Gerald Booth | Alexandria, VA United States | 06/20/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"At the height of his career, Bill "Bojangles" Robinson was the
highest paid Black entertainer. He died penniless. Bojangles was
considered the best dancer alive and his specialty was tap. He started in
the black-face productions and shocked people when he worked as a solo act.
He was a headliner in Canada which didn't have the same issues with racism
as America. He starred on Broadway and then began making movies
predominately appearing as the Butler to a white star, usually Shirley
Temple. Bojangles was known as "The Man with the Smile" since the
broad smile never left his face while he was dancing. Unfortunately this
Showtime movie shows the pain and anger behind the smile. The pain that
caused a young boy to assume the name of his brother in an attempt to hide
from their grandparent, the pain that caused a string of broken marriages,
and the pain that caused an incessant urge to gamble away his life savings.
Gregory Hines portrays Bojangles. Hines is one of the premier tap
dancers alive. Hines is an incredibly expressive actor without saying a
word. His eyes can speak volumes of what is going through his soul and the
percussive music from his taps tells a story all of their own.
The movie does drag at times and Bojangles isn't the easiest of
characters to like. However the movie is more than worth renting just to
watch all of Hines' tap sequences. The man is an incredible dancer. His
heir apparent, Savion Glover, appears in one sequence that is truly
phenomenal to watch."
Danielle P. Bilton | Lakewood, CA United States | 06/24/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Upon researching the true story of Mr. Bojangles, I thought his movie did not do him justice. First I will begin with the disappointment I felt with the casting. As most of people who took a chance to watch this televised biography, we are aware of what Bojangles looked like. No offense to Gregory Hines, but his casting was horrible. No similarities what so ever, besides the fact that he taps. I believe this movie would have meant more to me had the actor been a no-name. You can't get passed the fact that you're looking at GREGORY HINES. Another issue I have is that, this is nothing short of a recall of Bojangles courtship with his wife Fannie, who he dogged out. The movie spent way too much time on this subject and didn't give us the "MEAT" of this man's life, like his fall out with Stepin' Fetchit, or where he & black hollywood were confined to while recreation was segregated, the western version of Harlem, Central Avenue in Los Angeles ! The place that was hot in the 30's & 40's. The street that had a hotel where Bo always stayed when he came to LA, the Dunbar, where he fraternized with other black stars of his era. The club that they named after him. None of this priceless info was mentioned or recreated. This movie was a waste of my time. 2 hours of nothin'. Fannie's charector was a bad casting move too. She was light complected in real life and a sharp hollywood wife that was involved in a WHOLE lot more than messin' around with ice-cream. Then the movie speeds up once Bo & Fannie actually GET married and by the time you think you're gonna actually see some GOOD STUFF, he's dead and the movie's over. I sold my copy of this movie. It wasn't on the same level of other old biographies of other famous black stars. If you're trully interested in learning more about this legend, please take the time to READ about it first and not just rent or buy this movie believing it as Gospel to Bojangles life. The books tell you more. One in particular is The Experience of Black Hollywood written by Donald Bogle. Very enlightening. Don't waste your time on garbage like this movie. I wish I hadn't."
I Wanted to Love This Movie
Gerald Booth | 04/12/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
"As a fan of tap dancing, I wanted to love this movie. Unfortunately, watching it was an endurance challenge. The movie lacks any sort of compelling story line. It essentially drives home the message that Robinson (aka Bojangles) was a gambling, womanizing s.o.b. I don't expect the film makers to rewrite history, but as presented the story didn't take us anywhere. Yes, the tap sequences by Hines and Glover are great, but they would have been greater without the packaging of the "story.""
Bojangles vs. Tap
Nae-Nae | Columbus, OH | 12/11/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"If you didn't like Bojangles...get TAP. It's GREAT, and it just came out on DVD.
Check out Savion Glover dancing in HAPPY FEET the movie. You see where he also added some of Gregory Hines steps in some cuts."