- Number of Discs: 2
- Rated: PG
- Run Time: 1 hours, 50 minutes
- Video: Color
- Released: April 22, 2003
- Originally Released: 2002
- Label: Lions Gate
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
- Packaging: Keep Case
- Aspect Ratio: Full Frame - 1.33
- Theatrical Version
- Aspect Ratio: Anamorphic Widescreen - 1.85
- Dolby Digital 2.0 - English
- Dolby Digital 5.1 - English
- DTS Digital 6.1 - English
- Subtitles - English
- Subtitles - Spanish
- Additional Release Material:
- BMW Films.com Presents THE HIRE: A Series of Short Films (HOSTAGE, TICKER, BEAT THE DEVIL)
- Audio Commentary: Paul Justman - Director, Allan Slutsky - Producer
- Trivia Track
- The Photo That Started It All
- The Video That Started It All
- Interactive Menus
- Song Selections / Performances
- Additional Release Material:
- Deleted Scenes
- Honorable Mentions
- Multi-Angle Jam Session
- Music Video Montage
- Dinner With The Funk Brothers
- At Long Last Glory
- The Ones That Didn't Make It
- Funk Video Biographies
- Selected Discography
- Hi-Resolution - DVD-Rom Playable Version
Performers, Cast and Crew:
Joe Hunter &
Eddie "Chank" Willis
Paul Justman &
Allan "Dr. Licks" Slutsky
Director of Photography:
Douglas Milsome &
Rolling Stone - 11/28/2002
"...This beauty of a documentary pays long-overdue tribute to the Funk Brothers....It's a glorious groove that leaves you wanting more..."
Film Comment - 11/01/2002
"...[A] long overdue secret history of American music....Crucial viewing for those in search of the origins of funk..."
USA Today - 11/15/2002
"...The film makes you feel like a winner as you bounce happily out of the theater..."
Entertainment Weekly - 11/22/2002
"...STANDING IN THE SHADOWS OF MOTOWN opens your ears in a way that few musical documentaries have attempted..."
Los Angeles Times - 11/15/2002
"...STANDING IN THE SHADOWS OF MOTOWN gives the Funk Brothers their due and more, mostly through wonderfully juicy anecdotes..."
Sight and Sound - 08/01/2003
"...[An] affectionate portrait..."
Total Film - 02/01/2004
"[T]he final reunion concert is a blast..."
Description by OLDIES.com:
Detroit, Michigan, 1959. Berry Gordy gathers the best musicians from the city's thriving jazz and blues scene for his new record company: Motown. For the next 14 years these players are the heartbeat on "My Girl," "Baby Love," "Ooo Baby Baby," "Bernadette," "I Was Made To Love Her," "I Heard It Through The Grapevine," "Dancing In The Street," and every other hit from Motown's Detroit era. By the end of their phenomenal run, the unheralded group of musicians plays on more Number One hits than the Beach Boys, the Rolling Stones, Elvis Presley, and The Beatles combined, making them the greatest hit machine in the history of popular music. They call themselves the Funk Brothers. But no one knows their names...this is their story.
Paul Justman's inspiring documentary pays tribute to one of the most influential, yet unrecognized, collection of musicians that has ever been assembled. The Funk Brothers played the background music on the seemingly endless string of Motown classics in the 1960s and 1970s, resulting in a resume that boasts more number one hits than The Beatles, the Beach Boys, The Rolling Stones, and Elvis Presley combined. Shot on location in Detroit, STANDING IN THE SHADOWS OF MOTOWN reunites the surviving members as they reflect on the groups' storied past. Most celebrated is departed bassist James Jamerson, whose fiery presence and technical prowess was largely responsible for shaping the Funk Brothers' supremely distinct sound. In addition to interviews, as well as reenactments and archival footage, Justman gathers together the musicians for an unforgettable reunion concert. Featuring the vocal support of several contemporary artists, including Joan Osborne, Ben Harper, Chaka Kahn, Gerald Levert, and Bootsy Collins, the Funk Brothers prove that they haven't lost a beat. Based on the book by Allan "Dr. Licks" Slutsky, STANDING IN THE SHADOWS OF MOTOWN gives overdue credit to a group of unassuming musicians who quietly created one of popular music's most enduring and spectacular musical legacies.