"Some of the archive clips trigger goosebumps, while Berry Gordy and Smokey Robinson radiate charm in this affectionate anniversary tribute to Detroit’s influential record label." Guardian

Showing Times

"What I wanted was for the world to hear our music," said Motown founder Berry Gordy, and so they did.  This joyous documentary was made for the label's 60th anniversary in 2018. Imagine: the likes of Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, the Temptations, Diana Ross, Michael Jackson and more, all recording in a modest Detroit house-turned-studio. It was, for a while there, the very Soul of a nation. There's a lot of unseen archive footage here, a wealth of insider stories, and a running commentary provided by Gordy in conversation with his buddy Smokey.  And then there's the glorious soundtrack...  

Full disclosure:  I have a wonderful memory of visiting 'Hitsville USA', as the Motown base is known.  It was a steamy day and we were left to queue in a sweltering hallway for the longest time.  Our tour was running late, and we were all feeling uncomfortable and out of sorts until we were told that Gladys Knight was leading the tour ahead of us - and, they said, "you don't tell Gladys to hurry up!"  Somehow the idea of 'the Empress of Soul' dropping by to lead the odd tour epitomised the spirit of the dynamic label more than any amount of set spiel ever could.

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Film Information

112 mins

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