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The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989)

 -  Drama | Music | Romance  -  13 October 1989 (USA)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 16,046 users  
Reviews: 72 user | 30 critic

Frank and Jack Baker are professional musicians who play small clubs. They play schmaltzy music and have never needed a day job. Times are changing and dates are becoming more difficult to ... See full summary »

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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 19 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Ellie Raab ...
...
Lloyd
...
Charlie
...
Ray
...
Henry
Terri Treas ...
Girl in Bed
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Vince Nancy
Bradford English ...
Earl
David Coburn ...
Kid at Vet
...
Theo
Gregory James ...
Hotel Masseuse (as Jeffrey J. Nowinski)
...
Laughing Bar Patron
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Storyline

Frank and Jack Baker are professional musicians who play small clubs. They play schmaltzy music and have never needed a day job. Times are changing and dates are becoming more difficult to get so they interview female singers. They finally decide on Susie Diamond, a former 'escort' who needs some refinement, but the act begins to take off again. While the act is now successful, both Frank and Jack have problems with their life on the road. Susie becomes the agent that makes them re-evaluate where they are going, and how honest they have been with each other. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

For 31 years it's been just the Fabulous Baker Boys... but times change.

Genres:

Drama | Music | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 October 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die fabelhaften Baker Boys  »

Box Office

Budget:

$13,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$16,823,529 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Michelle Pfeiffer's debut performance with the Baker Boys (in which she sings "Ten Cents A Dance") takes place in the Cloud Room, on the top floor of Seattle's Camlin Hotel. Opened in 1947, the Cloud Room was a famous nightclub, attracting big-name talents such as Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra. It closed in 2003, and the top floor of the Camlin was converted into condo suites. See more »

Goofs

When Frank, Jack and Susie get underway for the trip to the New Year's event at the resort hotel (a.k.a. Bill Gate's house), they are first shown driving southbound on the Mercer Street onramp to Interstate-5. Then the scene shifts to them driving near the Spokane Street exit southbound, five miles to the south. Then the scene shifts back to them driving emerging from a tunnel, which is actually the same southbound I-5 onramp, only a little farther past the initial shot. See more »

Quotes

Frank Baker: I'm sorry. I'm a bit wound up.
Jack Baker: Frank, you're a fucking alarm clock.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The 62nd Annual Academy Awards (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

You're Sixteen (You're Beautiful and You're Mine)
Performed by Jeff Bridges & Beau Bridges
Words & Music by Robert B. Sherman (as Robert Sherman) & Richard M. Sherman (as Richard Sherman)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Finest, most important film ever made on the subject of Music
16 June 2000 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

I consider Baker Boys the best film on music because it is one of the finest noir stories ever written on the subject. It is an important film because of the subject matter: an expose of musical art married to entertainment. It is a subject rarely revealed in American media.

Most people think of "musical art" as something found at the classical music concert or the college music department. The other stuff we hear is entertainment, right? Well, sometimes it just isn't that simple. Baker Boys is a story based on those cases of mixed marriage when the talented artist finds himself locked into an employment situation that hampers his artistic ability. It may come as a surprise to Jazz and commercial music lovers that such music artists really do exist beneath the glamorous facade of their favorite music acts (not to mention films). The story of Jack Baker means to reveal this dark underbelly of the entertainment business.

It is well for the public to understand how and why such musicians exist. The distribution of a film such as Baker Boys is but one step toward this end. While most people saw the film as a romance involving the swing music genre, what they didn't seem to recognize is the more important underlying contextual theme. This issue - of undiscovered musical talent - is not popular. Unfortunately the average layperson is not familiar enough with music to understand or care about why a musician would be unhappy with his job. It is easy to see why most people avoided this, the main theme of the film - it's too dark - and instead focused on the romance and the style.

In the end, Baker Boys is a story of one Jack Baker, an entertainer who was finally bold enough to make the transition to Jazz artist. It is a story of passive resistance to what Blake Edwards immortalized as that "other" part of the entertainment industry known behind the scenes as S.O.B. (Standard Operating Bullshit). It is but one fictional story that represents many, many similar true-life cases of successful failure.


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