his book that he scolded Tina as his way of motivating her to fight for her life.
- During the time Tina is planning her comeback in the early 1980s, a reenactment of an interview features Tina rehearsing her song "I Might Have Been Queen." The song would be recorded for her 1984 comeback album, Private Dancer.
- The incident in the Ritz Theatre where Ike fails to scare Tina with his pistol was fabricated. Tina claimed that Ike made threats to harm her and her associates after she left him. Ike did not threaten her in person with a gun as depicted.
- Before performing "What's Love Got to Do with It " at the Ritz in 1983, the emcee announces that it was her "first appearance," but she first performed there in 1981. Her 1983 performance there occurred before the recording of "What's Love Got to Do with It" and led to Capitol Records signing a contract with her.
- A title card at the end states that Tina's first solo album won four Grammy Awards, implying it was Private Dancer. In reality that album was her fifth solo album. Her first two solo albums (Tina Turns The Country On! and Acid Queen) were released while she was still with Ike, and two (Rough and Love Explosion) were released after.
The film received critical acclaim. On Rotten Tomatoes, it has a "Certified Fresh" approval rating of 97% based on 58 reviews. The site's consensus is: "With a fascinating real-life story and powerhouse performances from Angela Bassett and Laurence Fishburne, What's Love Got to Do with It is a can't miss biopic." Audiences surveyed by CinemaScore gave the film a grade A on scale of A to F.
Janet Maslin of The New York Times, wrote: "The brilliant, mercurial portrayal of Ike Turner by Laurence Fishburne, formerly known as Larry, is what elevates 'What's Love Got to Do With It' beyond the realm of run-of-the-mill biography."Gene Siskel of the Chicago Tribune gave it 4 out of 4, calling it: "A powerful, joyful, raw, energetically acted bio-pic detailing the joys and pain of the on- and offstage lives of blues rockers Ike and Tina Turner." 
Ike Turner said that the film and Tina Turner's book are "filled with lies." In his autobiography, Takin' Back My Name, he said Fishburne did "a fantastic job, though the job he did isn't really me." He was especially upset about the fabricated rape scene, which he said "was the lowest thing they could have ever done." He added that the film damaged his reputation because of how negatively he was portrayed. At Turner's funeral, Phil Spector slammed the film and Tina's book as a "piece of trash" which "demonized and vilified Ike."
Tina Turner stated she wished the film had more truth to it and she was not proud that the film had her being portrayed as a "victim." In 2018, Turner revealed to Oprah Winfrey that she only recently watched the film. She said, "I watched a little bit of it, but I didn't finish it because that was not how things went. Oprah, I didn't realize they would change the details so much."
The film grossed $39.1 million in the United States and Canada and $17.4 million internationally for a worldwide total of $56.4 million. In the United Kingdom, it grossed nearly £10 million.
American Film InstituteEdit
The film is recognized by American Film Institute in these lists:
- 2004: AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs:
- 2006: AFI's 100 Years...100 Cheers – #85
- Klady, Leonard (January 3, 1994). "Int'l top 100 earn $8 bil". Variety. p. 1.
- Walker, Michael (May 16, 1993). "SUMMER SNEAKS : Tina Turner's Story Through a Disney Prism : The singer's film biography, 'What's Love Got to Do With It,' focuses on her turbulent relationship with her mentor and ex-husband Ike Turner as well as her triumphant comeback - Los Angeles Times". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2013-10-06.
- "How Laurence And Angela Became Ike And Tina". tribunedigital-orlandosentinel. Retrieved 2017-10-24.
- Jung, E. Alex (19 August 2020). "Laurence Fishburne Knows Who He Is". Vulture.
Well, I turned the movie down five times. The reason I said yes finally was because Angie was going to play the part.
- Collier, Aldore (July 1993). "'What's Love Git To Do With It': Larry Fishburne and Angela Bassett portray Ike and Tina Turner In New Movie". Ebony. 48 (9): 110–112.
- Turner, Tina. (1986). I, Tina. Loder, Kurt. (1st ed.). New York: Morrow. ISBN 0688060897. OCLC 13069211.
- Orth, Maureen (May 1993). "Tina Turner – The Lady Has Legs!". Vanity Fair.
- Turner, Ike. (1999). Takin' Back My Name: The Confessions of Ike Turner. Cawthorne, Nigel, 1951-. London: Virgin. ISBN 1852278501. OCLC 43321298.
- You Know I Love You. YouTube. Retrieved November 17, 2018.
- IKE & TINA TURNER MAKE ME OVER. Youtube. Retrieved November 17, 2018.
- Greensmith, Bill (2015). Blues Unlimited: Essential Interviews from the Original Blues Magazine. Russell, Tony, Camarigg, Mark, Rowe, Mike. University of Illinois Press. pp. 247–248. ISBN 9780252097508.
- Bego, Mark (1998). Tina Turner: Break Every Rule. p. 67. ISBN 9781589792531. Retrieved November 18, 2018.
- "Tina turns tumultuous life into 'Love'". Baltimore Sun. 1993-06-18. Retrieved 2013-10-05.
- Turan, Kenneth (1993-06-09). "MOVIE REVIEW : 'Love': Playing It Nice and Rough : Exceptional Acting Powers Story of Up and Downs of Ike and Tina Turner". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2013-10-05.
- Rickey, Carrie (1994-03-24). "For Pop Queen Tina Turner, Life Was Never, Ever Nice And Easy". Philly.com. Retrieved 2013-10-05.[dead link]
- "What's Love Got To Do With It? (1993)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved May 11, 2021.
- "WHAT'S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT (1993) A". CinemaScore. Archived from the original on 2018-12-20.
- Maslin, Janet (9 June 1993). "Review/Film: What's Love Got to Do With It; Tina Turner's Tale: Living Life With Ike and Then Without Him". The New York Times.
- Siskel, Gene (June 11, 1993). "TINA TURNER STORY TUNES IN TO THE RHYTHMS OF REAL LIFE". chicagotribune.com.
- Philips, Chuck (1993-06-24). "Q&A WITH IKE TURNER : 'I Was the One Who Turned Her Into Tina Turner'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2013-10-05.
- "Ike Turner Says Movie Is False, Denies Beating Ex-Wife Tina Turner". Jet: 14. July 19, 1993.
- "Phil Spector criticises Tina Turner at Ike Turner's funeral". NME.com News. Retrieved December 24, 2015.
- "Tina Turner Talks To Oprah About Keeping Her Spirits Up After a Stroke and Losing Her Son". Oprah magazine. 2018-10-03. Retrieved 2018-12-20.
- "The 66th Academy Awards (1994) Nominees and Winners". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. AMPAS. Archived from the original on July 6, 2011. Retrieved October 22, 2011.
- "Nominees/Winners". Casting Society of America. Retrieved July 9, 2019.
- Seymour, Gene (1995-12-22). "Angela Bassett: Grounded--and Soaring as an Actress : After Vampires, Strange Days, the Film Star Can 'Exhale'". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-12-22.
- "Winners & Nominees: What's Love Got to Do with It". HFPA. Retrieved 28 March 2021.
- LEONARDI, MARISA (1994-01-07). "Michael Jackson Shares Whitney Houston's Spotlight : Honors: Houston wins five NAACP Image Awards, but Jackson gets cheers in a show marked by controversy". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2016-01-22.
- "15th Annual Youth In Film Awards". YoungArtistAwards.org. Archived from the original on 2011-03-04. Retrieved 2011-03-31.
- "AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs Nominees" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-08-14.
- "AFI's 100 Years...100 Cheers" (PDF). American Film Institute. Retrieved 2016-08-14.
- "EBONY Readers Poll End Of Year". Johnson Publishing Company. 12 September 1994. Retrieved March 31, 2018.
- "Top 9 Subjects of a Music Bio-Pic". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2018-03-20.
- "Top 10 Best Rock Biopics". Rolling Stone Readers' Poll. Retrieved 2018-03-20.
- "The Best Black Movies of the Last 30 Years". Complex. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
- Tied with Otis Sallid for Swing Kids.
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