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Bullets Over Broadway (1994)

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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.


Won 1 Oscar. Another 20 wins & 19 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Lili (as Margaret Sophie Stein)
Charles Cragin ...
Nina von Arx ...
Josette (as Nina Sonya Peterson)


Set in 1920's New York City, this movie tells the story of idealistic young playwright David Shayne. Producer Julian Marx finally finds funding for the project from gangster Nick Valenti. The catch is that Nick's girl friend Olive Neal gets the part of a psychiatrist, and Olive is a bimbo who could never pass for a psychiatrist as well as being a dreadful actress. Agreeing to this first compromise is the first step to Broadway's complete seduction of David, who neglects longtime girl friend Ellen. Meanwhile David puts up with Warner Purcell, the leading man who is a compulsive eater, Helen Sinclair, the grand dame who wants her part jazzed up, and Cheech, Olive's interfering hitman / bodyguard. Eventually, the playwright must decide whether art or life is more important. Written by Reid Gagle

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A killer comedy! See more »


Comedy | Crime

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

24 February 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Disparos sobre Broadway  »

Box Office


$20,000,000 (estimated)


$13,383,737 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The film takes place from September to October 1928. See more »


When Cheech and David walk through a neighborhood, the corner has an obvious, modern handicap curb-cut. See more »


[Cheech is helping Olive rehearse a scene]
Olive: Can't you see? You're living out the exact same pattern your mother lived out with your father.
Cheech: I am? Pray tell.
Olive: In some way you're trying to relive it and in the process of reliving it, correct it. As if that were possible. HA.
Cheech: It don't say "ha."
Olive: I know it don't say "ha," I added that.
Cheech: Are you allowed to do that? I don't think you're allowed to do that.
Olive: We're allowed to add things. It's called ad-libbing.
Cheech: Well, I think the whole thing stinks.
Olive: Well, I ...
See more »


References The Rose Tattoo (1955) See more »


You've Got To See Mamma Ev'ry Night Or You Can't See Mamma At All
Lyrics by Billy Rose
Music by Con Conrad
Performed by The Three Deuces Musicians & Singers
See more »

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User Reviews

Guys and Dolls
17 March 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

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 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

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