By Don Morton
Hitsville: The Making of Motown
Manufacturing Musical Legends
September 18, 2020
Fascinating doc on the birth and development of the iconic Motown record label, from its inception in 1958 Detroit through its move to LA in the early 70s.
Berry Gordy was working on a Ford assembly line when he realized he could apply the automaker’s mass-production techniques to musical talent development. He quite simply changed the face of music. And though he was seen by some to be a tad overbearing and controlling, he did create such greats as Diana Ross, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder and many more.
Writer/directors Gabe and Benjamin Turner anchor their beautifully paced film with Gordy and his close friend Smokey, and the relaxed humor and genuine warmth evident between the two as they talk over old times make for one of the film’s top attractions.
And if it perhaps seems like a feature-length brand-boost, glossing over most of the lawsuits, ego clashes and addictions, well, that’s fine with me. I was informed, uplifted and highly entertained. Needless to say, the soundtrack’s dynamite. (112 min)
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