Round Midnight (1986)

Warner (Irwin Winkler production)

In 'Round Midnight, directed by the noted French filmmaker Bertrant Tavernier, real-life jazz legend Dexter Gordon portrays vividly the fictional tenor sax player Dale Turner is a down-on-his luck musician who’s losing the battle with alcoholism, and additionally, he’s estranged from his family. The scenario, co-written by Tavernier and David Rayfiel, is based on the story of the musicians Bud Powell and Lester Young.
 
When first me, he hangs around the New York jazz world. Dale then gets an offer to play in Paris, where, like many other black American musicians at the time, he enjoys a respect for his humanity that is not based upon race.
 
A Parisian fan (Francois Clouzet) who is obsessed with Turner's music befriends him and attempts to help him. Although for Dale the damage is already done, his poignant relationship with the man and his young daughter rekindles his spirit and his music as the end draws near.
 
You’ll be able to spot in the cast Herbie Hancock, Tavernier, actor Philippe Noiret, American director Martin Scorsese, and actress Lonette McKee.
 
Dexter, who has made only one film before, received a well-deserved Best Actor nomination, thus joining the small minority of African American nominated for an Oscar, especially in the lead category..
 
The Oscar for Original Score to Herbie Hancock was controversial, because a good deal of it consisted of “preexisting music.”
 
Oscar Alert
 
Oscar Nominations: 1
 
Actor: Dexter Gordon
Original Score: Herbie Hancock
 
Oscar Awards: 1
 
Original Score
 
Oscar Context
 
The winner of the Best Actor was Paul Newman for Scorsese’s “The Color of Money,” a sequel to the 1961 “The Hustler.”