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Bullets Over Broadway (1994)

R  |   |  Comedy, Crime  |  18 January 1995 (USA)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 27,347 users  
Reviews: 81 user | 63 critic

In 1920s New York, a struggling playwright is forced to cast a mobster's talentless girlfriend in his latest drama in order to get it produced.

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Cast

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

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

Taglines:

The New Comedy From Woody Allen! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

18 January 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Disparos sobre Broadway  »

Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$13,383,737 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Dianne Wiest said she really struggled with Helen Sinclair's signature line. She finally decided to lower her voice when she said "Don't speak!" The lower she said it, the funnier it became. See more »

Goofs

When David stands in the street and argues with Sheldon Flender in the apartment above, a powerful floodlight on a technical-looking stand is reflected in the open window. See more »

Quotes

Nick: Let's avoid confusion. She'll get some lines, or I'll nail your knee caps to the floor.
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Connections

Featured in Woody Allen: A Documentary (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

That Certain Feeling
Music by George Gershwin
Lyrics by Ira Gershwin
Performed by The Three Deuces Musicians
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User Reviews

 
Mobsters and thespians
25 April 2005 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

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 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.


18 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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