Bullets Over Broadway (1994) Other movies recommended for you
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Plot: In New York in 1928, a struggling playwright is forced to cast a mobster's talentless girlfriend in his latest drama in order to get it produced. Runtime: 98 mins Release Date: 06 Sep 1994
I'd have a hard time choosing between this film and Crimes and Misdemeanors as my favorite Woody Allen film. Bullets uses much more comedy to ask its serious question -- what, after all, constitutes a true artist -- than Crimes does. Wonderful performances and ideas that stay with you for a long time afterwards - especially if you have any artistic aspirations yourself.
Dianne Wiest Is Perfection (by drednm)
Witty and waspish Broadway story directed by Woody Allen and co-written by Allen and Douglas McGrath is a fond look at a bygone era.John Cusack plays a struggling playwright who agrees hire the no-talent Olive Jennifer Tilly in order to have a mobster back his new play. The mobster assigned a stooge Chazz Palminteri to watch over Olive and make sure she doesn't cheat on him.Cusack and his agent Jack Warden talk fading Broadway star Helen Sinclair Dianne Wiest into starring in the play, but as the play struggles in rehearsals, the stooge Palminteri starts to make constructive <more>
criticisms that launch the play in a different direction. As the rehearsals catch fire, it become obvious that Olive must go ... and go she does.While the main characters are all well played, it's Dianne Wiest who growls and guzzles her way to a sublime performance and a well-deserved Oscar as the haughty star who never plays frumps or virgins.Others in the cast include Mary-Louise Parker as Cusack's drab girlfriend, Tracey Ullman as the actress with a dog, Harvey Fierstein, Rob Reiner, Jim Broadbent, and Joe Viterelli as the mobster. Edie Falco plays the small role of the assistant director.The film is aided by the usual impeccable production design by Santo Loquasto and costumes by Jeffrey Kurland. The music is also spot on.
Alongside Husbands and Wives and Manhattan Murder Mystery, one of Woody Allen's best films of the 90s (by TheLittleSongbird)
Not among Woody Allen's top 5 best films but of the films I've seen of his so far- 36 altogether- Bullets Over Broadway's in the top 10. The period detail looks absolutely incredible and the whole film is photography beautifully, everything just looks so glitzy and glamorous without being too idealised. Tilly's costumes are also to die for. The wonderful score, somewhat a mix of jazz and Broadway, adds a huge amount to the period, the music itself is catchy penned by greats like George Gershwin, Rodgers & Hart and Cole Porter and the vocals are similarly great. Allen gives <more>
some of his best direction in Bullets Over Broadway and the screenplay is sheer brilliance, a vast majority of the lines are hilarious and intelligent Allen in his films has a lot to say about his subjects and on the most part knows how to say it in a way that is distinctive of Allen's style and there are some quotable ones too. Love also that the comedy has a light-hearted, biting and whimsical touch without going overboard in either area, and Allen to not make things too one-note includes a seriousness that is well pitched and balanced and an ironic ending that rounds things off nicely. The story goes at a brisk pace and the rehearsal and theatre scenes are incredibly entertaining. A great job is also done with how the characters are written and expanded, though it is a case of the supporting characters being more memorable than the leading one with Helen Sinclair and Cheech especially so. The ensemble performances are great, John Cusack has a difficult task playing Allen's younger alter ego and while you don't quite shake off the feeling that Allen himself would have been better in the role though you can understand why he didn't Cusack is actually one of the best actors that have attempted to play Allen's younger alter ego along with Will Ferrell in Melinda and Melinda and Seth Green in Radio Days, something that inevitably has had mixed results as seen with Jason Biggs in Anything Else and especially Kenneth Branagh in Celebrity . Jennifer Tilly and Joe Viterelli are fine in tailor-made roles, true Tilly is a touch annoying and over-enthusiastic at times but seeing as it's part of the character it's not a problem at all. Jim Broadbent is marvellous and has rarely been more adorable and Mary Louise Parker, Jack Warden and Tracy Ullman provide plenty of humour and heart too. Harvey Fierstein is good and it is interesting to see Rob Reiner in a small role. But the best performances for me were Dianne Wiest, who won an Oscar and deservedly so in a performance that sees Wiest at her comic best she's never been funnier , and Chazz Palminteri who is menacing, very amusing and sometimes charming, a gangster with a heart and the soul of a poet if you will. Overall, a wonderful film and one of Woody Allen's best of the 90s. 10/10 Bethany Cox
"You better get in the mood, honey, 'cause he's payin' the rent." (by Galina_movie_fan)
Set in 1920's New York City, "Bullets over Broadway" 1994 tells the story of a young playwright David Shayne who tries to produce his first play. He "stands on the brink of greatness. The world will open to him like an oyster. No... not like an oyster. The world will open to him like a magnificent vagina" but he needs to find money for production first.The money comes from the gangster Nick Valenti on one condition - Nick's stunningly untalented bimbo girlfriend Olive "She ruins everything she's in. She ruins things she's not even in" has to <more>
play a psychiatrist. Olive is accompanied to each rehearsal by hit-man/bodyguard Cheech who knows how the real people talk and turned to be a greater writer than David. David's leading man, Warner Purcell eats compulsively every time he gets nervous and there are plenty of reasons for him to get nervous . David's relationship with the girlfriend Ellen suffers when he begins an affair with the talented leading lady Helen Sinclair "I'm still a star. I never play frumps or virgins." who is "in the last couple of years... better known as an adulteress and a drunk." "Bullets over Broadway" is one of my favorite comedies by one of the favorite directors/writers, Woody Allen I love you Woody, always have, always will - please make your gems, and I will be there to watch them . It has everything I look for in a comedy - brilliance, wit, clever writing, hilarious and sinister twist in the plot, amazing performances, authentic feel of the era and great musical score. "Bullets over Broadway" is pure delight from the beginning to the end. The best I could describe the film - to paraphrase the famous line from John F. Kennedy's Inaugural Address: "Ask not what Art can do for you ask what you can do for Art".9.5/10
Woody Allen sends up the world of Broadway and the gangsters who love it in this Runyonesque comedy, one of his very best.John Cusack is the Allen surrogate, a nebbish playwright who's struggling to remain true to his artistic vision amongst countless obstacles. Those obstacles include: a gangster's girlfriend Jennifer Tilly who Cusack is forced to cast in a lead role; her bodyguard Chazz Palmienteri , who reveals quite a few dramatic instincts; a high-maintenance diva Dianne Wiest, uproarious ; a leading man who eats too much Jim Broadbent ; and a dithery actress very much in <more>
love with her dog Tracy Ullman .Because Allen sets his movie in a world he knows well NY theatre , this feels like one of his strongest and most realized screenplays. The whole thing is a riot. Between Wiest, Tilly and Ullman, I still can't decide who's funniest.Grade: A
Great but not one of my favorites from Woody Allen! (by Sylviastel)
This film is typical of Woody Allen's brilliance. He creates the scene about 1920's New York theater scene with scene stealer Dianne Weist who wins her second academy award again with Woody Allen plays a theater dame with a grandiose presence who takes on John Cusack's character. Of course, the play has problems getting produced. They filmed it at the real Belasco Theater in New York where I saw Jackie with Margaret Colin in 1997. Of course, that's what makes Woody Allen's films special is that he always films it in New York. I don't recall him as an actor in this <more>
film. He was wise enough to pass the role over to Cusack who does a superb job playing Woody's younger self. Anyway, Tilly does a terrific job playing an annoying and terrible actress but girlfriend of a mobster. What she wants is what she usually gets. First rate cast with Chaz Palminteri who was nominated along with Tilly for supporting acting Oscars. I hope Woody Allen will finally be recognized for his genius and get top honors like the National Medal of the Arts and honored by the Kennedy Center finally for his work. Nobody does New York like Woody Allen, of course, we all would like a bit of diversity in his films.
Of all the Woody Allen films that I have seen not that many, I confess this movie and "Everyone says 'I Love You'" are the ones that I have enjoyed the most. "Bullets Over Broadway" is a very funny, clever, and entertaining comedy. The acting is top-notch; Dianne Wiest is fantastic, Jennifer Tilly and Chazz Palminteri are great and John Cusack is as good as ever, that is: he is extremely good.So, I enjoyed this film immensely, I laughed a lot, and I thoroughly recommend it.
Rollicking, rib-tickling 'Roaring 20s' comedy gem -- a diamond among the Woodman's recent rough. (by gbrumburgh-1)
Sadly, I've been let down by most of Woody Allen's recent comedies. So it was most rewarding indeed to see the Woodman back again true to form after a lengthy drought with 1994's Bullets Over Broadway." Fun, foamy, and clever, it has everything we've come to love and expect from the man.While "Take the Money and Run" and "Bananas" first turned trendy audiences on to his unique brand of improvisational, hit-and-miss comedy episodes, and the more neurotic, self-examining cult hits like "Annie Hall" and "Manhattan" cemented his <more>
Oscar-winning relationship with Hollywood, the comedy genius has stumbled mightily in this last decade. Attempting to contemporize his image with the coarse, foul-mouthed antics of a Coen or Farrelly brother see "Mighty Aphrodite" is simply beneath him, and has been about as productive as Stevie Wonder taking a turn at hip-hop. Moreover, casting himself as a 65-year-old romantic protagonist with love interests young enough to be his grandchildren see "Curse of the Jade Scorpion" has left a noticeably bad aftertaste of late. With "Bullets Over Broadway," however, Allen goes back to basics and wisely avoids the pitfalls of excessive toilet humor and self-aggrandizing casting, and gives us a light, refreshing bit of whimsical escapism. Woody may not be found on screen here, but his presence is felt throughout. Though less topical and analytical than his trademark films, this vehicle brings back a purer essence of Woody and might I say an early innocence hard-pressed to find these days in his work.John Cusack can this guy do no wrong? plays a struggling jazz-era playwright desperate for a Broadway hit who is forced to sell out to a swarthy, aging king-pin played to perfection by Joe Viterelli who is looking to finance a theatrical showcase for his much-younger bimbo girlfirend Jennifer Tilly, in a tailor-made role . The writer goes through a hellish rehearsal period sacrificing his words, not to mention his moral and artistic scruples, in order to appease his mob producers who know zilch about putting on a play. The rehearsal scenes alone are worth the price of admission.Aside from Allen's clever writing, brisk pace and lush, careful attention to period detail, he has assembled his richest ensemble cast yet with a host of hysterically funny characters in spontaneous banter roaming in and about the proceedings. Cusack is his usual rock-solid self in the panicky, schelmiel role normally reserved for Woody. But even he is dwarfed by the likes of this once-in-a-lifetime supporting cast. Jennifer Tilly, with her doll-like rasp, is hilariously grating as the vapid, virulent, and thoroughly untalented moll. Usually counted on to play broad, one-dimensional, sexually belligerent dames, never has Tilly been give such golden material to feast on, putting her Olive Neal right up there in the 'top 5' fun-filled film floozies of all time, alongside Jean Hagen's Lina Lamont and Lesley Ann Warren's Norma Cassady. Virile, menacing Chazz Palminteri as the fleshy-lipped Cheech, a "dees, dem and dos" guard dog, reveals great comic prowess while affording his pin-striped hit man some touching overtones. Dianne Wiest, who has won bookend support Oscars in Woody Allen pictures for this and for "Hannah and Her Sisters" doesn't miss a trick as the outre theatre doyenne Helen Sinclair, whose life is as grand and exaggerated off-stage as it is on. Her comic brilliance is on full, flamboyant display, stealing every scene she's in. Tracey Ullman is a pinch-faced delight as the exceedingly anal, puppy-doting ingenue, while Jim Broadbent as a fusty stick-in-the-mud gets his shining moments when his actor's appetite for both food and women get hilariously out of hand. Mary-Louise Parker, as Cusack's cast-off mate, gets the shortest end of the laughing stick, but lends some heart and urgency to the proceedings.While the play flirts with a burlesque-styled capriciousness, there is an undercoating of seriousness and additional character agendas that keeps the cast from falling into one-note caricatures. And, as always, Woody's spot-on selection of period music is nonpareil. With healthy does of flapper-era Gershwin, Rodgers & Hart, Cole Porter, Hoagy Carmichael, not to mention the flavorful vocal stylings of Al Jolson and Eddie Cantor, Allen, with customary finesse, affectionately transports us back to the glitzy, gin-peddling era of Prohibition and slick Runyonesque antics.I remember the times when the opening of a new Woody Allen film was a main event. As such, "Bullets Over Broadway" is a comedy valentine to such days. In any respect, it's a winner all the way, especially for Woodyphiles.
Woody Allen had the inspired idea to let another actor played what would have been a tailor-made he wrote for himself. As a director, Mr. Allen has always done well. Of course, there are exceptions, but in "Bullets over Broadway" show an inspired Mr. Allen doing what he does best. This comedy, written in collaboration with Douglas McGrath, is a happy take on a situation that only this director would have been able to create.We are shown two different worlds. In one, the roaring twenties gangsters have the control of all illegal activities in Manhattan. On the other, we meet an <more>
idealistic writer, David Shayne, who wants to have his play produced. Enter the capo Nick Valenti. This man has enough money to buy his current paramour, the dizzy Olive Neal, whatever her little heart desires. Thus, the vehicle chosen is the drama David has written.Thus begins a frantic comedy of errors where the theater and the mob intermingle with funny results. We watch as the play gets produced on Broadway how the different factions come together, each one with a different idea as to what to do with the play.The cast is first rate. John Cusack, as the ambitious playwright, does some of his best work in showing what this man is going through. Dianne Wiest, one of the most accomplished actresses around, makes a splash with her take on Helen Sinclair, the first lady of the American theatah! Jennifer Tully is excellent as Olive Neal, the girl from the provinces with high aspirations, but no talent.Chaz Palmintieri, as Cheech, the mobster that understands what's wrong with the play is hilarious. The late Joe Venturelli was born to play his mobster Nick Valente. Jack Warden is perfect as the producer. Tracey Ullman and Jim Broadbent are simply marvelous as the cast members of the play in production. Mary Louise Parker and Harvey Fierstein, Rob Reiner are also seen in smaller roles."Bullets over Broadway", as most of Mr. Allen's films has a great musical score of the jazz songs of the era. Mr. Allen, in taking a seat behind the camera, delivers one of his best and funniest films to date.