Saturday, June 30, 2007

Sparkle (Dreamgirls v1.0)

"Dreamgirls" got me thinking about the film 1976 film "Sparkle." The movie follows the rise and fall of a fictional 1960s girl group, Sister and the Sisters. You get the impression the movie was designed as a vehicle for Irene Cara (r), but the spectacularly fine Lonette McKee (c), in her first motion picture appearance, steals the show. Speaking of McKee, I've been revisiting her work in recent years--and she is spellbinding. Look at the work of any Oscar nominated actress of the 1970s and 1980s, then watch McKee in movies like "Cuba," "The Cotton Club" and she's right there with them.

You can predict "Sparkle" 's plot from a mile away; the ending is too upbeat, given the journey that precedes it; and the entire film looks like it was shot on a single street. But the music is pretty good as are the performances by a young Mary Alice, a pre-Miami Vice Phillip Michael Thomas, Dorian Harewood and Tony King. Check out a clip here:


Unknown said...

Hey! Love the blog. You bet Lonette Mckee is gifted. I think she's elevated plenty of marginal fare where she was intended to be objectified but that she made her own. Look what she did with the "Cotton Club." That should have been her launching pad to the triple A list. But 1984 was still 1984. She and Paula Kelly in "The Women of Brewster Place" was groundbreaking. She's still young, very busy and of course very pretty.

Manumitted Negro said...

Agreed, agreed!