What's Love Got to Do with It

What's Love Got to Do with It Information

What's Love Got to Do with It is a 1993 American biopic film directed by Brian Gibson, loosely based on the life of Tina Turner. It stars Angela Bassett as Tina Turner and Laurence Fishburne as Ike Turner.

The screenplay was adapted by Jade Takacs from the book I, Tina written by Tina Turner and Kurt Loder and both Ike and Tina Turner assigned rights to Takacs for their lives to be dramatized in the film. The film's soundtrack featured the hit song "I Don't Wanna Fight", which went to number one in seven countries. In the United States, the film grossed almost $50 million and around $20 million in rentals. In the United Kingdom, it grossed nearly 10 million USD.


Born and raised in a small Tennessee town, Nutbush, Anna Mae Bullock (Tina's original name) grows up in an unhappy family, with her parents later leaving and abandoning her and only taking her sister. Following her grandmother's death, she relocates to St. Louis, reuniting with her mother and close sister Alline. Anna Mae pursues a chance to be a professional singer after seeing charismatic bandleader Ike Turner perform one night. Later she wins her spot in Turner's band after singing onstage and he begins mentoring her. In time, an unexpected romance develops between the two after she moves into Ike's home. Shortly afterwards, they marry and begin having musical success together as Ike and Tina Turner.

The marriage quickly turns violent when Ike Turner starts physically dominating her, leaving her no chance to escape. In public, Tina Turner rises from local St. Louis phenomenon into an R&B superstar with Ike Turner growing increasingly jealous of the attention given to her. Ike turns to drugs and his abusive behavior worsens. As Tina seeks solace in her chaotic life, a friend turns her on to Buddhism, eventually convincing her that it will help "change her life". Tina grows increasingly confident afterwards and in a final fight with Ike finally musters the courage to defend herself, eventually leaving Ike after they arrive at a hotel.

Winning the right to retain her stage name after their divorce, Tina continues working to pay bills. She gets a break after meeting Roger Davies, who eventually helps her realize her dreams of rock stardom. Despite Ike's attempts to win her back, Tina Turner eventually prevails and finds solo success, accomplishing her dreams without Ike.


  • Angela Bassett as Anna Mae Bullock/Tina Turner
  • Rae'Ven Larrymore Kelly as young Anna Mae Bullock
  • Cora Lee Day as Grandma Georgiana
  • Laurence Fishburne as Ike Turner
  • Jenifer Lewis as Zelma Bullock
  • Phyllis Yvonne Stickney as Alline Bullock
  • Penny Johnson Jerald as Lorraine Turner
  • Vanessa Bell Calloway as Jackie
  • Chi McBride as Fross
  • Sherman Augustus as Reggie
  • Terrence Riggins as Spider
  • Bo Kane as Dance Show Host
  • Rob LaBelle as Phil Spector
  • James Reyne as Roger Davies
  • Richard T. Jones as Ike Turner, Jr.
  • Shavar Ross as Michael Turner
  • Damon Hines as Ronnie Turner
  • Suli McCullogh as Craig Turner

Differences from noted events

Though the film took its story from Tina Turner's autobiography, I, Tina, it was determined to be only loosely based from the book, meaning certain events in the film were "fictionalized for dramatic purposes". Examples of the fictionalized scenes include:

  • In the film, Tina's constant friend during the film, "Jackie" (played by Vanessa Bell Calloway), was put in the story. Tina Turner never had a friend named Jackie. The same friend is not only a member of The Ikettes but is also shown as the person who visits Tina in the hospital after her attempted suicide and later converts Tina to Buddhism. The "friend" apparently was a combination of friends from Turner's past including members of the Ikettes and friends from her and Ike's entourage.
  • When Anna Mae Bullock sees Ike Turner and his Kings of Rhythm perform, Ike is shown as the front man but while the real-life Ike Turner was a band leader and organizer, he had another singer - possibly Billy Gales - singing lead vocals while Ike performed with his back turned to the crowd, which was a trademark of his as he had had stage fright and thought he wasn't equipped to perform lead vocals though he occasionally did. Also the original singer behind the song "Ike Turner" sings, "Rocket 88", was actually sung by Kings of Rhythm band mate Jackie Brenston.
  • When young Anna Mae Bullock is seen taking the microphone to audition for Ike Turner, it is implied that this is the first time Anna Mae had sung for Ike, but Tina recalls trying to convince Ike to let her sing for him and had been put off. It was only after a drummer from Ike's band gave her a microphone during intermission that Ike Turner, who was playing piano instead of guitar, took notice of Anna's talents, as Tina herself recalled in her memoirs.
  • The film depicts Ike and Tina starting their career together right after meeting in 1958 but Tina (who was going by the name "Little Ann") was only Ike's background singer. The duo wouldn't officiate until 1960 after Sue Records president Juggy Murray convinced Ike to not take Tina's vocals off his song "A Fool in Love". Also in the film, where Tina is recording the song "Tina's Wish", the song was actually recorded in 1973 under the name "Make Me Over", released off the Ike and Tina album, Nutbush City Limits.
  • When Ike and Tina perform at the Apollo Theater in 1960, the bill lists them with Martha and the Vandellas and Otis Redding. Martha and the Vandellas did not have a hit record and were only known as the Del-Phis during that period, while Otis Redding had just started his career with a band and was not nationally known yet.
  • The scene where Tina and their newborn son are taken out of the hospital by Ike and his friends was untrue, according to Ike Turner. Tina Turner, who has not seen the film since its release, also denied such an event occurring.
  • The film shows Tina giving birth to Ike's son who is named Craig but in reality, Craig Turner was Tina's child with another man, Raymond Hill. Ike and Tina did not have a child until 1960, when son Ronnie Turner was born and Ronnie would be their only child; Tina was allegedly pregnant with Ike's child in 1968 but allegedly had a quiet abortion.
  • Like Vanessa Bell Calloway's character "Jackie", there was no "Fross", "Reggie" or "Spider" in Ike and Tina's private circle.
  • While Tina mentions that there were accounts of Ike being abusive to her, there was no incident where Ike pushed cake in Tina's face leading to a food fight in the club. In her book I, Tina, Tina does describe that while sitting in her car waiting for food, someone came out with a pound cake and said that she had ordered it but when Tina said she had not, Ike allegedly told her she was going to eat it anyway.
  • In one scene, Tina calls her mother and tells her that she's heading over to her house in St. Louis to hide from Ike Turner. After Ike locates where Tina is, he berates her for trying to escape and makes it appear as if Ike had gotten word about what Tina was doing from her mother but in her memoirs, Tina Turner said that Ike knew where to seek her out.
  • When Ike and Tina are performing "Proud Mary", the timeline has it around 1968, with them opening for The Rolling Stones. "Proud Mary" was released in 1969 and Ike and Tina did not include the song in their act until 1970. Also, Ike and Tina opened for the Stones twice, in 1966 on their UK tour and in 1969 on their US tour.
  • The film alleges that Ike and Tina did not have a hit after "A Fool in Love" was released but, in truth, the duo had several hit singles between the release of "A Fool in Love" and "River Deep - Mountain High", including "It's Gonna Work Out Fine", "I Idolize You", "Tra La La" and "Poor Fool".
  • The film's most infamous scene showcases "Ike" committing what looks like an act of rape on Tina after beating her up in the studio. Both Turners denied the rape scene reenacted in the film but Tina writes in her memoirs that after Ike would physically assault her they would have sex and that "it felt like rape".
  • In one scene, "Tina" is shown in a drugged state where her Ikettes noticed that she had attempted suicide, with the timeline being given as 1974; however, in reality the attempted suicide was a result of hearing that Ike was having another child with a woman around the same time that Tina was pregnant with his child, and it occurred in 1968.
  • When Tina Turner performs at the Ritz, the film has the timeline at 1983 and the host announces her arrival as her "debut solo performance", but Tina had first performed at the theater in 1981. Also proven to be inaccurate was Ike Turner's visit to the theater where he failed at silencing Tina with his gun. In truth, Ike Turner was never at the Ritz. In fact, Ike Turner had not been seen in public for years following his and Tina's divorce in 1978 and had remained put in Los Angeles.
  • Though the film depicts Tina Turner as having addressed the courtroom to retain her stage name, in an interview with Oprah Winfrey in 1996, she denies speaking up but said her lawyer had brought it up in court after Tina advised her lawyer to drop a potential financial support suit against Ike as their divorce court dragged on for a year.
  • The film states at the end that Private Dancer was Tina Turner's first solo album when it was actually her fifth solo album. Her previous four albums were Tina Turns the Country On!, Acid Queen, Rough, and Love Explosion

Awards and nominations

Bassett won a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Comedy/Musical and an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Motion Picture. Laurence Fishburne was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role and Bassett was nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role. The film won an American Choreography Award for one of its dance sequences.

  • Academy Awards
    • Nominated "? Academy Award for Best Actress (Angela Bassett)
    • Nominated "? Academy Award for Best Actor (Laurence Fishburne)
  • Golden Globes
    • Won "? Golden Globe Award for Best Actress " Motion Picture Musical or Comedy (Angela Bassett)


Halle Berry, Whitney Houston, Robin Givens, Pam Grier, Vanessa L. Williams and Janet Jackson were all considered for the role of Tina Turner. It was Whitney Houston who was actually offered/received the role, but had to decline due to imminent maternity. Jenifer Lewis, who plays Tina's mother in this film, originally auditioned to play Tina Turner. Lewis is only one year older than Bassett.

Laurence Fishburne was offered the role of Ike Turner five times and turned it down each time. When he found out that Angela Bassett was cast as Tina Turner, he changed his mind.

All the Ike and Tina Turner songs used in the film were newly re-recorded versions featuring Tina Turner covering her own songs. On "Proud Mary", Laurence Fishburne sings Ike Turner's parts. For Tina Turner's solo recordings the original masters were used, including the Phil Spector-produced "River Deep - Mountain High".

In his autobiography Taking Back My Name, Ike Turner claims the movie damaged his reputation immensely and attacks many of the scenes for being either not strictly accurate or completely fabricated.

Bassett was injured while filming the first spousal abuse sequence. She fell off the back of a high-rise sofa, put her hands out to reduce the impact and suffered a hairline fracture of her right hand. She only tried the stunt fall once, and footage leading up to the mishap appears in the film.

Actress Vanessa Bell Calloway, who plays the fictional character of Jackie, was wary of chanting the Buddhist words because of her strong Christian faith. Director Brian Gibson allowed her to form the words with her lips silently during filming and added the words with a voice double in post-production. She also appeared alongside Tina in the music video of "What's Love Got to Do with It".

This webpage uses material from the Wikipedia article "What%27s_Love_Got_to_Do_with_It_%28film%29" and is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. Reality TV World is not responsible for any errors or omissions the Wikipedia article may contain.



Page generated in 0.30476808547974 seconds