Introducing Dorothy Dandridge

1999 R 1h 55m DVD

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Introducing Dorothy Dandridge

1999 R 1h 55m DVD
  • Overview
  • Details
Halle Berry stars as singer, actress and dancer Dorothy Dandridge in this biopic that follows the complex star from her beginnings a nightclub act through to her unexpected mainstream success, including an Oscar nomination.
Full Screen 1.33:1
English, Spanish (Neutral), French
English: Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround, Spanish (Neutral): Dolby Digital Mono
R - Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian. Contains some adult material. Parents are urged to learn more about the film before taking their young children with them.
age 16+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 16+
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age 16+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that Dorothy Dandridge, an accomplished African-American singer-actress of the 1940s, '50s, and '60s is a tragic figure and this film attempts to track her downward spiral by following the events, circumstances, and characters who impacted her life. Racial discrimination and exploitation of a talented and beautiful woman are primary elements in this story. Scenes between Dandridge and her only child, an autistic daughter, are heartrending and sad. There is an intense early sequence in which Dandridge is viciously assaulted in the guise of an examination by sadistic guardian and a later scene in which she is beaten by a husband. Characters consume alcohol throughout, and her eventual dependence on prescription drugs plays a significant part in the story's resolution. There are occasional obscenities, including "f--k," "s--t," and African-Americans are referred to as "colored" or "negroes" throughout.

Sexual Content

There are numerous sexual scenes which include passionate kissing, some fondling of breasts, undressing, seduction, and an implied lesbian relationship. A lengthy sequence takes place on Dandridge's wedding night when she is nervous and unable to respond to her husband's gentle advances. Though there's lots of revealing clothing, provocative behavior, and talk of sex, there's no actual nudity or overt sexual activity.


In one harrowing sequence, a very young Dandridge is viciously assaulted (with sexual implications) by a female guardian. She later suffers a brutal and bloody beating at the hands of a husband. A discussion of rape.


Occasional swearing including: "f--k," "s--t," "stick it to you," "drop our panties," and "a--hole." Set in the 1940s and '50s, African Americans are called "negroes" and "colored" throughout.

Social Behavior

Dorothy Dandridge's courageous efforts to break the entertainment world's color barrier during the 1940s and '50s prove the value of demanding respect and equal treatment for all.


Coca Cola.

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

Considerable social drinking, occasional drunkenness (some featured characters are portrayed as alcoholics), smoking, and abuse of prescription pills.

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

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