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The United States vs. Billie Holiday

Cast
Andra Day, Trevante Rhodes, Garrett Hedlund, Leslie Jordan, Miss Lawrence, Adriane Lenox, Natasha Lyonne, Rob Morgan, Da'Vine Joy Randolph, Evan Ross, Tyler James Williams.
Released
2021
Judy Garland | Billie Holiday | heroin | methadone
Spoiler alert
Blog entry

Title: "BILLIE HOLIDAY ROSE TO FAME IN PART DUE TO HER SONG STRANGE FRUIT, A LYRICAL, HORRIFYING DESCRIPTION OF A LYNCHING." (0:01)

Radio journalist Reginald Lord Devine tells Billie Holiday, "I remember seeing... oh, that drunk, Tallulah Bankhead... Mesmerizing." (0:04)

Federal agent Jimmy Fletcher tells his mother, "I even met Billie Holiday." (0:08)

Newspaper headline: "HARRY ANSLINGER, HEAD OF THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF NARCOTICS, TESTIFIES TO CONGRESS..." (0:10)

Harry Anslinger tells the others, "Drugs and niggers are a contamination to our great American civilization."
Roy: ”She’s a drug addict though.”
Senator: ”You go after that bitch on the drugs.” (0:12)

Billie cooks heroin and injects her arm before nodding. (0:13:)

Cooking heroin, close up of paraphernalia
Billie tells Jimmy: ”I gotta be pretty high to sing that one.”
”... one day, I’m gonna quit the drinking... maybe go to one of those hospitals like Judy Garland...” (0:17)

Notice on billboard: "Death in the family" (0:21)

Billie mourns the death of her dog Chicquita.
”I lost my father when I was young.” (0:21)

Judge Cullen Ganey tells Billie, "We need to know the whole truth about your addiction. We want you to help us trace the drug down to the source. Now the police found heroin in your room..." (0:30)

Newspaper headline: "JAZZ SINGER ARRESTED ON DRUG CHARGE" (0:33)

Jimmy tells his mother, "Drugs are turning Harlem upside down."
Mrs. Fletcher: ”It’s not just about the drugs.” (0:33)

Jimmy tells Miss Freddy, "My father told me when I was a kid that drugs would be the death of our people."
Freddy, referring to Billie: ”She was raped when she was just 10 years old. You don’t know how it is to be missing something in your life that only a fix seems to fill... Hop eases the pain...” (0:36)

Jimmy tells Billie, "You said you’d kick that stuff." (0:40)

Billie tells the audience, "I’m a little nervous up here tonight." (0:45)

Her manager Ed Fishman tells Billie, "You’re... high."
Billie: ”Of course I’m high, Ed... Of course I’m high...” (0:50)

Her new manager John Levy tells Billie, "From now on, I don’t want you to worry about none of that." (0:53)

Another agent [lt skin trumpet] tells Jimmy, "At least I ain’t got to worry about gvin’ my wife the clap no more." (0:57)

Ansinger tells Tallulah Bankhead, referring to Billie, "We have intel that you don’t approve of her drug use."
Tallulah: ”I am unaware of any drug use by Miss Holiday.” (1:00)

By telephone, her former lover Joe Guy tells Billie, "You’ve been clean for a minute now." (1:03)

Reporter: "Holiday heads to Hollywood, hopefully without heroin."
Reporter: ”She has been the victim of both narcotic agents and dope peddlers...” (1:07)

Billie asks Levy, "Would you believe I ain’t used in almost two months?"
Levy, placing a bottle containing drugs in her pocket: ”No, don’t worry about that.” (1:08)

Newspaper title: "BILLIE HOLIDAY ARRESTED ON OPIUM COUNT" (1:09)

Jimmy testifies in court: "The fact that the drug works, the spoon, syringe and so forth were found in a waste paper basket... Typically, the junkie will keep the works close by, and, and she was holding the opium, but..." (1:09)

Anslinger mocks Jimmy, stuttering: "The opium was on her, but I..." (1:10)

Miss Freddy tells Billie’s friend Roslyn, "That bitch probably high right now...." (1:11)

Billie tastes drug brought by a dealer.
Miss Freddy: ”That man crazy about me.”
”I’m tryin’ to get sane.”
Rosly: ”So Billie, how you gonna pay that drug man?”
Billie: ”Y’all know I need my medicine.”
Rosly: ”Medicine, my ass.”
Roslyn tells Jimmy, referring to Freddy: ”Now even though he don’t have no drugs on hand...”
Jimmy asks Freddy, ”You drive around with drugs in the trunk of your car?” (1:14)

A man injects Jimmy’s arm. Jimmy nods. (1:17)

Billie stumbles upon a family reacting to the lynching of the mother.
A man prepares to inject Billie’s arm. (1:22)

By telephone, Anslinger asks Jimmy, "Are you telling me she hasn’t done drugs the entire time she’s been on the road?" (1:28)

Billie asks Jimmy, referring to Anslinger, "You tell him you shot up?" (1:30)

Jimmy tells his coworker Sam Williams, "This drug war is just a war on us." (1:38)

Television host George Jessel: "... when she fell victim to one of society’s most dreaded illnesses, the use of narcotics." (1:39)

Louis McKay, now Billie’s husband, injects his arm. (1:41)

Anslinger tells Louis, referring to Billie, "Help me plant some heroin on her." (1:42)

Billie tells Reginald, referring to Anslinger, "He was in charge of prohibition, remember?... He can’t afford to lose with drugs."
Reginald: ”But it’s a war on drugs, not on you, lady.” (1:46)

Title: "I Needed Heroin To Live" (1:48)

Billie tells Jimmy, referring to saxophonist Lester Young, "Prez died." (1:49)

Rosly, referring to Billie, "Jimmy, they’re gonna take her off methadone, and she’s in withdrawal."
Sam Williams tells Jimmy, ”Anslinger’s gonna plant heroin on her.” (1:56)

Agent Carter tells Billie, "You’re a victim of drugs." (1:58)

Title: "NARCOTICS AGENTS, CLAIMING TO HAVE FOUND HEROIN, ARRESTED HER AS SHE LAY DYING." (2:00)

Pallbearers carry Billie’s coffin. (2:01)

Title: "HARRY ANSLINGER REMAINED COMMISSIONER OF THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF NARCOTICS UNTIL HIS RETIREMENT AT THE AGE OF 70" (2:01)

President John Kennedy: "Harry Jacob Anslinger, distinguished citizen, for your dedicated efforts to combat the illegal traffic of narcotic drugs have earned for you the respect of the world community." (2:05)