Review By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

Year Released: 1975
Running Time: 109
Production Company: Paramount Pictures
Directed by Berry Gordy, Tony Richardson and Jack Wormser
Director of Photography: David Watkin
Screenwriter: John Byrum and Toni Amber

Do you know where you're going to?
Do you like the things that life is showing you? Where are you going to?
Do you know?
Do you get what you're hoping for? When you look behind you, there's no open doors. What are you hoping for? Do you know? "Theme from Mahogany (Do You Know Where You're Going To)" Performed By: Diana Ross

I was in Junior high school when "Mahogany" debuted in 1975 and I first heard Diana Ross sing the beautiful "Theme from Mahogany (Do You Know Where You're Going To)."

I saw "Mahogany" with my brothers at a downtown theater in Los Angeles and was mesmerized by the beauty of Ross and the story of her struggle and dream to become a fashion designer. Then when Billy Dee Williams shows up as her love interest, well, my God.

This movie stayed with me for years. To this day if it's on BET or some other classic movies channel, I'll watch it intensely like I've never seen it before. I can't count the number of times I've seen "Mahogany."

It's one of my favorite romantic dramas and why I'm featuring "Mahogany" as N2Entertainment.net's "Video Pick Of The Month."

Motown founder, Berry Gordy directed "Mahogany" along with Tony Richardson ("Blue Sky") and Jack Wormser. It's a touching rags to riches love story. Ross, stars as Tracy Chambers, a young woman from Chicago's gritty South Side. She works by day in a luxury department store and studies art at night school. Tracy longs to become a top fashion designer. She's got the looks, the drive and talent, but a black woman from the slums isn't likely to catch a break in an industry with people that don't look like her. Or can she?

As luck would have it, things turn for Tracy when a famous fashion photographer named Sean McAvoy (Anthony Perkins, "Psycho") arrives at the store to do a photo shoot with a group of models. He's not too impressed with them, but when he sees Tracy, he assumes she's a model and begins taking pictures of her.

Tracy is a natural in front of the camera and may be the big find that Sean has been searching for. For Tracy, this could be her ticket out of the ghetto. Just like that, Sean invites Tracy to Rome.

With his guidance Tracy is transformed to a new person. She becomes an international sensation as a fashion model and later as an haute couture designer. It's a dream come true. She's desired by most every man including Sean, although he's not able to rise to the occasion.

When tragedy strikes Sean, a wealthy benefactor named Count Christian Rosetti (Jean-Pierre Aumont, "The Proprietor") steps in and becomes Tracy's sugar daddy.

However, Tracy left so much behind in Chicago including a budding romantic relationship with rising political activist Brian Walker (Williams).

Although she has fame and fortune now, there is still something missing in her life. When Brian visits Tracy in Rome he tries to persuade her to come back with him to Chicago because "success is nothing without someone you love to share it with."

That very line is delivered so passionately by Williams, and really the entire scene between the two of them is palpable. To this day, it remains one of the most iconic movie quotes.

Although "Mahogany" received harsh reviews when it debuted, the $3.5 million produced movie was a hit at the box office earning more than $5 million. Audiences loved Ross' fierceness, style, beauty and intelligence and couldn't get enough of Billy Dee Williams who personified Black coolness and cemented his legacy as a major sex symbol.

The "Theme from Mahogany (Do You Know Where You're Going To)" was also nominated for "Best Original Song" at the 48th Annual Academy Awards.

After almost 50 years, the movie's message about love, ambition, dreams, power and self-discovery has withstood the test of time and made "Mahogany" a bona fide classic.

Check Out This Trailer For "MAHOGANY"