The Miles Davis Movie: What Scene Would You Especially Like To See In The Biopic?

Let’s not spend the next 100 hours dissecting every important and negligible detail in the life of Miles Davis. However, there are numerous moments of public record that serve as significant milestones during the life and times of the great jazz man.

No doubt many of those moments will make their way into the film version of Miles Davis’ life. Some will end up on the cutting room floor (and possibly onto the DVD), while others won’t even be considered for the big screen.

Unlike a book where the author can spend page after page constructing a beautiful narrative with faultless detail, this is about the movies — and the mantra is show, don’t tell.

So there’s only so much depth you can attempt from one scene to the next; we cannot have the audience checking their cell phones and not paying attention.

Would I like to see a 4-hour movie? Yes. But I also want people to see the movie, and getting anyone to the theater for $11, or $12 bucks a ticket these days is tough enough – so you go with the blueprint and try to make it a special experience. And though it looks as if Don Cheadle’s ‘vision’ for the Miles Davis Biopic is to not make it a history lesson, rather a ‘deconstructed biopic,’ the important parts of Davis’ life still must be recognized in the movie – regardless of how the story is shaped and filmed.

So, scenes: In no particular order…..

Miles Davis kicks drugs

Meeting Bird

The incident outside the Birdland nightclub in New York City, Davis is beaten up by the police and arrested

The Kind of Blue sessions

July 1955, Davis plays with Thelonius Monk on “‘Round Midnight” at the Newport Jazz Festival

Anything with Betty Mabry

The Bitches Brew sessions

Working with Gil Evans

I’m sure I will think of 10 more an hour from now, but at least that gets the conversation started.

Miles Davis lived such a fascinating life it’s difficult to assemble all the finest and most poignant parts to fit into the structure of a film; of course those who knew him intimately will have a much wider scope of memories than those of us who know him only through books, magazines, TV shows, the ‘net and most importantly – his music.

Yet even from afar there is so much to know about the life and music of Miles Davis. The biopic should no doubt help frame, even in a 2-hour running time, a Best Of, if you will, of Miles’ life.

And who knows, we might be surprised at what ultimately gets into the film and might even learn a new thing or two about the jazz legend along the way.


8 thoughts on “The Miles Davis Movie: What Scene Would You Especially Like To See In The Biopic?”


  2. I’d love to see a scene w/ Miles and Hendrix. Some scenes from the autobiography would be nice too. Like when Charlie Parker is eating chicken getting some female attention in a car with Miles there would be a hoot, also the part where Miles and another musician are confronted by some rednecks, and Miles pushes their table over (or maybe he pulls the tablecloth off? Don’t remember…) Gotta have some scenes with Coltrane, plus I’d love to see some scenes of him performing during his fusion era. I would L O V E to see a Miles Davis movie!!

  3. Two scenes which would add sad humor to the film would be when he was riding in a limo with Jimmy Stewart and wife to accept an award from the president and was insulted by Stewart’s wife; and when in a drug crazed haze he was riding in an elevator and said, “3itch get out of my car…”!

  4. Miles telling an uninvited Wynton Marsalis to “get the f___ off my stage” (another version of the story has him saying “if I wanted a trumpet player I would have called one”) has got to be one of the best moments in the history of music, they should definitely include that!

  5. I’d love to see when Miles opened for the Grateful Dead in April of 1970.
    I don’t like to say, opened for, because it sounds wrong, but nonetheless, that’s my choice. Peace…

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