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After premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival at the beginning of September and getting a limited theatrical release earlier this month, Dolemite Is My Name, Eddie Murphy’s first R-rated comedy in 20 years, is finally available on Netflix for all to enjoy. While Murphy is front and center in this hilarious biopic about filmmaker Rudy Ray Moore, he and the other talent want to make sure that people know this movie wouldn’t exist without his late brother, Charlie Murphy.
I usually always dedicate my movies to someone, so I went to Eddie and said the first time I ever heard Charlie Murphy was in an interview on the radio where he did the whole act of ‘Signifying Monkey.’ He had recently passed and so when Eddie and I started talking about that, it seemed like the natural thing to do was dedicate the movie to Charlie because Charlie introduced Eddie to Rudy Ray Moore's world.
For those unaware, ‘Signifying Monkey’ refers to the famous speech that Rudy Ray Moore gave in the original Dolemite, which came out in 1975. Dolemite Is My Name chronicles Moore’s rise to stardom and the making of that blaxploitation movie, but it this project wouldn’t have gotten off the ground if he hadn’t heard the Charlie Murphy interview.
As far as Eddie Murphy’s concerned, he remembers Charlie Murphy constantly quoting Rudy Ray Moore’s lines from the Dolemite movies when they were growing up. Decades later, with Murphy now a bonafide movie star, he wanted to delve into Moore’s life on the big screen, and after spending over a decade in development, the fruits of that particular labor are finally on display to the public.
Charlie Murphy was a comedy powerhouse in his own right, with his most notable credits including Chappelle’s Show, The Boondocks and Black Jesus. Charlie also appeared in two of Eddie Murphy’s movies, Harlem Nights and Norbit. While Charlie’s level of fame never reached the heights that his brother’s did, Craig Brewer wants people watching Dolemite Is My Name to know that he was nonetheless talented. Continuing in his interview with Business Insider, Brewer said:
He may not have been as famous as Eddie, but he was a really talented and funny cat. He just seemed like the right person to pay homage to at the end of the movie.
Co-starring alongside Eddie Murphy in Dolemite Is My Name are Wesley Snipes, Keegan-Michael Key, Mike Epps, Craig Robinson, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Titus Burgess and Aleksandar Filimonovi, among others. Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski wrote the script. The movie ranks at an astounding 98% among critics on Rotten Tomatoes.
You can watch Dolemite Is My Name in the comfort of your own home on Netflix now, and be sure to read CinemaBlend’s review of the movie. Find out what’s heading to theaters in the near future with our 2019 release schedule and 2020 release schedule, which includes Eddie Murphy and Craig Brewer re-teaming for Coming 2 America.