20 FEET FROM STARDOM Add To My Top 10

A Blast from the Past

Content -1
Quality
None Light Moderate Heavy
Language        
Violence        
Sex        
Nudity        

Release Date: June 14, 2013

Starring: Darlene Love, Merry Clayton, Stevie Wonder, Bette Midler, Bruce Springsteen

Genre: Documentary

Audience: Teenagers and adults

Rating: PG-13

Runtime: 91 minutes

Address Comments To:

Jason Janego and Tom Quinn, Co-President. Radius-TWC
Bob and Harvey Weinstein, Co-Chairmen The Weinstein Company (Radius-TWC/Dimension Films)
345 Hudson Street, 13th Floor
New York, NY 10014
Phone: (646) 862-3400; Fax: (917) 368-7000
Website: www.weinsteinco.com

Content:

(BB, CC, L, DD, M) Strong moral worldview about backup singers from the 1950s and 1960s, with brief overt Christian elements as its subjects sing positive songs about God and Jesus in a few scenes and film footage shows positive portraits of gospel choirs and church services as celebrities praise gospel music; three “f” words and five light profanities; no violence; a few light references to sex in lyrics discussed or depicted in the movie, including an in-depth discussion of the Rolling Stones’ song “Gimme Shelter” and its lyric “rape, murder; it’s just a shot away,” plus some film footage from actual concerts, showing backup singers wearing immodest stage costumes and dancing suggestively, though this is discussed with disgust and regret by the women now; no alcohol; brief mentions of casual drug use in the singers’ prime era of the 1960s are sprinkled throughout movie; and, discussion of allegedly unfair and corrupt business practices by record-industry executives and producers against singers and backup singers.


Summary:

20 FEET FROM STARDOM is a highly entertaining, joyous, yet sometimes sad, documentary about the greatest backup singers of the rock and roll era of the 1950s and 1960s. 20 FEET FROM STARDOM is a positive, entertaining educational experience with some positive, overt Christian content, but there’s brief foul language, some suggestive dancing, and references to the beginnings of the drug culture, so caution is advised.


Review:

20 FEET FROM STARDOM is a highly entertaining, joyous, yet sometimes sad, documentary about the greatest backup singers of the rock and roll era of the 1950s and 1960s. The intent is to give these singers the honor due them after a life of obscurity. 20 FEET FROM STARDOM has a strong moral worldview with brief strong Christian elements as its subjects sing positive songs about God and Jesus in a few scenes. Also, film footage shows positive portraits of gospel choirs and church services as celebrities praise gospel music. However, there is some foul language and suggestive dancing and lyrics.




The movie focuses on a few key singers, such as Darlene Love (a powerhouse on many hits such for legendary producer Phil Spector) and Merry Clayton (the female singer on the Rolling Stones song “Gimme Shelter”). It uses a mix of archival footage and new interviews to depict the ways in which these singers contributed a joyous and unique sound to seemingly countless rock and pop hits, yet rarely received the credit or royalty payments for it. Along the way, many bigger stars, who either employed these singers or are simply great fans of them, including Stevie Wonder, Bette Midler, and Bruce Springsteen, offer their thoughts on these women and the fates that befell them.




20 FEET FROM STARDOM reveals the stories behind some of popular music’s greatest hits in fascinating and fun ways. It even contains some positive Christian content about the Christian, gospel music roots behind the female backup singers. In fact, they sing positive songs about God and Jesus in a few scenes.




The details of how these women either made peace with their pasts or moved on to successful lives in other fields (or in the case of Love managed to fight back and win their credit and careers back) provide plenty of lessons along with some terrific tunes. The lessons seem to be connected to some of the women’s Christian faith, which teaches them to turn the other cheek, forgive, being content with what God provides, and perseverance. It all adds up to an eminently enjoyable lesson in both pop culture history and faith.




The major downside to 20 FEET FROM STARDOM is the use of three “f” words in the movie, two of which occur in one frustrated speech by a woman singer. There’s also brief footage of scantily clad women dancing onstage in concerts. It’s interesting that many of the former singers admit in the interviews that they’re now embarrassed and mortified by being forced into such suggestive outfits.




Otherwise, 20 FEET FROM STARDOM is mostly a positive, entertaining educational experience for mature viewers. It offers an informative yet fun night at the movies.


In Brief:

20 FEET FROM STARDOM is a joyous, yet sometimes sad, documentary about the greatest backup singers of the rock and roll era of the 1950s and 60s. The movie focuses on several key singers. It mixed archival footage with new interviews. It depicts the ways in which these singers contributed a happy, unique sound to countless rock and pop hits, yet rarely received much credit or royalty payments. Along the way, many bigger stars, some of whom actually employed these singers, including Stevie Wonder, Bette Midler, and Bruce Springsteen, offer their thoughts on the women and the fates that befell them.




20 FEET FROM STARDOM reveals the stories behind some of popular music’s greatest hits in fascinating, fun ways. It even contains some positive Christian content. The details of how these women made peace with their pasts or transitioned to successful lives in other fields provide many redemptive life lessons. It all adds up to an eminently enjoyable reflection on pop culture history. The major downsides in 20 FEET FROM STARDOM are the use of three “f” words and some suggestive dancing.