“Maurice Hines: Bring Them Back” captures highs and tensions of tap dancer’s storied career

The documentary paints an intimate portrait of the peaks and valleys of Maurice Hines’ career and his life with and without his more famous sibling Gregory.

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With a showbiz career that spans seven decades, “Maurice Hines: Bring Them Back” is not your typical talking head documentary film. Instead, director and co-producers John Carluccio and Tracy Hopkins took the cinéma vérité approach to deliver a lively archival and charismatic portrait of the Tony Award-nominated tap dancer and his complex creative and personal relationship with his younger brother, the late Gregory Hines. 

Maurice and Gregory Hines in the 1950s.

“I like rich material from the past and recontextualizing it,” says Carluccio. “[This] was an opportunity to put some of the footage of Maurice and Gregory together or apart with some commentary as a way to illustrate the story and even some of what’s missing.”  

Capturing the highs and the tensions, Maurice’s story is documented over two years – from age 73 to 75 – and reveals both a devoted and unapologetic showman with intentionality to “never jive the audience” and a brother still mourning the loss of his sibling.  

 

 

“If you don’t know Maurice, this is a heartfelt story about an elder doing what he loves … a celebration of that Black excellence,” says Hopkins. “You’ll also learn about the legacy of the Hines family and their importance in Black dance.”  

Carluccio adds, “There are moments that tell more about Maurice without him saying any words. There are moments in the film where there’s bursts of tap, bursts of comedy and I hope that energy is something that transcends and people enjoy.” 

*Maurice Hines: Bring Them Back” is streaming on the Starz app. 


Listen: Producers John Carluccio and Tracy Hopkins discuss the life of tap pioneer Maurice Hines.  

 


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Authors

  • Ryan Patrick Hooper is the award-winning host and producer of CultureShift on 101.9 WDET-FM Detroit’s NPR station. As a longtime arts and culture reporter and photographer, Hooper has covered stories for NPR, Detroit Free Press, Hour Detroit, SPIN and Paste magazine.