• Publication date: September 1, 2011

If You Take The Ride, You Have To Pay The Price Cadillac Records: news

Cadillac Records is based on the true story of the original Chicago-based purveyors of electric blues, Chess Records.

It is set in the early-�50s to late-�60s and depicts key musical figures at the crossroads between blues, rhythm & blues, and rock & roll.

Cadillac Records is based on the true story of the original Chicago-based purveyors of electric blues, Chess Records.

It is set in the early-�50s to late-�60s and depicts key musical figures at the crossroads between blues, rhythm & blues, and rock & roll.

The film centers around two men: Leonard Chess, a Polish-Jewish nightclub owner; and Muddy Waters, a transplanted Mississippi sharecropper with sights set on musical stardom.

After hearing Waters's electrified Delta blues during a tussle at his nightclub, Chess decides to pool his resources into releasing what were then called "race records."

Soon a coterie of label talent, from Little Walter and Howlin' Wolf, to Chuck Berry and Etta James, help to propel the fledgling label to the top of the charts--with each hit-maker rewarded by Chess with a shiny new Cadillac automobile.

While sometimes playing loose with some minor historical points, the film truly hits the mark with its attention to visual detail, from costumes and cars, down to vintage recording equipment, all of it is a feast for period buffs.

But what truly makes the movie captivating are the exceptional musical performances of Beyonce Knowles (Etta James) and Mos Def (Chuck Berry), two of the finest musicians-turned-actors of their time.

Ultimately, the movie�s most potent message may be the boundless ability that much of this music had in transcending the unsettling realities facing blacks of the time.

From Payola (the practice of bribing disc jockeys to play "race records") and segregation, to white performers pilfering songs written by blacks, all of it is handled with admirable aplomb in this enjoyable, often edifying, film.

This movie is rated R for pervasive language and some sexuality.

Year: 2008

Runtime: 109 mins

Genre: Biography/ Drama

Starring:

Jeffrey Wright

Beyonce Knowles

Mos Def

Adrien Brody

Cedric the Entertainer

Gabrielle Union

Emmanuelle Chriqui

Columbus Short

Eamonn Walker

Directed by: Darnell Martin