I reviewed John Williams' biog' of the young Ms Bassey on this site many months ago. The Beeb turned it into a 70-minute bio' pic that follows Shirley from childhood poverty and shame - a mixed race child whose dad is jailed for sexual offenses - to burgeoning superstardom. It's pretty standard stuff with lots of Shirley staring in the mirror and trying to understand who she has become and her tough old mum saying "you'll get on that train if I have to drag you on!" and casual racism and dodgy showbiz types and gay husbands and Shirley triumphing over all as the strings swell in the background. But it is beautifully shot and the actress playing Bassey is quite lovely - not as beautiful as the young SB but she has a strikingly mournful face and carries herself well, handling broad Cardiff accent and then posh stage accent with aplomb. I never feel the need to listen to SB's music but I do think she is one of the great divas and a wonderful character (even if she is a Tory tax exile) and feel this gave her remarkable rags-2-riches life story a decent polish. Could have been much better but when compared to the Ian Dury bio-pic - the last Brit biopic I caught - this is a masterpiece.
I agree Garth. Enjoyed this tv film, but I'm not in a position to offer any more critique as I didn't know anything at all about Shirley Bassey before watching it. Worth pointing out that Ruth Negga, the actress, is starring in the latest opus at the Old Vic: The Playboy of the Western World, and is receiving very good reviews.