Why "Cadillac Records"?

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Prof. Wagstaff
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Why "Cadillac Records"?

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Mon Dec 08, 2008 11:38 am

Can someone explain why this film is called Cadillac Records if it's a biopic about the people involved with Chess Records?

When I first heard of it, I assumed it was one of those "fictionalized" Hollywood creations where all the names were changed to protect against lawsuits, but that's not the case. If all the character names are real, why the misleading title?

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Re: Why "Cadillac Records"?

Postby thebookpolice » Mon Dec 08, 2008 11:50 am

Your answer, sir:


The most troubling decision was to remove label co-founder Phil Chess from the story — as if he never existed. Other problem areas include how the label got its start (the film never addresses its transition from Aristocrat Records), the absence of other significant Chess artists (notably Bo Diddley) and its overly dramatic conclusion (especially in regard to co-founder Leonard Chess).


The Chess era hit its commercial peak in the '50s with Chuck Berry, who would deliver several chart-topping early rock standards while signed to the label. The company was reportedly so prosperous for a time that all of its artists drove Cadillacs, a point that is driven home countless times by the director, as if trying to justify the film's title.

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Re: Why "Cadillac Records"?

Postby AaronTheSnob » Mon Dec 08, 2008 12:20 pm

Despite this, the film has actually gotten pretty good reviews. Of particular note is Beyonce, as Etta James...apparently she just about blows a hole in the screen with her performance. Lots of critics have been in awe.
And her version of "At Last" is apparently first-rate. That is almost reason enough for me to want to see it.

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