*In the “brawling, crowded and unfailingly compelling” (Wall Street Journal)“Bessie,” Oscar nominee Queen Latifah gives a heralded performance as blues legend Bessie Smith, a role she had been eager to play since she was 22. As Bessie, “she is vulnerable one instant; sexy and bombastic the next” (The New York Times).
The acclaimed film will debut on Digital HD July 13, 2015 – three days before Emmy nominations – before coming to Blu-ray and Digital HD September, 1, 2015. The Blu-ray and DVD sets both include a Digital HD copy, as well as the featurette “Bessie: A Creative Journey.”
“A raw, gutsy performance ” – The Hollywood Reporter
HBO Home Entertainment® announces the release of “Bessie” the stunning HBO Films® drama starring Academy Award® nominee Queen Latifah (Chicago) as legendary blues singer Bessie Smith.
Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Dee Rees (Pariah) from a screenplay by Dee Rees and Christopher Cleveland & Bettina Gilois and with a story by Dee Rees and Horton Foote, the film focuses on Smith’s transformation from a struggling young singer into “The Empress of the Blues,” one of the most successful recording artists of the 1920s and an enduring icon today.
“Bessie” debuts on Blu-ray ($24.99) and DVD ($19.97) on September 1, 2015.
“Bessie” offers an intimate look at the determined woman whose immense talent and love for music took her from anonymity in the rough-and-tumble world of vaudeville to the 1920s blues scene and international fame.
Capturing Bessie’s professional highs and personal lows, the film paints a portrait of a tenacious spirit who, despite her own demons, became a celebrated legend.
Throughout the years, Bessie Smith has served as an inspiration for such illustrious singers as Billie Holiday, Aretha Franklin, Janis Joplin and Nina Simone, among others.
The talented cast includes Michael Kenneth Williams (HBO’s Boardwalk Empire®) as Bessie’s husband, Jack; Khandi Alexander (HBO’s Treme®) as Bessie’s older sister, Viola; Mike Epps (The Hangover) as Richard, a bootlegger and romantic interest; Tory Kittles (HBO’s True Detective®) as Bessie’s older brother, Clarence; Tika Sumpter (Ride Along) as Lucille, a performer and romantic interest; Oliver Platt (X-Men: First Class) as famed photographer and writer Carl Van Vechten; Bryan Greenberg (Friends with Benefits) as renowned record producer and music critic John Hammond; with Charles S. Dutton (Longmire) as Ma Rainey’s husband, William “Pa” Rainey; and Academy Award® winner Mo’Nique (Precious) as blues legend Ma Rainey.
Watch the Trailer:
“Bessie” Blu-rayTM & DVD
Street Date: September 1, 2015
Order Date: July 28, 2015
Runtime: Approx. 135 minutes
Price: $24.99 Blu-rayTM with Digital HD (1 Disc)
Price: $19.97 DVD with Digital HD (1 Disc)