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      Been Rich All My Life

      Released Oct 7, 2005 1h 21m Documentary List
      79% Tomatometer 29 Reviews 100% Audience Score 500+ Ratings Filmmaker Heather Lyn MacDonald pays tribute to the Silver Belles, former chorus girls from Harlem's Renaissance period who are still grooving on well into their 80s and 90s. In their prime, the women performed with such luminaries as Bill Robinson, Cab Calloway and Duke Ellington. Read More Read Less

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      Critics Consensus

      The remarkable resilience, energy, strength, and charisma of these women captivate, and their experiences are a historical treasure.

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      Critics Reviews

      View All (29) Critics Reviews
      Sam Adams Los Angeles Times MacDonald seems less interested in the Silver Belles' past than their inspirational present. Eventually, the inevitable broken hips and dizzy spells take their toll, but those who remain seem determined to shuffle-step their way into the sunset. Rated: 3/5 Sep 28, 2006 Full Review Michael Phillips Chicago Tribune It's a modest but highly enjoyable tribute. Rated: 3.5/4 Sep 7, 2006 Full Review Tom Keogh Seattle Times Reminds us that every life contains many acts worth hearing about, not just a select few. Rated: 3/4 Aug 25, 2006 Full Review Brandy McDonnell The Oklahoman MacDonald doesn't let the story get syrupy or maudlin. But the brief run time doesn't let us get to know the dancers as well as we might like. Rated: 3/4 Aug 14, 2018 Full Review Amber Wilkinson Eye for Film The rhythm of life is a powerful beat - and this affectionate and revealing documentary is sure to get even the most world-weary feet tapping. Rated: 4.5/5 Jun 13, 2008 Full Review Maria Garcia Film Journal International It's a credit to MacDonald that she provides a little-known view of Harlem's halcyon days, but what's missing is the pith and marrow: We feel that the women still elude us. Mar 1, 2007 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

      View All (13) audience reviews
      Audience Member I Loved it. it was endearingly sweet portrait of a group of ladies who simply said love doing what they do. As I enter my later middle years of my life and things begin to break down and the signs of our inevitable mortality loom larger this film is a life affirmation! I totally encourage everyone to sink in for a wonderful sweet ride. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 01/20/23 Full Review Audience Member what an amazing story of five women with a zest for life and a talent for tap dance. I enjoyed every minute of their lives - past and present. They are an inspiration for anyone who worries about turning 80. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 01/31/23 Full Review Audience Member This documentary studies life-long chorus girls now known as the Silver Belles, all in their 80s and 90s now and still dancing. Demonstrates the true meaning of zest for life, endurance, passion and above all friendship. Excellent documentary with some nice special features on the DVD including, Learning to do the Shim Sham. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/12/23 Full Review Audience Member An endearing look at some of the original Harlem showgirls, putting on a repertoire from their 1930s dance ensemble. Upllifting and fascinating look into the early half of the 19th Century entertainment business in NYC. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 01/30/23 Full Review Audience Member A very charming film about The Silver Belles Dance Troupe, that is comprised of women, who had danced in choruses, at The Cotton Club, and The Apollo Theaters, in Harlem, some of them beginning in the late 1920's. These women are a humorous, tight-knit group, who have had fascinating lives, having performed with, and known, the likes of Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Fletcher Henderson, Cab Calloway, Jimmy Lunceford, etc. They talk of traveling in the south, as part of the USO. The scars of humiliation, stemming from the prejudice they experienced on the tour, is still evident in their faces . Following the war, with the demand for chorus girls dwindling, many of the women tend bar, and even one went on to work in Paris, (Tehran, I think), and even Tokyo as a dancer. She later ended up working on the Alaskan Pipeline. For a look at lives well-lived, and STILL lived well, this is a good place to start. It's funny, engrossing, sad, and by the end, I was certainly glad I "met" these spirited ladies! Rated 4 out of 5 stars 01/20/23 Full Review Audience Member These elderly ladies make me feel like I'm wasting my life. They've led, and continue to lead, fascinating lives. I only wish I could hang out with them for real. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 01/18/23 Full Review Read all reviews Post a rating

      Cast & Crew

      83% 92% Broadway: The Golden Age 92% 81% Ballets Russes 91% % Isn't This a Time! A Tribute Concert for Harold Leventhal 84% 83% Mad Hot Ballroom 96% 94% Watermarks Discover more movies and TV shows. View More

      Movie Info

      Synopsis Filmmaker Heather Lyn MacDonald pays tribute to the Silver Belles, former chorus girls from Harlem's Renaissance period who are still grooving on well into their 80s and 90s. In their prime, the women performed with such luminaries as Bill Robinson, Cab Calloway and Duke Ellington.
      Director
      Heather Lyn MacDonald
      Producer
      Heather Lyn MacDonald
      Production Co
      Toots Crackin
      Genre
      Documentary
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (Theaters)
      Oct 7, 2005, Original
      Rerelease Date (Theaters)
      Jul 21, 2006
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Jul 20, 2017
      Box Office (Gross USA)
      $33.7K
      Runtime
      1h 21m
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