What's Love Got to Do with It

Synopsis: Anna Mae Bullock always had a special voice. Soon after arriving in St. Louis to live with the mother who had walked out when she was small, the now teenage Anna Mae soon attracts the attention of pop group leader Ike Turner. She becomes the band's singer, his wife, and mother to his children - not all hers. In love with Ike and determined not to leave in the way her mother had, she finds herself the target of increasing violence from her unstable husband who can't see who is making the band such a success.
Director(s): Brian Gibson
Production: Touchstone Pictures
  Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 13 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
118 min


This little light of mine

I'm gonna let it shine

This little light of mine

You know

I'm gonna let it shine


This little light of mine

I'm gonna let it shine

Let it shine, let it shine

Let it shine

Oh, yeah

Jesus told me

You know my Jesus told me

He said it's time to let my...

Let my moonlight shine

Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh



Told me


Young lady,

what is wrong with you?

You just cut out all that wild

gyration and blues shoutin' in here.

Ain't the Fourth of July picnic,

and you ain't singin'...

with Mr. Bootsy Whitelaw

and his slide trombone.

Show the Lord

a little more respect.

Do you understand me?

Do you understand me?

"Bright light",

from "bright light".

Bright light, my little light

I'm gonna let it shine


Bright light, my little light

I'm gonna let it shine

My bright light

My pretty little light

I'm gonna let it shine

Let it shine, let it shine

Gonna let it shine, oh, yeah

Let it shine

Oh, this little light of mine

This little light of mine

Oh, yeah

I'm gonna let it shine

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

This little light of mine

Yeah, yeah

I'm gonna let it shine


This little light of mine

Oh, yeah

I'm gonna let it shine

Let it shine, let it shine


Let it shine

I can't stay here

and let him beat me like that.

You understand what

I'm sayin' to you?

I tell you, I'm sick of that man!

I ain't lettin' him

beat me no more.

Girl, you better...

...come back here.

You take care of Anna

Mae, you understand?

I won't! I'm not goin'

to unless you help.

You take care of her.

It's too much trouble to

take care of both of 'em.

You can't leave Anna Mae here!

- You can't leave her!

- Take care of my baby!

You goddamn b*tch!

She took Alline and not me.

How could she?

Don't you worry about a thing.

You're gonna stay

with grandma, ya hear?

When is she coming

back to get me?

She ain't, honey.

She just ain't.

Lord, what I'm gonna do

with another teenager?

Well, she's not my mistake.

Alline, don't get fresh with me.

I'm not gettin' fresh, mama.

I wonder what she look like now.

Probably look like that damn

no-good daddy of hers.

Now, you said you wasn't gonna

start today. Mama, please...

- What, y'all don't recognize your own kin?

- Anna Mae!

- Alline!

- My God, is it her?

- Oh, Anna Mae!

- Anna Mae?

- Mama, look at her.

- Hi, sweetie, how ya doin'?

- Hi, ma.

- Look it here,

you ain't nothin'

but skin and bones.

Come here.

All right, all right. D'ya

have a good ride, sweetie?

Yes, ma'am.

Well, what'd ya bring with you, baby,

some bags? You got some bags?

Oh, over... That big

brown one right there.

- I'll get it.

- All right, come on.

- All right, come on.

- How'd you ever get so tall?

You know what? I kept

all your letters, Alline.

I'm sorry we missed

grandma's funeral.

You know, by the time we

heard, Anna Mae, it was...

Yeah, I know.

Mama, can I borrow some

of your new perfume?

Go ahead on, girl.

And that was some fine

sweet potato pie, baby.

- Your grandma teach you how to cook?

- Who else?

Now, wait a minute, wait a

minute, Anna Mae. Sit down.

Sit down.

Now, Anna Mae,

I know I wasn't around...

but believe me, honey, you was

too young to understand...

what was goin' on

with your daddy and me.

Did Alline understand?

She ain't that much older than me.

Now, don't think you gonna

come live in my house...

and make me feel bad.

You gonna pull your weight, girl.

This ain't just some party town, ya hear?

Yes, ma'am.

Now, we all got jobs.

Tomorrow you start lookin'.

You headin' for the club, Alline?

Reggie gonna meet me there

and wait for me till I'm ready to go.

- I want you to take Anna.

- Mama, I got to work.

- Reggie don't want nobody...

- Well, I have a date.

Go on, Anna Mae.

Put on a dress.

I need some privacy.

And, Anna Mae, look a-here.

Don't you get any ideas,

baby girl.

I'm the only sinner in this house.


Well, I got a girl, she

lives up on the hill


Come on, Anna Mae.

Well, I got a girl, she

lives up on the hill

Excuse me! Girl!

Well, she moves mighty quick

Lord, but I love her still

Oh, boy

Gonna jump for joy

Yeah, man, have you

had your baby, boy

My baby bought me a

brand new choo-choo toy

There you are.

Anna Mae, this is Fross.

This is Spider.

- You already met Reggie.

- Spider?

Yeah, Spider.

- I play piano for the revue.

- Anna Mae Bullock.

Anna. That's a pretty

name, little girl.

He's back! That's right,

Ike Turner and the Kings of Rhythm.

All right!

Hear of jalopies

and the noise they make

Let me introduce

my Rocket 88

Yes, it's great

just one wing

Everybody love

my Rocket 88

Gonna ride in style

movin' all along

It's got the V-8 motor

with a modern design

Convertible top

and the girls don't mind

Rollin' with me ridin'

all around town for joy

Play that thing.

Come on, step in my rocket

don't be late

Baby, we're pullin' out

'bout half past eight

We're goin' around the corner

and get us a fifth

Everybody in my car

gonna take a little nip

Movin' on out

boozin' and cruisin' along

All right!

I know you love me, baby


But you never tell me so

- Yeah, over here!

- Here, Ike!

I know you love me, baby

But you never tell me so

If you don't tell me you love me

- Swing it.

Oh, yeah, swing it.

I'm gonna pack my rags and go

All right now, who's gonna

help me out now?


I live across the street

from the jukebox, baby


Every time they spin

that record, baby

Oh, Alline, they're just awful!

How come they get up?

Please, girl. Every woman in here

wanna sing with Ike's band.

He's got a reputation.

No, not from his looks.


Always make me think of you

Well, he been with

'bout every woman in here.

He's somethin' else.

song in particular, baby

Always stays on my mind

There's one particular song, baby

Always stays on my mind

Every time you play it, baby

I just break down and cry

Oh, no, no, no, Mr. Turner,

I'll wear it out.

Oh, there's one little

song in particular, baby

- Is that Anna Mae in there?

Always stays on my mind

Yes, one little song...

Aha, I knew it!

You been bit by the bug.

You been bit by

the Ike Turner bug!

- You got the flu.

- Shut up, Alline!

- Come on.

- Shut up!

Come on, now.

Leave her alone.

There's been some

lonely, lonely nights

Baby, yes, since

you've been gone

Lay my head on my pillow

How I cried...

- Lord, Anna Mae,

I told you not to

borrow the white dress.

- Oh, my!

- Is anyone sittin' here?

You stick around, Anna Mae...

'cause I'd like to take you

out after the last set.

Breakfast. For breakfast?

Well, all right.

Yes, you know that I love you

Oh, I see.

So you a big girl now?


I hope you know what comes

along with that territory.

Can I get you

something to drink?

- Coca-Cola, please.

- Why, certainly, ma'am.

All right now, who's gonna

help me out now?


I live across the street

from the jukebox, baby

All night they play the blues

Rate this script:2.0 / 1 vote

Kate Lanier

Kate Lanier is an American screenwriter best known for such films as CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story, What's Love Got to Do with It, Beauty Shop, Glitter, The Mod Squad and Set It Off. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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