1 Work in The Supremes
01 Jun 2023
The film Dreamgirls, which is the newest Bill Condon musical based on an old Broadway show, is an interesting if flawed film.
The film and the musical that proceeded it are loosely based on the history of the The Supremes - or Diana Ross's all female singing group before she took off and became a solo gig. The film borrows heavily from well-known factoids about Ross's life, such as her relationship with the Jackson Five, here the Campton or Campil Five. And notably, the fact that Ross took over the lead role of The Supremes from Flo Ballard and later or possibly during this period had an affair with Berry Gordon, head of Motown records at the time. Flo Ballard's tale is one of Motown's tragedies and the inspiration for the musical. The musical is not "Diana Ross's" story but rather "Flo's", a realistic Cinderella tale about racism and the power of looks over talent in the music business - which to some degree, and this is a flaw in both the source material and the film, over-simplified to make a point. Reality is never as clear cut as fiction, good guys and bad guys tend to blend together and are less definable.