James Brown - Rotten Tomatoes

James Brown

Highest Rated:   86% TV Junkie (2013)
Birthday:  
Birthplace:   Not Available
Alternately -- and justly -- tagged as "The Godfather of Soul," "The Hardest Working Man in Show Business," "Soul Brother No. 1," and "Mr. Dynamite," James Brown launched himself into the musical spotlight as a multi-talented R&B powerhouse with revolutionary gifts not only in the arena of vocal performance, but in those of songwriting, instrumentation, and dance. In the process, Brown -- unapologetically raw, ear-splitting (given his trademark scream), rambunctious, explicit, and dark-skinned -- not only obliterated stereotypes of what black musicians had to be, but paved the way for later African-American artists as disparate as Prince and Snoop Dogg. Generally believed to have been born in Barnwell, SC, on May 3, 1933, and christened James Joseph Brown Jr., Brown grew up on the proverbial wrong side of the tracks. Abandoned by his parents at a tender age and raised by relatives and in the ghetto streets, he drifted into crime as a youngster, and was quickly shuttled off to the Alto Reform School outside of Tocoa, GA, for car theft. At Alto, Brown met and forged a lifelong friendship with aspiring musician Bobby Byrd (born Bobby Day), who later became an integral fixture of Brown's stage act. Byrd's family sympathized with Brown's family plight and brought the youngster into their household; Brown and Byrd then forged a gospel group that evolved, by turns, into Brown's R&B backup band, the Flames, with Brown covering vocals and Byrd on keyboards. Gigs at local venues followed over the next few years, until a demo tape of the group's electrifying single "Please, Please, Please" landed on the desk of Cincinnati's King Records. The label signed Brown immediately, first on its spin-off label, Federal, then -- in 1961 -- on King proper. One of that label's LPs, a live album, truly worked magic for Brown's career: 1962's James Brown: Live at the Apollo. This now-legendary, oft-mythologized effort spanned only 30 minutes but sold millions of copies and put Brown on the cultural map. Brown continued to issue gold and platinum singles and LPs over the years, landing an unprecedented number of hits. These included "Night Train," "I Got You (I Feel Good)," "Mashed Potatoes U.S.A," the seminal "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag," and "Shout and Shimmy." Brown's musical popularity continued unabated through the 1970s, before he reinvented himself in the '80s as a motion picture star. Brown made his most enduring cinematic impact during this period, with two A-list features: John Landis' anarchic musical road comedy The Blues Brothers (1980) and Sylvester Stallone's jingoistic Rocky IV (1985). In the former, Brown pulls from his gospel roots to play "jive-ass preacher" Reverend Cleophus James, the caped, microphone-wielding, arm-swinging minister of the Triple Rock Baptist Church, whose screamed admonition to Jake and Elwood Blues (John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd) -- "Have you seen the light?!" -- sends Jake hand-springing and back-flipping down the church aisles. In the fourth Rocky installment, Brown comes billed as "The Godfather of Soul" and, in a truly bizarre beat, performs a musical "warm-up" of "Living in America" with fighter Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) on a Las Vegas stage, before that pugilist's fatal exhibition match with Russian monstrosity Drago (Dolph Lundgren). Roger Ebert wrote of that moment, "this scene sets some kind of a record: It represents almost everything that the original 1976 Rocky Balboa would have found repellent." The public, however, did not concur. Consumers sent "Living in America" (the centerpiece of the movie soundtrack) to the top of the R&B charts and Rocky IV soaring over the 127-million-dollar mark. Brown's other two feature-film appearances include the outrageous Dan Aykroyd/Michael Pressman comedy Doctor Detroit (1983) -- as a bandleader -- and the lesser sequel Blues Brothers 2000 (1998), reprising his turn as Rev. Cleophus James. Brown also headlines a myriad of concert films, suc

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
No Score Yet Pavarotti & Friends
  • Actor
2015
86% TV Junkie
  • Actor
2013
No Score Yet Life on the Road with Mr. and Mrs. Brown
  • Actor
2009
No Score Yet Remember the 60's
  • Actor
2008
No Score Yet Body + Soul: Legends of Soul: Live
  • Actor
2008
No Score Yet James Brown in the 60's - I Got the Feelin'
  • Actor
2008
No Score Yet James Brown: Mr. Dynamite
  • Actor
2007
No Score Yet James Brown: Soul Session
  • Actor
2006
No Score Yet James Brown: The Godfather of Soul
  • Actor
2005
No Score Yet James Brown: Soul Survivor
  • Actor
2004
No Score Yet James Brown: At the Apollo
  • Actor
2004
No Score Yet James Brown: Forever Gold
  • Actor
2004
No Score Yet Casey Kasem's Rock N' Roll Goldmine: The Soul Years
  • Actor
2004
No Score Yet History of Rock 'N' Roll
  • Actor
2004
80% Live Forever (Live Forever: The Rise and Fall of Brit Pop)
  • Actor
2003
No Score Yet 270 Miles From Graceland - Bonnaroo 2003
  • Actor
2003
No Score Yet James Brown: Live in Concert
  • Actor
2002
No Score Yet Beat the Devil
  • Actor
2002
No Score Yet James Brown - Live from House of Blues
  • Actor
2000
No Score Yet Legends of Rock 'n' Roll Live
  • Actor
1989
No Score Yet The Legends of Rock 'n' Roll
  • Actor
1989
No Score Yet James Brown & Friends: A Night of Super Soul
  • Actor
1987
No Score Yet James Brown & BB King: One Special Night
  • Actor
1985
No Score Yet James Brown - Live at Chastain Park
  • Actor
1985
No Score Yet Born To Rock
  • Actor
1984
No Score Yet James Brown - Live at Montreux 1981
  • Actor
1981
No Score Yet James Brown: Live at the Boston Garden: 1968
  • Actor
1968
No Score Yet The T.a.m.i Show
  • Actor
1964
No Score Yet T.A.M.I. Show
  • Actor
1964

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet 60 Minutes Sports
2013
  • Reporter
  • 2017
  • 2016
  • 2015
  • 2014
No Score Yet Madam Secretary
2014
  • Himself
  • 2016
No Score Yet CBS This Morning
2012
  • Guest
  • Reporter
  • 2016
  • 2012
No Score Yet 60 Minutes
2008
  • Reporter
  • 2016
  • 2013
  • 2009
No Score Yet Face the Nation
1954
  • Panelist
  • 2012
No Score Yet Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel
1995
  • Reporter
  • 2010
  • 2009
  • 2008
  • 2007
  • 2006
  • 2005
No Score Yet The Tonight Show With Jay Leno
1992-2014
  • Guest
  • 2004
  • 2003

Quotes from James Brown's Characters

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