The award-winning actor and dancer Gregory Hines stars in this look at the life of extraordinary tap dancing legend Bill "Bojangles" Robinson. This is the story of an incredibly talented man who struggled with the demons of his past and the racism of his time, but still entertained millions with his unique and complex dance style.
3.0 out of 5 stars Hines rules!, June 20, 2002
By Gerald Booth (Alexandria, VA United States)
At the height of his career, Bill "Bojangles" Robinson was the
highest paid Black entertainer. He died penniless. Bojangles was
considered the best dancer alive and his specialty was tap. He started in
the black-face productions and shocked people when he worked as a solo act.
He was a headliner in Canada which didn't have the same issues with racism
as America. He starred on Broadway and then began making movies
predominately appearing as the Butler to a white star, usually Shirley
Temple. Bojangles was known as "The Man with the Smile" since the
broad smile never left his face while he was dancing. Unfortunately this
Showtime movie shows the pain and anger behind the smile. The pain that
caused a young boy to assume the name of his brother in an attempt to hide
from their grandparent, the pain that caused a string of broken marriages,
and the pain that caused an incessant urge to gamble away his life savings.
Gregory Hines portrays Bojangles. Hines is one of the premier tap
dancers alive. Hines is an incredibly expressive actor without saying a
word. His eyes can speak volumes of what is going through his soul and the
percussive music from his taps tells a story all of their own.
The movie does drag at times and Bojangles isn't the easiest of
characters to like. However the movie is more than worth renting just to
watch all of Hines' tap sequences. The man is an incredible dancer. His
heir apparent, Savion Glover, appears in one sequence that is truly
phenomenal to watch.