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Reviews & Ratings for
Storyville More at IMDbPro »

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14 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

Jason Robards, Piper Laurie & James Spader Weave Great Twisted Plots

Author: semioticz from United States
19 October 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Cray Fowler (James Spader) is a Louisiana candidate for congress. Piper Laurie plays his widowed mother, Constance. Jason Robards plays his boisterous & lush drinking, influential uncle. Charlotte Lewis plays the Vietnamese Akito Karate instructor who the married-but-separated Fowler (Spader) winds up with on videotape in a hot-tub, somehow. The sex videotape could ruin his bid for public office.

But, there's much more to the plot than this: Fowler's father was a very wealthy & powerful man who wound up dead years ago in what was called a "suicide." His only son, Cray, is plagued by that part of his family's past. Therefore, he's an attorney who's on a quest to find some answers to his suspicions about his father's untimely death.

Let's just leave it at that but say the plots run parallel courses, thicken & braid together in quite fascinating ways.

The sex scenes are beautifully graphic, as Spader is noted for in most of his early films (especially "Crash" 1997". The younger actor Spader was cast as the lover-boy himself. Spader, Robards & Piper Laurie all portray extremely convincing characters.

The movie's got just enough of a bit of everything in it. White collar crime, murders, hot sex, 3 great lead actors, family betrayal, good & bad guys & gals, money & a constant pursuit of justice. This is a terrific flick! The scenes where Spader & Robards go at each other truly highlight how talented both actors are. I haven't seen two men acting out arguments with such emotive expression resembling the wrath scenes of the great Bette Davis. Whomever brought Robards, Sr. & Spader together has an inspired moment! I'm deliberately not telling you the best parts of the story. Those you've got to experience for yourselves. Mind you, this isn't spine tingling high suspense. It's clever twisted plot & truly great dramatic suspense.

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16 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

Great atmosphere and inspired actors live well in the Big Easy!

Author: magnus i h jansson ( from Stockholm, Sweden
24 April 1999

It is fascinating to establish that one is totally lost at the outset of this movie as to what year we are in. Is it 1960 or 1990? One theme in this film is that the past is very much alive and not forgotten in New Orleans. Traditions and ghosts from the past live and haunt us. James Spader provides solid work. In fact this is so far his best performance showing his vulnerable side. The film manages to convey the enigma and secrets of Crescent City. It gives inside information about the sometimes sordid business of politics in Louisiana. Jason Robard is great here. For those who wants to get to know the special way of life in the deep south, this film is a must! Every time I get "home sick" I tend to cling to this film. I have seen it 11 times already. It is sadly underrated. This is not "Star Wars" but for those with a genuine interest in New Orleans, jazz and "mood films" this is a must! This is at least true for the undersigned who is a movie buff with a law degree from Tulane Law School.

Enjoy also the soundtrack with Louis Armstrong and New Leviathan Oriental Foxtrot Orchestra!

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7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Just a great, great film. Under appreciated...

Author: user-15757 from United States
21 February 2007

One of my favorite films. Why oh why did they issue the DVD in 1:33? This is a wonderful example of a "southern" film based on southern films, not reality or even great southern novels. Without "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof", "The Long Hot Summer", and numerous other Tennessee Williams / Faulkner inspired films this film would have been impossible. That said, it is a delicious brew of southern Gothic types and situations. One must not forget that it was produced and directed by Mark Frost, David Lynch's partner in "Twin Peaks", and at the end the film really veers off into a similarly illogical, but highly sensual climax. The actors are just sensational, especially Joanne Whalley, and the location shooting is wonderful. Viewers should expect Tennessee Williams channeling David Lynch. The Carter Burwell score is fantastic. Great, great stuff!

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9 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

I Love James Spader...

Author: songbird_mc
10 September 2002

People don't know what they are missing if they pass by this film. I never even really heard of the movie "Storyville", but I am a big James Spader fan & so thats how I learned of it. Ever since I first saw the handsome talented actor in "Jacks Back" I have been hooked & it became my mission in life to watch & own every James Spader movie. Well I finally made it to "Storyville", I LOVED IT. I must say it is my new favorite. James plays a very sexy, captivating, campaigning, Southern lawyer who finds himself stuck a mess. He handles it well. I thought this movie had a outstanding plot. The fact that James is in it is what made me watch it, the movie being wonderful was a added bonus. My cousin & I both love James. His unique choice in movie roles is very interesting & he always pulls off every one with ease. He's talented & amazing.

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Author: blanche-2 from United States
29 March 2015

In the Big Easy, a young man from a prominent family runs for national office in "Storyville." Just from that sentence, you can probably figure out the rest. Family secrets, corruption, and sex. Spader is Cray Fowler, whose father committed suicide, or perhaps it was accidental, years past. His uncle Clifford (Jason Robards) is a surrogate father to him. Cray needs the black vote, but Michael Warren (Nathan LeFleur) who can deliver it has heard some things about how the Fowlers made their money that he doesn't like.

Cray wants to find out more about how his father died and also investigate the gas and mineral leases that made the family so wealthy.

What he finds out is devastating.

I'd call this a typical turgid tale of the south, with good acting by the young Spader, Jason Robards, Piper Laurie, and Joanna Whalley. Very interesting to see "Scandal" actor Jeff Perry nearly unrecognizable 23 years ago.

The acting enlivens a derivative story that's okay, even if it's not something by William Faulkner.

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James Spader investigates his father's death

Author: msroz from United States
20 February 2015

The setting is New Orleans. James Spader is from a political family and he's running for national office. His father died either by accident or suicide some time ago. His uncle (Jason Robards) is his mentor and a political honcho now. Young Spader needs the black vote and Michael Warren can deliver it, but he has deep suspicions of Spader's political family and the deals that have made them rich. This sets Spader on a detective-style quest to find out more about his father's death and certain profitable mineral and gas leases.

Spader's character is rash, impulsive, sure of himself, on the spoiled side, but seeking some sort of integrity. He walks into situations in quite a trusting and/or rash way, because running for office isn't really his burning desire at the time. He's way behind his opponent.

As often happens in neo-noirs set in New Orleans, there is ample corruption, covering up, and family skeletons. There is "trash", but enjoyable trash. Along the way, there is a murder and a murder trial. The story goes to some excesses. The ghost of Tennessee Williams seems to lurk over southern stories like this one.

This movie is engaging, not to be taken too seriously in the greater scheme of things; but it's played seriously and that's how it had to be done to produce its brand of entertainment.

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Fairly diverting mystery

Author: Red-Barracuda from Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
27 August 2012

A Louisiana candidate for congress is caught up in a potential sex tape scandal. Murder follows and ghosts from the past emerge from the shadows.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about Storyville is the fact that it was directed by Twin Peaks co-creator Mark Frost. But on the evidence of this he sure is no David Lynch when it comes to directing skills. This is overall a decent if slightly confused movie that is part political thriller, part courtroom drama and part mystery. The story itself seems unnecessarily convoluted, although it's ultimately interesting enough. There is certainly a pretty good cast here. James Spader, Joanne Whalley, Jason Robards, Piper Laurie and an unrecognisable Woody Strode all add something.

I would say that this is a good enough mystery film but there is no doubt that it promises a lot more than it ultimately delivers. When you consider just how compelling the central mystery narrative was in Twin Peaks it has to go down as a disappointment that Storyville doesn't have more going for it in that area.

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5 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

A Spader Favorite

Author: Andrea Kendall ( from Albuquerque, NM
29 July 2005

This is a fantastically unique story about a young public defender running for congress who is set up in a uniquely twisted situation and how he plays the situation. I don't want to give too much away, because it is rare that we have unique plots in recent times. There are plenty of cheesy moments, even by Spader. I really enjoyed his character and I think someone else mentioned the vulnerability of Spader's Cray Fowler. Even though this guy isn't the most up and up guy in the bunch (hey he's going to be a politician!), he is a very likable character with good intentions. I encourage checking this movie out, you won't be disappointed - I'm surprised this thriller didn't catch on in the early 90's when it was released.

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3 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Average mystery, intriguingly acted, that might of been way better

Author: Cristi_Ciopron from CGSM, Soseaua Nationala 49
20 January 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Storyville is a good '92 mystery movie, nicely played by a couple of interesting actors—namely Spader, who in his creepiest moments looks like a Jude Law impersonator, and the awesome, delicious, hotly sexy Mrs. Whalley (already Kilmer?)—now there's a girl for me! Quite atmospheric, pretty suspenseful, with a good Dixie twist and a well handled mystery plot, STORYVILLE features Spader as a Dixie politician, now running for the Congress; Joanne Whalley is his ex—mistress, a tough and sharp prosecutor; Robards is a shady boss; Charlotte Lewis plays a Vietnamese woman, Spader's partner for a night; she's very skinny, but presumably sexy; Michael Parks is a brutal cop; even Woody Strode does a cameo.

Mention be also made that Spader's character is a Democrat.

Both Spader and Whalley are rather eerie—looking persons; this helps the movie.

On the other hand, this is, of course, an average movie, though better than more reputed stuff by Soderbergh or Altman. It's style-less, and the few touches it has are more stumbled upon, than discovered. It had potential for a Hitchcockian adventure—which in fact isn't. The director didn't have much intuition or flair for his stuff.

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5 out of 13 people found the following review useful: arena for fighting dirty.

Author: Michael O'Keefe from Muskogee OK
10 July 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Politics, sex and murder...a great combination and with a real good cast this drama holds intrigue and suspense. Set in New Orleans where the past does not die, a young laid back lawyer Cray Fowler(James Spader)runs for congress. Investigations into his dead father's past does not exactly help his lagging campaign. But politics in Louisiana is come what may with very few boundaries. Cray's own Uncle Clifford has a lot to hide himself and to hold leverage over his nephew he sets up a blackmail scheme having the young candidate video taped having sex with a mysterious young woman(Charlotte Lewis). Cray defends the young woman accused of murdering her father. In the course of investigating, Fowler family skeletons rattle. Spader may have gotten too deep in the New Orleans attitude of low-key and easy. He did change my opinion of his acting abilities for the better. Robards was brilliant as the under handed uncle. Joanne Whalley is always worth a long, slow look. Also in the cast are Michael Parks, Michael Warren and an over the top Piper Laurie. All is fair in love and politics in the Crescent City.

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