Cadillac Records

Synopsis: In this tale of sex, violence, race, and rock and roll in 1950s Chicago, "Cadillac Records" follows the exciting but turbulent lives of some of America's musical legends, including Muddy Waters, Leonard Chess, Little Walter, Howlin' Wolf, Etta James and Chuck Berry.
Director(s): Darnell Martin
Production: Sony Pictures
  Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 7 wins & 22 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
109 min

I'm Willie Dixon.

And I'm making this here audio recording

so that when you visit

Chess Recording Studio,

you know the history.

Now, the first time a gal took off

her underwear and threw them on stage

it was on account of

a fella singing the blues.

Now, when the white girls started doing it,

they called that rock and roll.

Took a whole lot of people to make

the music that changed the world.

Yes, sir. This story ain't just about me.

It all started with two men.

One a white boy from Chicago.

Len, when are we getting married?

A witness for my Lord

The other a sharecropper from Mississippi.

Say, who was a witness?

The year was 1941.

Say, Daniel was a witness

When are we getting married?

I don't have the money.

I told you I'd be fine without it.

Well, I wouldn't.

You don't know what it did to my father.

I can't watch you go hungry.


Oh, how you doing, Mr. Feder?

Hi, Dad.

I want to marry her.

Mr. Feder, I don't know if I told you,

but I've been making plans to get out of

the junk business.

I'm gonna open a club here.

In the Negro neighborhood?

Yeah. It's gonna be for Negroes.

You're taking Shelly to Negro clubs?

No, of course not.

No, I'm just...

I'd like you to know that

I'm making plans for the future.

So, you are serious

about this marriage then?


I mean, when I can afford it.

Your father and I, we come from

the same shithole in Poland.

I didn't travel all this way

to have my daughter marry some schmuck

from the same village.

What did you say?

- What did you say?

- Get in.


Don't worry where I'm from.

My wife's gonna drive a Cadillac.

Now, who is this here?

Go on, get in the house now.

McKinley Morganfield?

Yes, sir?

I'm Alan Lomax,

and this is Mr. John Work

from Fisk University.

- How you doing?

- Fine. You?

I'm recording folk music

for the Library of Congress.

Folk music?

Could you move into the mike

a little bit for me? Thanks.

Play that thing, man.

That's what I sound like, huh?

Yes, sir, that's what you sound like.

Feel like I'm meeting myself

for the first time.

And he was.

And he knew it was a man he was meeting,

too big for that slave shack he was born in

and too big for that plantation.

Now, the acoustic guitar

was fine down south,

because there's nothing but miles of

empty fields out your window.

But in the city,

with all them streetcars and automobiles,

you couldn't get yourself heard.

Hey, boy, ain't nobody want to hear

that sharecropping music.

Take that sh*t back down there

to Mississippi.


You're disturbing the peace!

Why you want to cut me for, girl?

You have been giving that same smile

to girls all morning.

You must have three addresses

in your pocket.



- You're trouble. You know that?

- I know.

How about you?

You got to go, before my mama brings

the boys home. Come on.

- Maybe those boys need a daddy.

- You're not daddy material.

I'm not good enough for you?

I don't talk as good as you

or something, huh?

When I heard you start playing that music

it took me someplace so good, Muddy.

So good.

Here you go, baby.

Are you the owner of this club?

Yes, I am.

Isabella Allen. I make race records.

Len Chess. How you doing? Wow.

This is a beauty.

God, look at the lines on this thing.

It's incredible.

You can buy a car like this

making race records?

If you find the right singer.

Hey, I'd love to know

if you hear someone special.

A record producer, huh?

There'd be something in it for you.

All right.

Sweet. That's a beautiful car.

You looking for girls?

Excuse me? No, I'm opening a club.

I don't mind you getting men all liquored up

but I lost two daughters to bluesmen.

Dangerous business you in.

What are you doing?

When Muddy met Little Walter,

he was just 17 years old,

but he was the greatest harp player

that ever lived.

That's it. That's all of it.

- Yeah, man.

- Play that for me.

I'll give you $1

if you let me strum that guitar.

I can busk more than your dollar.

- I'll give you $2.

- You a headhunter?

You fixing to chop my head off

with my own guitar? Man.

Sh*t, you can't play better than me.

Let me see the guitar, man.

Hey, big guy,

your daddy sure can cook, huh?

You're not gonna take care of Walter?

Oh, I don't drink none of that.

Good for you, Walter.

I'll make you a nice bath.

Okay, thank you, ma'am.

Why you got a gun?

- In case in any good guys need shooting.

- You mean the bad guys?

I is the bad guy.

Hush now, scaring my boys,

and let me hear some of that harp.

Okay, okay.

Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait.

- Where in the hell you going?

- Follow me now. Come on.

No, no, no. No, look here.

You follow this guitar, son.


You can play the sh*t out of that guitar,

so I'll follow you anywhere you want,

but don't you ever be calling me no "son. "


- I don't need no daddy.

- No, boy, what you need is a mama.

Someone who will feed you and clothe you

and tell you to get your behind in that bath.

Well, you know what they say, now.

A man can't have too many mamas.

And you don't need this. You need soap.

He fit me, Geneva.

I heard.

He fit me.

They was a family now.

Little Walter, Muddy Waters

and Jimmy Rogers

called themselves "The All-Star Trio,"

but everybody else knew

them as "The Headhunters"

on account of how

they sliced their competition.

Will you help me out here?

- Get your own gig, motherf***er!

Rate this script:3.3 / 3 votes

Darnell Martin

Darnell Martin (born January 7, 1964) is a television and film director, screenwriter, and film producer. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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