The story behind `Dreamgirls'

The story behind `Dreamgirls'

There are 239 comments on the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin story from Dec 24, 2006, titled The story behind `Dreamgirls'. In it, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin reports that:

Didn't know that "Dreamgirls" is based on the lives and careers of The Supremes? Well, then Stop! In the Name of Love not to mention history and get the real-life dirt on the movie's fictional creations.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Inland Valley Daily Bulletin.

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Larry NYC

New York, NY

#1 Dec 26, 2006
I could understand how must DIANA feel about the movie "DREANGIRLS"....a story of her life but no recognition. Such a SUPERSTAR who has contributed so much to American music and who has bridged the gap between black and white Americans....just put yourself in her position....doesn't she deserve for all of us to salute her for her well deserved contribution to music from the 60's,70's,80's,90's and 2000's !!!!
DIANA thank you for your gift to us....no other singer/entertainer/actress has given us what you have and we acknowledge you for the gift you have bestowed upon us and "WE LOVE YOU!!!"
"YOU ARE TRULY OUR DREAMGIRL"
Alvin4NY

AOL

#2 Dec 29, 2006
...Just came back from seeing "Dreamgirls" - and I have to say that I was amazed at how closely the movie followed the real life of Diana Ross, Mary Wilson, Florence Ballard, and Berry Gordy. If they could have gotten over their own individual egos years ago, they could have had the happy ending that the viewer gets to see in the movie, and the "Supreme" legacy would be up there with the Beatles and Elvis. Instead, The Supreme's image is in permanent tatters, and the fans were cheated.
Kevin Collins

United States

#3 Dec 29, 2006
We will never know the "real" story behind the Supremes.........Mary,s book painted one picture..........Diana paints another. Sadly........another element in the story is missing.....Miss Florence Ballard. Neither Mary....nor Diana can speak for her. These 3 ladies were brought together by some magnificent universal force......creating one great woman (as Mary put it). The relationship between the 3 was very complex and intricate....like all human relationships. I saw the broadway play "Dreamgirls" way back when.......and even though it was patterned after the Supremes (no matter what anyone says)......I really dont think any movie,play, or the latest book will ever clearly describe what really happened. From other interviews Ive seen.......Mary had an even harder time with her new members than she ever did with Diana and Florence. The great thing is.......the Supremes will live on (in all forms).......tons of hits...videos....and memorabilia. They are still proof to me that if you can "dream" it......you can live it.
Vicky

United States

#4 Dec 30, 2006
The memories have been destroyed by Mary Wilson. She has been on a 20 year mission to destroy Diana. When Diana speaks of her days as a Supreme, she does so lovingly. Mary Wilson states in a USA Today review of Dreamgirls that "Deena" is naive where as Diana is a backstabbing*****. I pray that Diana stays at least 1000 feet away from Mary Wilson.
Vicky

Commerce Township, MI

#5 Dec 31, 2006
I apologize for the previous post. Mary Wilson called Diana a backstabbing diva, not a *****.
miranda

North Fort Myers, FL

#6 Dec 31, 2006
beyonce worked her but off in this film it also gave her man jay z plenty of time to cheat on her with rihanna ewww she got a big forhead
floyd

Valley Mills, TX

#7 Dec 31, 2006
I have seen the play and now the movie, and I must say that the parallels between the Supremes and Dreamgirls is uncanny. I think the movie Dreamgirls shows that as a society we look at a persons appearance as being relevant in making it in the industry. At that time Berry Gordy as a music mogule knew what sells and Diana was that person. Sure she may have gotten preferential treatment in the process not because she had a sexual relation with Berry, but because she had the "it" thing that sold records. She didn't have the strong voice as did Florence or even Mary, but she had "a voice" and could sing, but she had the look. Like Beyonce broke free of Destiny's Child Diana had the motivation to express herself as woman and after a long while she broke free from Berry, her mentor to do what she wanted to do. She proved herself in selling album after album as well as modeling, designing, writing, producing and acting in movies that have garnered critical acclaim. I think she is an arrogant woman in her own right, but she is also a woman of history who has proved that she doesn't need a Berry Gordy to prove who she is. Mary was just as attractive as Diana, if not more and had every opportunity to strive for what she wanted in her career. Florence on the other hand could not fanthom the reality of showbiz and who could blame her. She felt betrayal and Diana was held accountable as well as Berry. Diana being the groups lead singer has been blamed for her death as well as the downfall of the Supremes. This will haunt her for the rest of her life. It's unfair, but with Mary Wilsons attempts to reach out to Diana and rekindle what once was, she in hindsight has also hurt Diana and her career more as did the legacy of Diana killing the Supremes as a group. I believe Diana should have used the opportunity of The Supremes Back to Love Tour as an opportunity to redeem herself with the remaining original Supreme (Mary). Despite the rumors of what monies where offered or not offered for Mary to join the tour should've not been the issue and both ladies should've worked frivously to work out an agreement to make that tour a time that would reverb in American History. I hope at some point these two ladies will come to an agreement to make a television special if not a tour that will give us all something to keep in our minds as one of the most important times in Music History, may Florence Ballard be a part of that history in spirit. Long Live the Supreme Dream.
Los New York City

United States

#8 Jan 7, 2007
The important statement from the play and movie "Dreamgirls" is that the voice and contributions to the world of music by Ms. Florence Ballard, the founder, heart and soul of The Supremes will never be quieted. Flo ("Blondie") DID win after all! Unlike the movie's ficticious triumph of the Flo character ("Effie"),the horrors of Motown not only halted Flo's opportunity to shine as lead singer but also stifled her solo career. Motown impoverished her and ultimately destroyed her. THREE fabulous American Black women changed the face, perception and direction of today's American WOMEN period. It even affected men and all children of color giving us hope for what was indeed possible. Trail blazers often suffer through history. Flo was no exception but look what happened! The cream indeed rose to the top.
We love you FLO!
MotownFan

AOL

#9 Jan 8, 2007
***SPOILER ALERT***--for those who haven't seen the film, please be aware before you read..

First off, I loved the film...all in all they did a great job. Does anyone remember if the Effie White character was pregnant and had a child in the original Broadway production? I saw a touring company back in 1988 and I don't remember Effie having a child. The reason I ask is because in some ways this portrayal in the film oversimplifies the Effie character. In "It's All Over" when Effie sings "I got pains", I thought it was indicative of her (much like Flo's) depression, exhaustion and her inability to keep up with the pace the group's success demanded. In the film, it can come off as a result of morning sickness, etc...
Any info, comments?
jellyroll

United States

#10 Jan 17, 2007
Effie vs. Florence..........One of the misconceptions people have come to believe is that Florence Ballard was the original "lead singer" of the Supremes. She was not.........all 3 sang lead on the songs they were good at. So this notion that Diana slept with Berry and became lead singer and star is false.........and ultimately.........it was the record buying public that made the Supremes stars........with Diana singing lead. Florence Ballard also did not form the group.........the Temptations did as a sister act to their own. Dreamgirls was a wonderful broadway play....(which I saw).....and I cant wait to see the movie.........but it is not a historical, factual account of the Supremes. I do though blame Motown for the treatment of Florence Ballard when she needed help.
danny vancouver

Langley, Canada

#11 Jan 17, 2007
i saw dreamgirls a fewweeks back i did not like it at all.They say it close to the Supremes but in fact it is very very very loosed.
Effie did ok......Florence Ballard died.I see no comparison.
MrDavis

Murfreesboro, NC

#12 Jan 18, 2007
The Temps did not form the Supremes as a sister group, but were actually in competition with them since Eddie Kendricks and Paul Williams were originally a part of the Primes and Primettes (which consisted of Eddie, Paul, Diana, Flo, and Mary). As stated before, Deena was naive in the film/play. However, Diana was not as naive. Sleeping with Berry Gordy did get her the lead role, and also got Flo kicked out of the group. And yes, the public may have bought the records, but the public had no part in making Diana the lead singer. As with Dreamgirls and the Supremes, it forces us to question where our loyalty lies. Effie and Florence both had the strongest voices of the groups, and were pushed to the back burner for appearances. I see alot of similarity in the film and real life. Jimmy Early is a mix of Marvin Gaye and James Brown. And Lorelle being involved with Jimmy is a mixture of Diana being involved with Gordy. Flo was also involved with Otis Williams of the Tempts. Both were married.
MrDavis

Murfreesboro, NC

#13 Jan 18, 2007
P.S.
Flo did form the Primes, along with Mary. It was them who invited Diana to join.( in high school).
Janet

Baton Rouge, LA

#14 Jan 20, 2007
floyd wrote:
I have seen the play and now the movie, and I must say that the parallels between the Supremes and Dreamgirls is uncanny. I think the movie Dreamgirls shows that as a society we look at a persons appearance as being relevant in making it in the industry. At that time Berry Gordy as a music mogule knew what sells and Diana was that person. Sure she may have gotten preferential treatment in the process not because she had a sexual relation with Berry, but because she had the "it" thing that sold records. She didn't have the strong voice as did Florence or even Mary, but she had "a voice" and could sing, but she had the look. Like Beyonce broke free of Destiny's Child Diana had the motivation to express herself as woman and after a long while she broke free from Berry, her mentor to do what she wanted to do. She proved herself in selling album after album as well as modeling, designing, writing, producing and acting in movies that have garnered critical acclaim. I think she is an arrogant woman in her own right, but she is also a woman of history who has proved that she doesn't need a Berry Gordy to prove who she is. Mary was just as attractive as Diana, if not more and had every opportunity to strive for what she wanted in her career. Florence on the other hand could not fanthom the reality of showbiz and who could blame her. She felt betrayal and Diana was held accountable as well as Berry. Diana being the groups lead singer has been blamed for her death as well as the downfall of the Supremes. This will haunt her for the rest of her life. It's unfair, but with Mary Wilsons attempts to reach out to Diana and rekindle what once was, she in hindsight has also hurt Diana and her career more as did the legacy of Diana killing the Supremes as a group. I believe Diana should have used the opportunity of The Supremes Back to Love Tour as an opportunity to redeem herself with the remaining original Supreme (Mary). Despite the rumors of what monies where offered or not offered for Mary to join the tour should've not been the issue and both ladies should've worked frivously to work out an agreement to make that tour a time that would reverb in American History. I hope at some point these two ladies will come to an agreement to make a television special if not a tour that will give us all something to keep in our minds as one of the most important times in Music History, may Florence Ballard be a part of that history in spirit. Long Live the Supreme Dream.
Diana Ross might have had what Berry Gordy was looking for in appearance but so did Mary Wilson who had a good voice and was better looking. Diana was only pushed by Berry Gordy because of the love interest which he had and was proved when she got pregnant and they were married. She would not be the diva in song and movies if it were not for being pushed by Berry who had the connections. If Mary Wilson was pushed in the same way she would be as big a hit.
Vicky

United States

#15 Jan 20, 2007
Janet, have you ever heard Mary sing? It sounds like nails scraping a chalk board!!!!! Stop slandering Diana because if Mary truly had talent, she would be a success by now.
neil

South Perth, Australia

#16 Jan 21, 2007
i agree with you vicky....there has been enough time between the supremes and now.....mary made the mistake of not disbanding the supremes after jean terrell left....though i loved the 3 albums by the supremes post jean. i also truly believe that mary perhaps could have spent more energy on developing her solo efforts rather than to keep a faded dream going.....
i have never read so much hatred towards diana than i have between this site and youtube,,,,very depressing as a supremes and diana ross fan.
move on those with poisin arrows....its over....rejoice in what was, not what would have been with all those IFS. eg if berry hadn't pushed etc
jellyroll

United States

#17 Jan 21, 2007
The real reason Jean Terrell and Birdsong finally called it quits was the poor management from Mary,s husband. Jean , Mary, and Cindy had tons of potential as a recording group.......but I guess Diana "slept" with whoever was in charge and killed it. I Love Jean Terrel and what she brought to the group.....her presence and her vocal style were right with the times as black music hit a more "funked out" pace. I heard Diana would stalk them to their concerts and let the air out of the limos tires just so they would be late.........dammed her !!!
jellyroll

United States

#18 Jan 21, 2007
Mr Davis.........put down the joint......and read any type of book on Motown history.......Eddie Kendricks a Primmette ??? HAHAHAHAHAHA !!! Flo a Prime??? BWAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHA ! and come back to reality..........Florence Ballard was a flesh and blood human........Effie is a fictional character from a script.......... and Ballard was NEVER the sole lead singer of the Supremes.........check out some of the "flops" they had way back when with Mary and Flo singing lead........you can find them on the albums "Meet The Supremes".......and "Where Did Our Love Go"
darla

Toms River, NJ

#19 Jan 21, 2007
Vicky wrote:
Janet, have you ever heard Mary sing? It sounds like nails scraping a chalk board!!!!! Stop slandering Diana because if Mary truly had talent, she would be a success by now.
I cannot honestly say that I have heard her sing, but I have heard Dian sing, and her voice is the equivalent of someone who can just hold a tune. I would not consider her singing to be a talent
darla

Toms River, NJ

#20 Jan 21, 2007
jellyroll wrote:
Mr Davis.........put down the joint......and read any type of book on Motown history.......Eddie Kendricks a Primmette ??? HAHAHAHAHAHA !!! Flo a Prime??? BWAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHA ! and come back to reality..........Florence Ballard was a flesh and blood human........Effie is a fictional character from a script.......... and Ballard was NEVER the sole lead singer of the Supremes.........check out some of the "flops" they had way back when with Mary and Flo singing lead........you can find them on the albums "Meet The Supremes".......and "Where Did Our Love Go"
What book on motown would you reccomend, because many of the stories that I have read about Florence Ballard and the Suprems are similar to the movies. Especially when Florence was kicked out of the group because she started drinking, and gaining weight once she was no longer a lead singer. This occured because Diana Ross's voice which is NOT SOULFUL, was more palatable to mainstream music. The Primes were a pre-temptation group, and the Primettes, a pre-Supremes group

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