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Still shot from the movie: Standing in the Shadows of Motown.

Standing in the Shadows of Motown

Ever wonder what made that Motown sound so distinctive? This documentary looks at the The Funk Brothers, a group of session musicians who gave birth to many hit songs and artists' careers, but who somehow never managed to receive any of the fame or recognition they deserved. If you like to listen to Motown, or think you know anything about popular music, you owe it to these guys to hear their story. Get the movie review and more. »

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Overall: A
Violence: A-
Sexual Content: B
Language: B-
Drugs/Alcohol: B-
Run Time: 110
Theater Release:
Video Release:
MPAA Rating: PG
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Why Is Standing in the Shadows of Motown Rated PG?


Overall: A

Ever wonder what made that Motown sound so distinctive? This documentary looks at the The Funk Brothers, a group of session musicians who gave birth to many hit songs and artists’ careers, but who somehow never managed to receive any of the fame or recognition they deserved. If you like to listen to Motown, or think you know anything about popular music, you owe it to these guys to hear their story.

Violence: A-

Musicians recount an experience about a miserly club owner who put a gun on the table (as a subliminal threat) while negotiating their wages; in turn each of them in turn also pulled out guns and placed them on the table. A man pretends to be a mortician, and scares unwanted visitors away by offering to show them how he uses his saw and bone-crusher tool. Documentary contains some archival footage of anti- war demonstrations, riot police, and solders (some who are wounded).

Sexual Content: B

Still pictures of a scantily dressed exotic dancer known as “Lottie the Body” are shown. A story about a drummer mentions him looking at a nudie magazine instead of sheet music.

Language: B-

At least: 11 mild and 2 moderate profanities, as well as 3 terms of Deity used as expletives.

Alcohol / Drug Use: B-

Alcohol and drug addiction are mentioned. A couple of the band members’ deaths are attributed to substance abuse. Cigarette smoking is seen on a couple of occasions.

Miscellaneous Concerns:

On a car trip, a man who purposely tries to annoy his friends by eating rancid pig feet, gets dropped off on the side of the road   on a very cold winter night. The lyrics to a song talk about dysfunctional families and life situations, as well as spending time in jail.

 

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About the Reviewer: Rod Gustafson

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