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Bullets Over Broadway (1994)

R  |   |  Comedy, Crime  |  18 January 1995 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 27,724 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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Title: Bullets Over Broadway (1994)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Malgorzata Zajaczkowska ...
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:

18 January 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
See  »

Did You Know?


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 »


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


Helen Sinclair: Oh, Julian. Julian Marx. I do plays put on by Balasco, or Sam Harris, not some Yiddish pant salesman turned producer. My ex-husband used to say, "If you're gonna go down, go down with the best of them."
Sid Loomis: Which ex-husband?
Helen Sinclair: Oh, I don't know which ex-husband. The one with the moustache.
See more »


Referenced in Reba: Bullets Over Brock (2007) See more »


Make Believe
Music by Jerome Kern
Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Performed by The Three Deuces Musicians
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

7 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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