December 25th, 2006



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Still of Jamie Foxx and Beyoncé Knowles in DreamgirlsStill of Jamie Foxx, Beyoncé Knowles, Sharon Leal, Keith Robinson, Anika Noni Rose and Jennifer Hudson in DreamgirlsMartha Stewart at event of DreamgirlsStill of Jamie Foxx and Keith Robinson in DreamgirlsStill of Beyoncé Knowles in DreamgirlsStill of Eddie Murphy in Dreamgirls

Based on the Broadway musical, a trio of black female soul singers cross over to the pop charts in the early 1960s.

Release Year: 2006

Rating: 6.5/10 (33,280 voted)

Critic's Score: 76/100

Director: Bill Condon

Stars: Beyoncé Knowles, Jamie Foxx, Eddie Murphy

Detroit, the early 1960s. Curtis Taylor, Jr., a car salesman, breaks into the music business with big dreams. He signs a trio of young women, the Dreamettes, gets them a job backing an R&B performer, James "Thunder" Early, establishes his own record label and starts wheeling and dealing. When Early flames out, Curtis makes the Dreamettes into headliners as the Dreams, but not before demoting their hefty big-voiced lead singer, Effie White, and putting the softer-voiced looker, Deena Jones, in front. Soon after, he fires Effie, sends her into a life of proud poverty, and takes Deena and the Dreams to the top. How long can Curtis stay there, and will Effie ever get her due?

Writers: Bill Condon, Tom Eyen

Jamie Foxx - Curtis Taylor Jr.
Beyoncé Knowles - Deena Jones
Eddie Murphy - James 'Thunder' Early
Danny Glover - Marty Madison
Jennifer Hudson - Effie White
Anika Noni Rose - Lorrell Robinson
Keith Robinson - C.C. White
Sharon Leal - Michelle Morris
Hinton Battle - Wayne
Mariah I. Wilson - Magic (as Mariah Wilson)
Yvette Cason - May
Ken Page - Max Washington
Ralph Louis Harris - M.C. (as Ralph Harris)
Michael-Leon Wooley - Tiny Joe Dixon
Loretta Devine - Jazz Singer

Taglines: All you have to do is dream.


Official Website: Dreamworks [United States] | Official site [Spain] |

Release Date: 25 December 2006

Filming Locations: Alexandria Hotel - 501 S. Spring Street, Downtown, Los Angeles, California, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $70,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $378,950 (USA) (17 December 2006) (3 Screens)

Gross: $103,063,211 (USA) (1 April 2007)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Jennifer Hudson beat out 782 other actresses for the role of Effie White, including her former American Idol rival Fantasia Barrino.

Audio/visual unsynchronized: The lip-sync is off during some verses of "It's All Over" and "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going".

Lorrell Robinson: [as Early is kissing her] That feels nice... I mean it feels funny! You're married, aren't you?
James 'Thunder' Early: Everybody knows Jimmy's married, baby.
Lorrell Robinson: Well, then, you get your married hands off!

User Review

A great American musical....

Rating: 9/10

Screened overnite in Australia for critics and industry.

Ten minutes into director Bill Condon's adaptation of the hit musical, I whispered to my friend "There's no way the film can go at this pace for two hours!" Because up to that point, we had been utterly dazzled by breathtaking staging, impassioned performances and a display of film-making craftsmanship in all its forms (direction, editing, design) that had the packed audience stunned.

Well, two hours later, I'd been proved wrong. Condon has created a vivid, emotional spectacle that will dominate the 06/07 Oscar nominations. Dreamgirls is one of the five best movie musicals ever made.

There is really nothing new about the storyline - smalltown singers make it big and ride the roller-coaster of fame. But thats what works so well for the film - the great cinematic clichés are embraced and played to the hilt by a creative team, both behind and in front of the camera, that knows what makes a great Hollywood musical.

There's not one weak link in the cast. Condon's camera is in love with Beyonce Knowles and she handles the journey from the innocence of the groups early years to the staggering success and fortune of the group at its peak with surprising range. While most singer/actress attempts are failures (Madonna, Whitney, Britney, k.d. lang), Beyonce proves to have genuine talent.

Jamie Foxx centres and grounds the film in a less-flashy role but one that is crucial to the films credibility.

But there are two standouts. Eddie Murphy as fading star Early has never done better work. And Jennifer Hudson delivers an absolute tour-de-force performance in a role that sees her dominate every scene she is in. Her belting solo number was applauded by the audience (a rare enough occurrence during an industry screening but a moment that was repeated a few times thru the film). Hudson is a lock for the supporting actress Oscar, even this far from the ceremony.

Dreamgirls is a better movie in every way than recent award winning musicals Chicago and Moulin Rouge (both of which I am a huge fan). It is a film that tells a classic rags-to-riches story utilising great cinematic technique and bravado. 2006 has offered up some great movie-going experiences for me (Thank You For Smoking, Children Of Men, V For Vendetta, Little Miss Sunshine); for the sheer cinematic thrill it provides, however, Dreamgirls proves to be the best two hours I've spent in a cinema this year.


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