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Mistress More at IMDbPro »

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20 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

the most accurate depiction of Hollywood outsiders trying to bust in

Author: darlene-27 from United States
29 March 2005

Knowing several real-life wannabe actors, screenwriters, directors, and producers, none of whom are exactly 'A-List,' I thought this movie was an accurate portrayal of the twists and turns that the life of a project and one's personal life take while one, lacking connections, tries anything to come up with financing to get a potentially great movie off the ground.

Look at how long it took to get "Ray" funded and made -- 10 years! Similar stories abound. It takes a monumental effort to get anything made that's a little bit different. Guys who control the money don't like risk! With all its iterations depending on the focus of the potential underwriter -- think Money-Man -- with a colorful cast of stars, all playing well-written characters, I can't get enough of this movie. I own it and have watched it many times. A real laugh fest for those captivated by all things "Hollywood." The name IMHO ruined this movie's chances at the box office. It implies a certain salaciousness that is simply not there. It is a warm and sweet movie about guys trying to help their sweethearts achieve their dreams. Should have been titled, 'The Darkness and the Light,' which is the name of the screenplay they are trying to produce, or 'A Hollywood Story,' or something similarly innocuous. Worth seeing by all means!

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13 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Worth seeing

Author: George Carr ( from Cleveland, Ohio
10 January 1999

Bob Wuhl, never acclaimed because he has little range, actually turns in an excellent performance as a screenwriter who pulls out all the stops to get his script filmed. Martin Landau is his producer, and the money men they find, one of whom is Robert DeNiro in a wonderful role, all want him to cast their mistresses in the film. Although the film is slow at times, excellents performances all around make this worth seeing.

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11 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Very Underrated Gem

Author: mikemoto1 from Fort Worth, Tx USA
13 July 2003

This is one of those movies that I fervently hope gets rediscovered one day. The performances are top notch, especially Landau as the extremely obseqious producer and Ralph as DeNiro's actress girlfriend. What makes this movie so great is that it understands the need of subtlety in satire, something that is often lacking. This film also says a lot about Hollywood and financing that REALLY hits the mark, maybe a little to close to home for some in the industry.

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11 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

over looked gem

Author: coffeengreens ( from california
5 April 2002

This movie is another over looked gem made awares recently to my consumerized multiplex movie taste. Robert DeNiro acted in this movie for free (according to IFC Channel's little factoid footnotes). It has a low budget feel to it. I dislike Robert "Arliss" Wuhl as an actor. Nontheless I found myself intrigued and enjoying Mistress.

The discussions about art, and how they are a reflection of real life: the question posed in My Dinner With Andre: Is the art a reflection of it's artist, or is the artist a reflection of his art ? The discussion and breaking down of some of the tedious aspects of screenwriting and what it means and how one goes about it in the movie industry. The compromises required in movie-making, and art in general, is an intriguing aspect to this movie, making it more than just a run of the mill "dish on Hollywood/Los Angeles" movie. Also, the comprises woman in the movies have to make, and blacks. I think this is a great movie for an aspiring (screen)writer/actor to watch by providing some of the clues to how one has to think or approach writing and also the realistic constraints that get applied by the way the industry is structured.

(BTW, I feel as if I am the only one to notice that this seems alot like Woody Allen's Bullets Over Broadway ((which was released 2 years after this movie)); Woody Allen is the greatest, but the uncredited theft of this movie may be a travesty ((especially provided the knowledge, also courteasy of IFC's footnotes, that the Writer/Director Ron Powlus[sp] spent 7 years running around trying to get this movie made. Which is a sad fact because this is an excellent movie and the amount of work he must have put into it is reflected.))

Now looking at this as well, this is sort of a movie about the making of a movie about the real life making of a movie; which in itself is stating something very profound about movie making.

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11 out of 13 people found the following review useful:


Author: Jeannot from Berwyn PA
13 October 1998

A sophisticated dark Hollywood comedy, IMHO superior to THE PLAYER. The cast is a powerhouse, but Martin Landau is outstanding, as is the black girl who plays Beverly, DeNiro's mistress. I've seen it three times and laughed harder each time. Basically, it's about the woes of a director/scriptwriter (Wuhl)who, upon wannabe producer Landau's urging, tries to pitch his script to three money guys (Wallach, Aiello, DeNiro). He fights unsuccessfully to preserve the integrity of his artistic vision.

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8 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

brilliant and underrated

Author: Robert D. Ruplenas
4 May 1999

A sadly underrated movie. Hollywood could not have loved it because of the cruelly true things it says about how movies are made, about how a writer's creative vision becomes corrupted and debauched on its way to the screen. That doesn't sound like a setup for a comedy, but a wonderfully dark comedy it is, with some richly witty dialogue. Landau's performance is superb (he is one of the best actors around), and the descent of Wuhl's character from idealistic writer to desperate self-promoter - a sad journey - is made humorous. Wonderful bits by Eli Wallach, Danny Aiello, and all three mistresses.

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6 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

It`s Not BATMAN 3 That`s For Sure

Author: Theo Robertson from Isle Of Bute, Scotland
26 August 2003

The info button described MISTRESS as thus " An earnest screenwriter sees his dream mangled in the Hollywood movie machine . Robert DeNiro is a crass moneyman demanding a role for his talentless mistress " Great I thought , this is going to be like THE KING OF COMEDY except it`s set in Hollyloot . Twenty minutes later DeNiro`s still not appeared and I`m aware of one thing - info buttons are never right

The info button wasn`t so much wrong but it was rather misleading . DeNiro does indeed play a crass moneyman who is after a role for his mistress but she`s not exactly talentless . The plot mainly revolves around a failed director/screenwriter called Marvin who finds himself having to severly alter his script if he wants it produced , it`s a sort of satire/black comedy on the Hollyloot system of film making and once you get over the initial disappointment of it not being a Scorsese / DeNiro masterpiece it`s an enjoyable film , and one with a lot of scathing truth like a pitch is all down to presentation , casting is down to who the actress is sleeping with and a producer`s vulgarity is only matched by his ignorance . Also watch out for the line " This isn`t BATMAN 3 " which at that time hadn`t been produced yet . I guess someone made BATMAN 3 as a homage to MISTRESS ?

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

The anti - "Player"

Author: ( from fairview, nj
11 April 2003

MISTRESS (1992) *** Robert Wuhl, Robert De Niro, Martin Landau, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Danny Aiello, Eli Wallach, Jean Smart, Ernest Brognine (cameo). Bitingly funny satire about a struggling filmmaker wanting to make his dream script facing obstacles by each financial backer wanting their mistress in the film. Christopher Walken and Laurie Metcalf have small roles.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Impressive cast overplaying to the nth degree...

Author: moonspinner55 from las vegas, nv
3 August 2011

Barry Primus directed and co-wrote this 'Hollywood insider's comedy' which isn't very inside and is never terribly funny. Robert Wuhl is a struggling screenwriter who, with help from Martin Landau's over-the-hill movie producer, hopes to get his picture made with financial backing from three hot-tempered high rollers; the catch is, each investor wants his mistress to have a part in the film, and all three women prove very difficult to handle. Potentially interesting premise given over to foul-mouthed neurotics who are never as amusing as they're supposed to be. Wuhl, an actor of quicksilver comedic timing, thanklessly plays the incredulous observer here, while the all-star supporting cast loudly plays up the material until the satirical edge flags and becomes cartoonish. Primus' direction is wobbly and uneven, though he gets some amusing facial expressions from Robert De Niro (who also co-produced, for reasons which are unclear). Shabbily edited, and with ungainly cinematography. *1/2 from ****

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4 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Great actors in search of a script

Author: Barbara Pinzka ( from Cincinnati, Ohio USA
5 January 2001

Pun intended. This is a comedy about trying to make a movie in Hollywood. There's a screenwriter (Wuhl), desparate to see his long-forgotten masterpiece brought to the screen, a producer (Landau) who hasn't had a hit in 15 years and three wanna-be producers (De Niro, Aiello and Wallach), of varying competence. All of the producers have girlfriends who want to be in the movie. Everyone has complicated lives.

The theme is compromise, and who can and who can't. Some parts of the film are mesmerizing, earning it a seven from me, and others sag. A splendid birthday party serves as the climax of the film but I had no idea of why the birthday boy was being feted.

See it if you like the lead male actors - they're terrific (even if it does remind you that women of the the same age can't find roles as juicy). Otherwise, it's another "ain't Holywood awful" movies.

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